Walt, Blake, Pam & Robert Dasher

Feb 22, 2021
G&R Farms retail promotion supports FFA students

G&R Farms is excited to continue the “Growing America’s Farmers” (GAF) program with regional and national retailers looking to not only grow sales, but support scholarships for FFA students planning careers in production agriculture.

GAF LogoGAF is the brainchild of Walt Dasher, a third-generation southeast Georgia farmer and a strong advocate of Future Farmers of America (FFA). Thanks to past retail partnerships, this program has helped raised over $150,000 for FFA member scholarships. As it enters its sixth year, G&R is expanding the program to add more consumer-based initiatives such as geotargeting and social content, as well as deeper interaction with FFA members and potential partnerships with other commodities and brands.

For some, it might be easy to dismiss the importance of production ag-based scholarships, but based on current trends and global population growth, agriculture will need to produce 70% more food by 2050. With the current average age of the American Farmer increasing to 58 years of age, America’s farms are facing challenges that will require young talent to carry the torch to continue expanding U.S. food systems. Across the country, FFA is attracting and training those leaders. In fact, FFA membership is at a record high with 760,000+ members in 8,739 chapters across all 50 states, including chapters in 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities. Additionally, it is setting records in member diversity.

For retailers interested in participating, it’s as easy as (1) saying yes and picking a time-frame, (2) accepting a promotional plan and (3) begin selling to capture donation funds. For participating retailers, G&R Farms will set aside a percentage of all sales and will make a matching contribution that will be donated to the National FFA Foundation in the participating retailer’s name. Those funds will be redirected back to state and local FFA programs of the retailer’s choice.

The program launch is planned to coincide with National Agriculture Month in March, as well as the start of the Vidalia onion season in April, but can be launched at any time of the year including during the Peruvian onion season. It is recommended that the program run for eight weeks to maximize promotional efforts and build consumer awareness to achieve the greatest sales success for scholarship donations.

The GAF marketing program can be tailored to each retailer’s internal needs, and includes:

  • Charitable Scholarship Donation in Retailer’s Name
  • Digital Marketing (including geotargeting and social)
  • In-Store Displays & POS materials
  • Possible Cross-Promotional Opportunities with Other Produce Department-or Store-Requested Brands & Products
  • Consumer PR (including in-market media)
  • Co-Marketing & Coordination with Local, State & National FFA Programs
  • Customized Content (including interviews with past and present FFA Members)
  • Coordination with Retail Communication Teams

Walt Dasher, Vice President of G&R Farms remarked, “As a third-generation family farm, this is about more than marketing and promotions, this is a personal mission that hits at the heart of who I am and what I stand for.” Dasher continued, “As professionals in the food industry, even as consumers, we should all recognize how important it is to support, foster and inspire the next generations of producers who will not only grow our food, but also elevate our food systems. This is how we will be able to secure our ability to have access to one of the safest, most accessible food supplies in the world.”

The 2021 sponsorship program officially kicks off in March for National Agriculture Month but is available year-round for any retailer to participate in.  For more information contact the G&R Sales team at (912) 654-2100 to discuss building a GAF marketing program for your organization.

As a third-generation family farm, G&R Farms began in Southeast Georgia with a small farm in 1945.  Today, the organization has grown to over 5,000 acres encompassing several crops with a main focus on sweet onions.

Above, from the left are Walt, Blake, Pam and Robert Dasher. Photo: G&R Farms.

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