A Collaborative Effort in Celebrating National Agriculture Day
March 28, 2016
Caleb Zimmerman, Communications Coordinator, InterAction
This year for National Agriculture Day on March 15, the Alliance to End Hunger joined InterAction and over 140 other organizations and individuals in a conversation on the importance of agricultural production to ensure we leave no one hungry around the world. While National Agriculture Day was started in 1973, international nonprofits have joined the conversation in recent years to increase public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in the U.S. and other countries around the world. Small-scale producers such as farmers, livestock raisers, and fisher people are essential to local economies and provide vital access to nutritious food. In partnership with international nonprofits these small-scale producers build foundations to supply stable incomes for their families and communities.
For the 2016 National Agriculture Day initiative, many organizations contributed stories, blog posts and resources to a collective social media campaign that featured custom-designed graphics as well as posts from partners. For example, the Peace Corps highlighted Fatou Wilane, a 60-year-old widow and mother of eight adult children in Senegal, who was chosen as the first woman to participate in their Master Farmer program. The Peace Corps Master Farmer Program is one of many supported by Feed the Future, the U.S government’s global hunger and food security initiative. The Alliance to End Hunger’s own National Alliance Partnership Program, builds on Feed the Future to strengthen multi-sector national alliances to better influence food security, nutrition and agricultural development policy processes. Other programs highlighted in the campaign included Catholic Relief Services, ACDI/VOCA and VEGA Farmer-to-Farmer programs. These projects share agricultural best practices and technical assistance from US farmers, agribusinesses and universities to compliment local knowledge in developing countries to improve productivity, access new markets and conserve resources.
Contributors to the social media campaign sent out tweets using #no1hungry and #AgDay2016. These tweets reached nearly 2 million people with close to 4.5 million impressions, more than double last year’s campaign reach. Support from Members of Congress was strong as well, including posts from Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).
The success of this collaborative effort shows the value in raising awareness for global development projects making a lasting difference for people around the world. Follow the conversation on food and nutrition security programs as well as other global development projects from InterAction’s @NGOvoices Twitter account.