Retailers in more than 30 states gave a percentage of Vidalia onion sales to the Growing America’s Farmer foundation, which gives students in Future Farmers of America college scholarships.
The program, founded by Walt Dasher of Vidalia onion grower G&R Farms, raised almost $40,000 this year and will award scholarships through FFA chapters in many of the states where participating retailers are located, according to a news release from Growing America’s Farmers.
“The support we have received from our retail partners continues to grow,” Dasher, a third-generation farmer and co-owner of G&R Farms, said in the release. “Our goal is to get more young people to pursue careers in production agriculture. I am thankful for the commitment we have received from retailers and the National FFA Organization.”
The average age of a U.S. farmer is 60, according to the release, and rising. Dasher said the scholarship program is designed to encourage young adults “to become tomorrow’s leaders in production agriculture.”
Proceeds are collected throughout the Vidalia onion season.
“We are working to build year-round support for our scholarship program. I have never asked anyone for much, and never will,” Dasher said in the release. “But with a little more help, we can go a long way. Farming is the backbone of America. What are we going to do in 15 years if there are not enough farmers to feed our country?”