SEATTLE, Washington – On August 12th, 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Farm Journal Foundation a grant that is worth $1.5 million as part of their Farmers Feeding the World initiative. The grant money will go towards a program called the Global Food Security and Agricultural Advocacy program. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded by Bill Gates and Melinda French in 1997 – they were originally inspired by a single article that discussed millions of children in developing countries who were dying from diseases that had been eradicated in the United States. Bill Gates has taken a personal role in the Foundation; he has taken trips to developing countries in order to administer vaccines, such as for polio, to children.
Currently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has partners across multiple countries in Africa, Europe, and South America, as well as India and the United States. The Gates family believes that every life is of equal value, and therefore, every human deserves an equal chance at life. The Foundation focuses on the issues affecting the people with the most need, such as disease, and tries to find solutions to those problems. The main issues that the Foundation faces are hunger, poverty, and education. A primary focus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today is agricultural development. Indeed, Bill Gates has commented that, “Agricultural productivity is key to reducing world poverty.” As a result, he is a strong advocate of investing in the development of the agricultural sectors of poor countries.
The Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that attempts to allow the agriculture of the United States to serve the growing global population. Some of the issues on which the Foundation focuses include education and assistance to those aligned with United States agriculture. The Farm Journal Foundation’s Farmers Feeding the World initiative wishes to fight global hunger using American agriculture; part of that goal will be accomplished by raising about $20 million each year for education and to support their main campaign, Farmers Feeding the World. The Farm Journal Foundation both raises awareness and money for the fight against global hunger; they provide monetary donations to the organizations that fight global hunger as they try to educate the world about how the the agriculture of the United States can help feed the world.
The Global Food Security and Agricultural Advocacy program will attempt to cultivate “the political and public will to reduce global hunger and poverty.” The program will do this by funding and supporting agricultural productivity, and in particular its sustainability. The Gates Foundation’s grant will partially go towards expanding the Farm Journal Foundation’s “HungerU Tour,” as well as creating an advocacy outreach in Washington, D.C. The HungerU Tour is a tour to spread awareness of global hunger, and to educate college students about agriculture and the global challenges that are created by hunger. The group tours college campuses in order to have conversations with students, particularly about how agriculture can help feed a hungry world.
Overall, the grant will contribute to the cause of U.S. agriculture helping to feed the world, and with such a large grant donation, the money will most certainly go a long way.
– Corina Balsamo