Monday, November 4, 2013

AgTexas Tractor Drive Raises Over $100,000 For The Texas Food Bank Network

(Lubbock, Texas – November 4, 2013) – The 2013 AgTexas Tractor Drive crossed the Finish Line on November 2nd on the Texas Tech University Campus and the Texas Food Bank Network was presented a check in the amount of $104,949.78. The contribution will be used to purchase food for local pantries in the AgTexas Farm Credit 23-county market area.

The Tractor Drive, which began on August 16th, has traveled over 1,000 miles and has visited rural communities across 23 counties to increase awareness of rural Texas food insecurity and to support the efforts of FFA Chapters raising funds for the Texas Food Bank Network and their local food pantries. A total of 32 FFA Chapters and over 2,600 students participated in the successful fundraising program.

Breckenridge High School’s FFA Chapter raised the most funds and was awarded “Agnus”, the John Deere 5045 Tractor that was used during the Drive. According to Justin Hopkins, Breckenridge FFA Advisor, “Our students first focused on winning the tractor and then realized that this program was bigger than that. It gave our students the opportunity to help children their age who go without food on a daily basis.”

The Breckenridge FFA Chapter raised $19,600 for the AgTexas Tractor Drive through several fundraising events and collections throughout their community.
Dr. M. Duane Nellis, President of TTU, welcomed the tractor back to Lubbock and to the TTU Campus. “Food insecurity is a major problem throughout the state,” commented Dr. Nellis. “The AgTexas Tractor Drive and the efforts of our FFA Chapters are a great example of how we can eliminate hunger in our state.”

David Weaver, CEO of the South Plains Food Bank received the check from AgTexas Farm Credit CEO Mitchell Harris. “This effort and the hard work of the FFA Chapters are totally amazing,” stated Weaver. “With this amount of contributions, we will be able to purchase over 500,000 meals for families in rural Texas.”

Members of the TTU Collegiate FFA Chapter were also on-hand and canvassed the tailgating area for contributions prior to the Texas Tech/Oklahoma State football game.

“We are truly grateful to all the participating FFA Chapters who made this program a success,” stated Mitchell Harris. “We also thank our long list of sponsors, the Texas Farm Credit Bank and several other Farm Credit Associations for their contributions to this program. It was our pleasure to support a program that not only raised money for the Texas Food Bank Network, but also raised awareness of food insecurity in rural Texas.

Thirty-two chapters pledged their community service activities towards helping food banks under the program sponsored by the AgTexas Farm Credit Association. The Drive supported the Feeding the World – Starting at Home initiative for FFA Chapters across the country.