CAMDEN, N.J. — For more than 110 years, Campbell Soup Co. has been committed to supporting farmers who grow the quality ingredients that go into each can of Campbell’s condensed soup.
This fall, as part of its “Help Grow Your Soup” program, Campbell is partnering with the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Alumni to showcase the contributions made by the American farmer by preserving barns and bringing to life the special stories of how good food is grown.
Combined with the support previously provided to FFA, Campbell has now pledged $500,000 to champion programs in agricultural education that will help high school students become future leaders in the agriculture industry and their communities.
To help Campbell highlight the importance and diversity of today’s American farming industry, the FFA identified 10 farms, each with a unique story and a barn in need of preservation. The personal accounts of these truly American farms and families, as well as a rich history of each barn, are featured on http://helpgrowyoursoup.com
The farms are located in the following communities: Bark River and Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Brainerd, Minn.; Climax, N.C.; Lewis, Iowa; Seneca, S.C.; Staunton, Va.; Thorntown, Ind.; Union Bridge, Md.; and White Hall, Ill.
Visitors to http://helpgrowyour soup.com can learn about all 10 farms, including the Bowers School Farm, which has been a symbol of agriculture education in its Michigan community since 1966, and the Neil B. McPhail Farm in South Carolina, which has been in operation for more than 100 years and supported four generations of the McPhail family.
Campbell also has a record of agriculture leadership, from cultivating unique vegetable seeds to working with farmers to develop and promote sustainable agricultural practices. These stories are featured on the website, as well.
“Since 1897, Campbell’s condensed soups have been nourishing generations of American families with the help of farmers who grow the vegetables that go into our products,” said Eric Christianson, business director, Campbell’s condensed soup. “We’re proud to give back to the farming community by continuing our support for FFA, which will enable us to preserve five more barns, the iconic symbol of the American farm.”
Every vote counts
Visitors to the site can vote for their favorite story and the corresponding barn they hope to see preserved. The five barns receiving the most votes will be announced in January 2010. For every vote cast on or before Jan. 5, Campbell will donate $1 (up to $250,000) to the National FFA Organization.
“With the support of Campbell Soup Company, we have an opportunity to educate future leaders in the field and raise awareness for the importance of farming and of knowing the origin of our food,” said Larry D. Case, National FFA Advisor and CEO.
“It has become increasingly important to arm our future leaders with knowledge about leading agriculture advancements and sustainable farming practices to ensure quality food is grown.”
Campbell launched the Help Grow Your Soup campaign last fall by establishing a partnership with FFA to help support agriculture education nationwide.
To date, Campbell and the FFA have restored five barns across the country and planted community gardens in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Camden, N.J.