During a press conference on May 1 at the FFA Convention, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma recognized members of the Hobart FFA and 4-H for donating livestock and money to the Beef for Backpacks project.
The Hobart youth received a $500 cash award from the Diamond Hats, a group of women leaders dedicated to improving the lives of Oklahoma’s rural youth through the livestock industry. Each year they provide valuable scholarships for Oklahoma’s youth and this year sponsored a contest for FFA and 4-H groups that accumulated the most points based on animals and money donated to the Beef for Backpacks project.
“We are proud of the leadership exhibited by the Hobart youth and their strong desire to help others,” said Monica Wilke, executive director of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Oklahoma’s Farming and Ranching Foundation. Wilke is also a member of the Diamond Hats.
“I especially want to applaud the Diamond Hats for their creative idea of sponsoring a contest promoting the Beef for Backpacks project,” Wilke said.
The Hobart youth donated livestock and cash valued at $1,152.61 to the project.
“We would like to issue a challenge to other 4-H and FFA members to double or even triple our donation this year, “ said Chandler Smith, president of the Hobart FFA chapter.
The Beef for Backpacks project provides protein sticks for the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids Program. Every weekend, the protein sticks are distributed into backpacks to help meet the dietary needs of chronically hungry children. The project is a joint effort with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s Farming and Ranching Foundation, Oklahoma Beef Council, OSU’s Food and Agricultural Products Center, Oklahoma Pork Council, Ralph’s Meat Co. in Perkins and Chickasha Meats.
The project has been expanded to include pork and to date, more than 55 head of livestock were donated to the project.