The coronavirus has affected every level of the workforce, with essential workers sacrificing their own health to keep the rest of us safe, clean, and even fed.
There are reports on the dangers farm workers are facing to keep up with the food supply chain, and now we’re hearing from students around the country who work in the agricultural industry that canceled events and auctions have affected their ability to make connections, gain experience, and even sell the animals they’ve spent the last few years raising. This is the sort of long-term hit that will affect the industry’s pipeline of talent, and that’s why we partnered with The AET to help.
The AET, or the Agricultural Experience Tracker, noticed that as events like competitions and regional fairs were getting canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, a particular group of students would likely face serious financial repercussions.
Many of the 700,000 students involved in FFA (formerly called “Future Farmers of America”) spend months preparing their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) projects. These projects, which could range from raising cattle to operating a small lawn care business, are a core part of their agricultural education, and often involve a student investing some of their own money. Students then have the opportunity to gain prize money at competitions, or sell the livestock off to local farmers. As student events and state fairs have been canceled across the country, these students are losing their chances to get a return on their financial investment. They need additional help to alleviate these losses.
That’s when The AET and Tallo sprung into action to create a $10,000 SAE fund. Any student who has completed their SAE report can apply to receive a portion of the $10k. Every two weeks we’re awarding a new student $1,000 that can be put towards their SAE project, tuition, supplies, or any other educational expense.
Agricultural workers are listed as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “the agricultural sector also accounts for roughly one-fifth of our nation’s economy.” So much is riding on our future generation of workers, and Tallo and The AET know a small investment now can have a huge pay off later.
To learn more about this fund and share it with an AET student in your life, please visit tallo.com/AET. To access additional resources for students, educators, companies, colleges, or organizations during the coronavirus outbreak, check this out.