Fall can evoke images of corn mazes, Friday night lights and pumpkin spice lattes. But for farmers, September through November is often the busiest time of the year. With tight deadlines, unpredictable weather and volatile markets, FFA members can volunteer in several ways during harvest season to multiply the joys and ease the discomforts of the agricultural life.
1. Break Out Your Brooms
Before harvest time hits, the work begins. Grab your brooms, shovels, dustpans and vacuums to help farmers clean storage facilities and containers. As you clean, note any damage that has happened to the infrastructure so it can be repaired and pests prevented from ruining the next crop.
2. Create a Meal Train
Whether you are an expert cook or excel at making PB&Js, nothing tastes better than food eaten in the cab of a tractor. Create a meal train within your FFA chapter to help deliver food to farmers who can’t take a break from the field. This can be the first step in feeding a hungry planet.
3. Agvocate for Your Community
Telling the story of agriculture is more important now than ever. But how do farmers do that when they are so busy in the field during harvest season? Work with local farmers to take photos and videos of their operations. Schedule an Instagram takeover or volunteer to act as a temporary admin on social media channels during their busy times.
4. Shoulder the Load of a Diversified Operation
Many farmers these days are diversifying their operations to include both crops and livestock. However, balancing time in the field with feeding schedules can be a logistical nightmare. Volunteer to feed and water a neighbor’s animals during harvest season to ensure that everyone is taken care of.
5. Work at the Car Wash
After spending countless hours to get produce out of the field, the last thing a farmer may want to do is spend time cleaning equipment. Organize a traveling tractor wash to raise funds for your FFA chapter and to help farmers ensure their equipment is clean and shiny before heading back into the barn for the off-season.
6. Lend a Hand
If you live in a part of the country where fruits and vegetables reign, there is plenty of work to support. Host a chapter meeting at an orchard, garden or vineyard to help with the huge amount of work that goes into hand-harvesting these products.
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