Kay Johnson Smith | President & CEO | Animal Ag Alliance

Earlier this month, a senior United Nations official stressed that agriculture is the "engine of growth needed to eradicate hunger and boost food production in Africa." Shortly thereafter, the United Nations declared 2014 the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security. The United Nations, simultaneously declared this year the "Year of the Family Farmer" which is apt because farmers are in the business of producing food, fiber and fuel.

While America's farmers and ranchers work hard to produce enough food to stock our grocery store shelves with options, not everyone has the means or opportunity to take advantage of our American abundance. In fact, 1 in 6 Americans are food insecure today. That means that every month, there are individuals out there making decisions between paying the rent, and buying food; between being homeless or feeding their families.

Hunger in the United States isn't about producing enough food, but rather about providing enough access to those in need. That's why we're so proud this month of the partnership between our College Aggies Online Program and Tyson Foods. You can read more below, but thanks to the hard work of the Collegiate CattleWomen at Montana State University, the city of Bozeman, Montana has enough protein to feed its residents in need for nearly a year!

I know many other Alliance members give back, both personally and professionally, so I encourage you all to consider ways–especially during these cold winter months– to help others in your community . We in agriculture have both the challenge, and the opportunity, to collaborate and eradicate hunger not just here in the U.S., but also around the world.

Let's be that engine of change.