Standing in the barn lot, 20 year old Joshua Jank adjusted the small backpack on his shoulder. Filled with oxygen, only light breaths from the tank could be heard. As he shook hands with Scott and Terri Smith, owners of Triple S Farms in Windfall, Ind., tears formed in their eyes, not out of sadness, but joy. Scott Smith, winner of Beck’s Hybrids “That’s WhyIFarm” Contest, was meeting Joshua for the first time after learning of his inspirational story four months ago. Adopted at six months old from a family in northeastern Indiana, Joshua not only faces the challenges of Sickle Cell Anemia, but in 2012 he was diagnosed with a terminal illness that affects the lungs and liver. An unimaginably strong young man, Joshua has been living each day to the fullest, striving to complete a “Go Make a Difference (M.A.D.) list” that shoots for miracles-in-the-making. On his list there is one very important goal – find a forever home for a 13 year old boy named Jing. So how did Joshua plan to achieve his goal? Because of his love for farming, he entered in the “That’s WhyIFarm” Contest in hopes of putting the winning prize toward Jing’s adoption. Although he doesn’t farm, Joshua has a special place in his heart for agriculture and the farmers who feed the world.
“As soon as we saw Joshua’s story, we were not only captivated by his strength, but his generosity to help someone in need,” said Scott. “We knew if our farm won the “That’s WhyIFarm” Contest, we had to help Joshua find a forever home for this young boy.” The “That’s #WhyIFarm” Contest was part of Beck’s Hybrids Why I Farm movement. A movement that tells the story of the hardworking American farmer, who dedicates their life to a job they do selflessly, seven days a week. Instead of Beck’s telling their stories, they hosted the contest for farmers across the Midwest to share their story. After seven months, 136 stories were shared, 11,519 people voted, and 417,488 votes were cast. The story that received the most votes won a prize of free Beck’s seed. As the winner of the “That’s WhyIFarm” contest, Scott did something bigger than Beck’s Hybrids ever imagined. Not only did he donate to help find Jing a forever home, but he also donated funds to one of his employees who recently lost his wife to cancer. “We’re very grateful for Scott’s donation and generosity,” said Joshua. “With his help, we’re one step closer to finding Jing a forever home.” During their meeting, Scott looked down at his hands as tears formed in his eyes. He explained that for him part of winning is giving back. It’s the opportunity to pay it forward.“Farming is bigger than all of us,” Scott reflected. “Not that I didn’t know that before, but the Why I Farm movement put a stamp on that. Farming is something we do. It’s something that God gave us the ability to do. And that’s why we farm.” For more information about Why I Farm and how to join the movement, visit www.WhyIFarm.com or www.facebook.com/WhyIFarm . Interested in helping find Jing a forever home? Visit www.reddiamonddays.com for more information.