Nothing fancy, just a DARN shirt

DARN Apparel is a very important part of our DARN mission.  For the last 2 years it has helped us raise enough money to help several different FFA chapters out with projects, help sponsor a college scholarship for a well deserving FFA student looking to go to school to become a Ag Teacher and so much more.  This year we are hoping to have a record year of giving back and making a huge impact on the FFA and 4-H community.

No, we are not fancy.  No we do not do a lot of DARN designs. It’s just a DARN shirt for a great cause! We are not trying to compete with the trending t-shirt companies out there who come and go.  DARN is a mission, and anyone who wears a DARN shirt is promoting a way of life and respect for farmers, ranchers and the agricultural industry.  With out them we  would be hungry and we would also be naked(big eyes open)! The DARN logo promotes a lifestyle and culture of, “do unto others”, ” help thy neighbor”, “Give credit where credits due”, “walk strong in your faith”and to sum it all up… have INTEGRITY!

So next time you are looking for a shirt or hat to buy, look for the DARN logo.  It’s not fancy but it has a big purpose and making huge strides for the FFA and 4-H and to help raise awareness of farming and agri”culture” to the youth. Besides, everyone needs a DARN shirt or hat!

You can find DARN Apparel online or you can find us at Way out West in Davenport, FL and Remington Outpost in Brooksville, FL.

Do you Give a DARN?

 

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Back on the right DARN path…

DARN has been very blessed since it started in 2012.  We have met some amazing people who have lifted us and supported us.  If we ever had an idea, they were right there backing us.   We have businesses and organizations who contact us to see what is new and what we are working on to see if they can help.  We have also met a lot of people who were lessons to us and taught us that not everyone has your best interest at heart.  They may say they do, but they don’t.  We had always heard the expression “wolf in sheep’s clothing” but until recently never fully understood the concept.  I am not saying we are perfect as we have made our fair share of mistakes but learned from them, made wrongs right and continue to do so today. If your not making mistakes, your not learning and its not “if” you make a mistake because lets face it we are all human and you will, it’s how you handle/fix the mistakes that matters.    Own up to it, have pride, integrity, always be truthful and have faith.

We have learned A LOT in the last year and 1/2 with hard losses but in those losses, we gained knowledge and strength.  We have never given up on our DARN dream or mission.  We were headed down one path when a storm hit.  It was a whirl wind and for the life of us could not figure out what was going on or why it was happening. It wasn’t until that last few months we realized why things fell apart.  We were on a good path, but not our purpose driven path we started out on.  Somehow we got sidetracked and forgot about how and why the whole DARN thing started.  That storm turned into one of our biggest blessings, because here we are doing what we set out to do in the first place.  Sometimes it has to fall apart to come back together but stronger, smarter and better than when it started!  We may have had to slowed down for a bit but the dream still burned deep inside of us.

So here we are in the middle of planning some amazing DARN events for Give a DARN and new t-shirts and hats from DARN apparel to benefit the FFA and 4H Associations.  If it wasn’t for all the misfortunes of the past, we would not be where we are today with the drive and strength taking great strides to make a difference for the future of farming and agriculture and educating the youth.  We are making great DARN connections.  We are building a strong DARN network and we are ready hit the ground running!  Ready…set…GO!

How the whole DARN thing started

 

Give a DARN started when Rick and I first met in 2012. He was a feed store manager and I had a marketing company in one of the offices in his store. He asked me one day if I would go with him to take some farm animals to his sons (our son now ♥ ) preschool for a Ag Day celebration. Rick is completely country from his tight wranglers, to his cowboy boots, his heart and his accent. As he walks away from you, you can’t help but notice that washed out ring on his left pocket of his jeans. Me, I was a devoted city girl. I love my high heels, business suits, and car. At the same time though, I do love animals and since I was little I had an obsession with cows. So I was like, absolutely! So we loaded up a miniature horse, a young lady brought her show bull, and thanks to a local FFA teacher we had ducks, rabbits and chickens. It was a hit and all the kids loved the animals and leaning about them and the food they provide. The look on the kids faces were priceless. The smiles and the laughter just warmed our hearts. After that, we kept getting phone calls (referrals) asking if we could come to their school or place of business and bring our traveling farm. Yes of course we can! Seeing how my background is in marketing I told Rick, we need a name for our “traveling farm”. Everything needs a name! LOL So we thought about it and I said, “Our initials together is “DARN”. (Dawn Armstrong Richard Neale). We laughed and thought…DARN. Really? Yup… and so that’s what we called it… Give A DARN! With Ricks love of agriculture and my background in marketing and communications and our equal love of kids…it was a no brainer! He continually teaches me about different aspects of agriculture which I have embraced and fallen in love with and I teach him about getting the word out and marketing. I have not given up on my city roots as you will see me getting out of our F350 with my heels on and skirt or you will see me in the city wearing my boots. I get to live the best of both worlds and do not believe people should have to conform to what people consider to be the norm. I was asked once… how can you be so passionate about farming and agriculture when your from Orlando. My response to them was… I never knew what Type 1 juvenile diabetes was either until my daughter was diagnosed over 4 years ago. Should I not care about that either because she didn’t have it her whole life? You are never truly passionate about anything until it has a huge impact on your life. I may not have been born on a farm…but I got here as soon as I could! I never claimed to be an expert…but I do love it and I do understand the importance of it and so should everyone else in the world. Where better to start than with the kids!

Our passion is kids…our passion is agriculture…our passion is to help. So DARN it, here we are!