Hunger Knows No Season

On this week of Thanksgiving, Harvest Land and Land O’Lakes partnered to donate $2,000 to the Monthly Food Ministry organized by the Centerville United Methodist Church in Wayne County.

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We made a similar donation in 2018 during the warm summer months, but when the church reached out and said more and more families are in line every month and the need was again great, we knew we must help because hunger knows no season. 

Who Will This Donation Serve?

Since their first Monthly Food Ministry in September of 2017, the number of families they support has steadily increased. In 2018, they averaged 65 families a month, but in November of 2019, 91 families came through the door to receive assistance.

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They purchase food for the food ministry from Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and buying food for approximately 65 families costs around $1,000 per month. The vast majority of that cost has come from the faithful contributions of the members and friends of the Centerville United Methodist Church, but as their assistance numbers go up, so do costs to Gleaners. It only makes mathmatical sense that they must budget more dollars per month to purchase food from Gleaners, so our $2,000 contribution helps to fill that gap.

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Jared Martin, Harvest Land CFO, (front right) presents the check on November 25 at the church. 

The church keeps no record of where the families they serve come from as they want a completely open food ministry, but they do know that families are coming from Cambridge City, Pershing, Richmond, and elsewhere.

So, Where Will $2,000 Go?

100% of the $2,000 will go to purchase food from Gleaners for future Monthly Food Ministries. The food that the food bank pays for from Gleaners includes canned goods, boxed items, and other items that can be stored on the shelf.  Occasionally, Gleaners offers MotherEarthNews_FallVegetableHarvest_Oct_20131meat and dairy products (milk, butter, eggs, yogurt), but they are limited right now by refrigeration and are currently in the process of creating a “cold room” in the church food room.  This project should be finished sometime in December.  They also get produce from Gleaners, but produce is usually provided at no cost. While Gleaners is their main source of produce, it is not their only. They also get produce from local growers, the Amish auction in northern Wayne County, and the Community Garden at the ARC Center in Richmond.

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Have Food, Will Travel

When necessary, the Monthly Food Ministry will deliver, and every month there is at least one family that needs transportation. They revealed to us that last summer a lady and her two daughters walked a great distance from a trailer park to receive food. Rather than make her carry two or three heavy boxes/bags back on a busy highway, they loaded her up in a pick-up truck and transported her, her daughters, and her food back home.

Too often the food ministry group hears, “I don’t know what I would do without this food.”  Almost all of the folks receiving food are overly grateful for the assistance.

We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide this hunger relief assistance in the Centerville area this holiday season.

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Thanksgiving Traditions

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving 2019 will be a memory this time next week. 2019, while seemingly dragging us through the mud at times, has passed quickly as the years do.

More and more, Thanksgiving seems to be a holiday that is overshadowed between Halloween and Christmas. Many stores began putting up Christmas decorations after October 31, or even Labor Day!

We’re traditionalists, as we know it’s only because of the insight and opportunities provided by previous generations that our farmer-owned cooperative is still active and proudly in your community today. This week, we thought we’d share three Thanksgiving traditions that might be worth beginning with your family this Thanksgiving.

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Create a Keepsake Tablecloth

Cover the table with a white tablecloth and place glasses filled with cloth markers 82e4aa1a6413a4e0a7f1dbe518a6c09faround the table. Ask guests to draw what they’re thankful for, or even a bit of art for the little ones. Once the table is cleared, you’ll have a memento that you can reuse every year. And what fun it will be to look back in five years!  We do, however, understand the risk that comes with cranberry sauce and a white table cloth. Charge ahead anyway – it will make for a great story!

Write Letters of Gratitude

It is easy to get busy in our day-to-day routines and forget about the people and things who are bright spots in our day.  By choosing to be grateful under any circumstances, you’ll find even more things to appreciate.

Set blank stationery at each place setting with a pen and invite your guests to write a letter of gratitude to someone they need to thank. Maybe a child’s teacher, a neighbor, a letter-writing-daydoctor, your home heat delivery driver or the really great cashier at the grocery store who takes the time to bag your groceries so nothing gets smashed. Everyone enjoys a hand-written note, and by giving your Thanksgiving guests a pen, blank note and five minutes to express their thanks to someone, it’s a win-win for everyone on this special day of gratitude.

Bookend the Event with the Next Generation

Every day at the co-op, we talk about the next generation. The next generation of employees, the next generation of farmer-members, the next generation of technology pl62_ms1617_candid_dsc0622squareand more. On Thanksgiving, the younger generation may find themselves left out, stuck at the kid’s table with a slab of turkey the size of their head and a stuffy sweater vest mom insisted they wear.

Why not include them in the Thanksgiving traditions in 2019 and invite them to either help set the table or serve dessert? This gets them involved in the event, shows them the value they bring to the table (literally) and keeps their hands busy for a bit longer.

 

 

We at Harvest Land are thankful for you, your business and our partnership.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

See other Thanksgiving posts from Harvest Land:

Farm to Table: Your Thanksgiving Plate

Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm

 

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Our Encouragement of Youth in Agriculture

It was cold, but they showed up.

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Harvest Land understands that high school students in our trade territory are a tremendous asset as they emerge as the future generation of leaders within the workplace. With one-third of our workforce retiring in the next 3-5 years and many similar stories echoing throughout the agriculture industry, the career options that students interested in ag will encounter are tremendous.

_DSC0784This week and next,  we welcome high school ag students to our local ag centers as we help them discover the many career options at the cooperative, including roles as Agronomists, Custom Applicators, Office Support Administrators, Fuel and Propane Delivery Drivers and much more.

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Whether today’s students are focused on heading to college or simply graduating high school, our employees are excited to share their similar stories and experiences that have brought them to where they are today.

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Students in attendance got to tour our facilities and encounter several stations along the way, which provided interactive experiences for students. All segments of our cooperative business, Agronomy, Energy, Grain and Feed, are represented during these career day events.

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As your local cooperative, we appreciate any opportunity to encourage youth participation and education within agriculture.

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We truly appreciate the schools and teachers who participate in these career days, which provides an enhanced view of local careers post-graduation while simultaneously raising awareness on some options for scholarships, internships and learning tools in the interim.

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We’re proud to be local.

We’re proud to work safely and as a team.

We’re proud to be owned by 5,500 dedicated farmers.

We’re proud to employ so many in rural Ohio and Indiana.

We’re proud to do work daily that enhances the lives of so many.

We’re proud to have so many different career opportunities within one company which can satisfy the curious minds and busy hands of so many in rural America.

We’re proud to be Harvest Land.

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Thank You, Veterans

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day.

On Monday we’ll celebrate America’s 81st Veteran’s Day.

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Did you know that veterans are overrepresented in rural America? Nearly 18 percent of veterans live in rural (nonmetro) counties, compared to 15 percent of the U.S. adult civilian population. About 10 percent of all rural civilian adults are veterans, but in some rural counties, that figure can reach as high as 25 percent.

We’re proud to employ several who have served over multiple decades, for varying reasons, but with the same tremendous commitment to our country. 

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Read more about Dave Naylor here

A lot of Americans get this confused, but Veterans Day is NOT the Same as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

Army Reserve Soldiers march in Fayetteville Veterans Day parade

This week – and always – we offer a

heartfelt and sincere thank you

to all who have served. 

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When It Rains During Harvest

Some common consumers are quite concerned about Trick-or-Treat being rescheduled due to the weather. But the forecast that has loomed all week for our trade territory does nothing for the spirit of the farmer who just wants to finish harvest.

Too much rain in the spring means delayed planting. Too little rain in the summer means a choking drought. So what does rain during harvest mean?

Navigating Mud – When it rains during harvest, the obvious problem becomes mud. Combines, semi trucks, tractors and wagons all need to be able to get in and out of fields to harvest and transport the crop. Though they’re each large, powerful machines, they simply aren’t built to operate in the mud, especially when they’re loaded full of grain. Farmers don’t want to get their equipment stuck, and they certainly don’t want to learn what it would take to get them un-stuck!

Increased Propane Usage for Grain Drying – The 2019 crop was planted so late (especially for the northern end of our territory), that we’re facing a barely matured crop, resulting in areas with 30% moisture. Corn dries naturally when it is still alive and 17-snow-harvest_0growing, but with the quick decline in temperature and frost, it’s growing days are over. That means the moisture must be removed mechanically.  Farmers dry grain to prevent any loss of their crop and to ensure they get the best price when marketing it. Most
farmers have access to grain dryers on their farm. By putting the corn through these grain dryers they can dry the grain to the desired moisture level. A large majority of grain dryers are powered by propane, and that’s another input cost for the farmer.

Detriment to Grain Quality – It is difficult to maintain grain quality when you harvest maize_grain_01_0wet grain. Moving the kernels through the combine can easily result in damaged and
cracked grain. Additionally, a farmer would go on to spend the money to mechanically dry it, overall lowering the grain quality. This affects the price they get when selling their grain because damages result in discounts.

Rain during harvest isn’t ideal, but it is another condition that America’s farmers work through when in this lifestyle. Perhaps the silver lining to this literal rain cloud is that this rain will allow the parents and grandparents to see, and enjoy the company of, their favorite ghosts and goblins on this Halloween weekend. Usually, they only stop the combine for five brief minutes to dote over the costumes and perhaps steal a Reese cup or two.

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