As this entry is being written, the country awaits news on the arrival of Hurricane Florence entering the United States and pounding the east coast in unprecedented ways. From states away, we watch the news coverage to see residents evacuating the area and others staying in their homes, preparing for the unimaginable.
Coverage has included communities coming together to help one another before the worse even arrives. We’ve seen families, teams, and towns boarding windows and doors, delivering supplies, filling sand bags and beyond.
That is the positive side of disaster or hard times: Finding the helpers:
Harvest Land recently acted as helpers, in our own back yard:
On Friday, September 7, Lynn, Indiana received heavy rains dumping a couple inches on the rural community in less then an hour. This was followed by a lighter, steady rain that lasted several hours.
At 5:07 PM, an alert went out to Lynn residents asking for help filling sandbags. That call was answered by Randolph Ag Center in Lynn who provided a front end loader and an operator to assist in the efforts.
Finally, at approximately 9:00 PM Friday night, two dump truck loads of sand – 1,000 bags – had been bagged, stacked and positioned for residents’ use.
Our hope is certainly that we never need disaster preparation or relief, but if we do, we’ll continue to be a part of taking care of the communities in which we live and work however we’re able as your local, farmer-owned cooperative.
Dave Naylor helped employees of Randolph Ag . Derek is a volunteer fireman so he was there automatically and Dave Naylor took the Kubota down to help load sand and move skids loaded with the sandbags. It initially started on Friday Sept 7 with 40 tons of sand bagged and with over 10 + inches of rain that fell within Randolph county they bagged another 40 tons of sand and over 1000 sandbags available. Area businesses including Lynn Lions Club, Diamond K Pizza and Hometown Coffee supplied food to the volunteers.
At the beginning of each fiscal year (September 1 – August 31), we encourage our employees to volunteer 8 hours of community service to a cause that is important to them for our Cultivating Communities program. Once eight hours is racked up (time seems to fly when you’re helping others) Harvest Land then donates $75 to the non-profit which the employee volunteered their time.
It is gratifying to learn about the places and groups that our employees dedicate their time away from the office. Here is a list of organizations that benefited from our employees’ time:
Fortville Church of the Nazarene
Colliers Heating & Air
First Mennonite Church
Adams Co. Purdue Extension Office
Adams County Herb Club
Decatur Fire Dept.
American Legion Post 160
C & C Bible Fellowship
Lewisville Presbyterian Church
Tri-Village Athletic Dept.
Wayne Co. 4-H Association
Cody Holp Memorial
Preble Co. Pork Festival
Pitsburg Lion’s Club
Darke Co. Humane Society
Talawanda Athletic Boosters
Monroe Twp Food Bank
Northeastern Junior High School
Queen of Peace Church
Chas. A. Beard School-Class of 2021
Adams Co. Wabash Workers 4-H Club
Country Kritters 4H Club
Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen
First Church of Christ
Pleasant Valley Cemetery
Champaign Co. Cattlemen’s Assoc.
Jay County FFA
Praise Point Church
Crushing Chiari, Inc.
Greenhills Baptist Church
Princeton Pike Church of God
Trinity Wesleyan Church
Eaton First Church of God
Brownsville U.M. Church
Randolph Southern School Corp.
Royal Family Kids’ Camp
First Presbyterian Church Youth
American Legion Auxilary
Pack Away Hunger and Christian Charities Backpack Blessings
Eaton Church of the Brethren
Centerville Youth League
Grace Community Church
St. Thomas Church
Fountain City Weslyan Church
St. Mary’s School
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Western Wayne Schools
Richmond Family YMCA
Wayne Co. Cattlemen’s Assoc./4-H
Pendleton Junior Baseball
New Madison Community Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
Friends of the Preble Co. Park District
Preble Co. YMCA
Pleasant View Missionary Church
Union Co. Foundation-Troy Gulley Memorial Scholarship
Fiscal year 2017 has concluded and we’re excited to share with you the footprint our employees left in their communities over the last year, spending their time improving the small towns we call home.
And the final 2017 results are as follows…
We offer a sincere thank you to our employees who participated in the Cultivating Communities program in 2017.
One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time,
We invite you to share a Saturday – or at least a couple hours of it – with us later this month to do some good in the world.
We’re proud to partner with area churches and FFA chapters for the third year in a row to pack meals for the hungry in our community and also Guatemala.
The 2017 Pack Away Hunger event will take place on Saturday, May 20 at the Hagerstown Elementary Gym.
We’re offering two shifts this year for individuals and families to volunteer. The first is from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM; the afternoon shift runs from 12:30 PM– 3:00 PM. Registration is now open for those who want to lend a hand. You can register online.
This is an amazing way to show kindness to strangers and the event is suitable for all ages. There really is a job for any age!
We hope you’ll check your calendar, block out a few hours and plan on joining our farmer-owned cooperative and friends in Hagerstown as we work to cultivate communities. This is one of those “feel good” events – we always leave the event knowing the work we just did matters.
Hancock County Farm Bureau is the proud sponsor of the 2017 Safety Day for youth enrolled in 4-H programs in Hancock County. Annually the Farm Bureau works with local police and fire departments, EMTs and local businesses to come up with relevant safety topics for area youth.
Participants rotate through stations and are given materials to take back to share with their local 4-H Clubs.
Harvest Land employees were happy to spend their Saturday at this event, as it allows us to cultivate safety education in the communities in which we live and serve.
2017 presenters included:
Harvest Land – Julie Lamberson – Grain Safety
Greenfield Fire Department – Fire Extinguisher Safety
Hancock Regional Hospital – Linda Garriety – Safe Sitter Program
Smith Implements – Mower and ATV Safety
Harvest Land & Fayette County Honor Society – Earth Day & Recycling Safety
Purdue Extension – Megan Addison – Food safety
We appreciate any invitation to educate the youth in our area,
especially when it comes to safety in agriculture.
Harvest Land gave a gift over the last couple weeks, but we never want it used.
We want it sitting, untouched, covered in dust.
We want it stored in a secure but visible place, waiting with dreadful anticipation that it may be needed, but we want not a hand to be laid upon it.
In two, five or ten years, we don’t want to see a finger print on its shiny exterior; not a smudge. We want it to be in the same, pristine, brand new condition it’s in right now. Except maybe, covered in dust.
Our cooperative lost two customers due to grain entrapment in 2016. What an eye-opening year for the rural communities in which we live and work. As a farmer-owned cooperative doing business across state lines and in many different areas, we are committed to the safety of our employees, and also the safety of our members.
In December Harvest Land donated rescue tubes to two fire departments in areas that did not have grain rescue equipment. The first donation was to Bentonville Volunteer Fire Department in Fayette County, Indiana and the second went to Geneva Volunteer Fire Department in Adams County, Indiana. The rescue tubes donated can be used as a tube or wall in any free-flowing material such as sand, grain, gravel or in trench collapses.
As we charge ahead with a new generation gradually taking over the reigns on the family farm, we hope to increase awareness about the dangers of grain entrapment with our customers and also youth in agriculture programs, such as FFA.
A grain entrapment trailer will be on display and conducting live entrapment demonstrations during our Winter Innovation Forum. We ask that you tell others about the Forum and invite them to bring someone who might find this entrapment information valuable. Attendees are invited to participate in the live entrapment demonstration to fully understand how incredibly strong the force of moving grain is.
At the Winter Innovation Forum we’ll also have information on how you can find resources to get a grain safety tube in your area. Help us leave no rural community in our territory uncovered. Join us at the Forum to learn more; Forum registration will open up in January.
We understand the members of our cooperative system are not just farmers; they are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. They are someone quite special.
The teenager who is thinking more about their Saturday night plans than the bin work at hand.
The parent who is thinking more about their seventh-grader at lunch than the auger below them.
Veteran farmer who is feverishly preparing for his 44th planting season.
If we can get this safety information to one person and help them understand just how quickly grain entrapment happens and how strong the crushing force is, these efforts will have paid off countless times over.
We want to reach everyone.
The young and old. The seasoned and proud. The curious and fresh.
For once, we’re ok with giving you something you’ll leave untouched, covered in dust.
Sometimes it’s good to remember that part of our fabric isn’t limited to corn, soybeans, diesel and propane.
The cooperative roots of service run deep and span miles throughout the communities in which we do business. Appropriately, of course, since our business is built on the cooperative spirit of helping one another reach a common goal.
Harvest Land believes in a culture which reflects the importance of service to others, and we created our Cultivating Communities program to allow that culture to thrive. Cultivating Communities encourages Harvest Land employees to volunteer eight service hours annually to organizations that align with her personal values.
Pack Away Hunger is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and others who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. It’s a group that our farmer-members and employees have become familiar with over the last three years, as we’ve partnered with local churches and FFA chapters to pack meals that went on to local food banks and also Mission Guatemala.
In March twenty-three churches, nine FFA chapters, various community organizations and Harvest Land Co-op employees and farmer-members partnered for the 5th annual Pack Away Hunger event, which packaged 162,216 nutritious meals to be distributed. The meals went specifically to Gleaner’s, Midwest Food Bank and eleven more local community food pantries which will receive between 1,000 to 10,000 meals, depending on their size and the area they cover.
The meals, which more than seven hundred volunteers prepared over multiple shifts, were formulated to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates and vitamins needed by a malnourished body. They consist of high-quality white rice, fortified soy, a blend of six dehydrated vegetables and twenty-one vitamins and minerals. They’re packaged in fourteen-ounce bags.
Part of Harvest Land’s purpose is to do what’s right while utilizing technology, science and hard work to feed a growing world. We really cannot think of a better organization of which to partner to align with our cooperative’s purpose. We had several employees spend their Saturday at Pack Away Hunger, working towards a common goal to take care of one another. It’s what rural communities do, and we’re proud to be a part of it.
But what happens after the Pack Away Hunger Event? After the bags are sealed and the trucks are loaded and the hair nets – beard nets for some Harvest Land employees – are tossed in the trash never to be seen again? How do those eight hours committed by our farmer-members and employees go on to serve others?
Here is one example. You can see the local Western Wayne FFA chapter working at First Church in Hagerstown to distribute food during the monthly mobile food pantry. Part of this offering was food that we packaged at Pack Away Hunger.
And just last week we received these photos directly from Guatemala:
The following were taken at ‘Tat Loy’ a drug and alcohol rehab center in San Lucas – Toliman. This particular location is a recipient of the rice meals that we packed for their residents. There are more than 72 individuals at the facility currently.
Right now the building is a two story building with a small deck on the roof but they are expanding the second story and building a full covered deck on the roof, which will become the third floor, to serve more occupants. In these photos they are building a frame around the a rebar column in advance of pouring a concrete column that will eventually support the upper floor.
We thought it pretty special that the meals we packed one morning earlier this spring are not only feeding neighbors who may typically go without, but also the people of Guatemala whom we’ll likely never have the opportunity to meet.
We’re doing what’s right while utilizing technology, science and hard work to feed a growing world. Sometimes, that includes hairnets, cups of rice and assembly lines rather than 16-row planters and seed tenders.