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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2019 Habitat for Humanity Build

Those along the rural route are the type of people who care for and look out for each other.

We bring dinner when new babies arrive or matriarchs pass.

We help get cattle back in when fences go bad or bale hay when machinery breaks down and rain is on the way.

Our kids do the neighbors’ chores when they finally go on vacation and our grandparents cut out articles from the weekly newspaper when they think parents may need an extra copy.

So it should be no surprise when we tell you that 2019 marks the 10th Habitat for Humanity Ag Build at the Indiana State Fair. During years one through five, they built one house per year during the span of the fair. Then, in year six the goal was taken to the next level and since that time two homes are built during the fair, annually.

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Harvest Land was proud to send four employees to work alongside employees from five other cooperatives. For a day of home building, sponsors are asked to make a $10,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. This is not a small donation so it makes a big difference that member cooperatives were able to work together to share in the cost.

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Troy Miley, Controller; Kent Van Meter, Rushville Ag Center Manager; Danielle Baumer, HR Support and Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager.

Jason Haney, Site Superintendent, told us that this is the only State Fair in the United States in which there is a Habitat for Humanity partnership and a whole home build happens.

And Harvest Land is a part of it!

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Community service fuels the rural American spirit. We readily step in when needed and certainly aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty. We’ll all agree that there is a certain satisfaction found when lying down for the night knowing that you helped someone in need. That is Cultivating Communities. That is Harvest Land.

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Photo Friday: Fueling Freedom 2019

CountryMark’s 2019 Fueling Freedom event was a success at our Elwood, Greenville, Greenfield, Oxford and United Energy locations. We’re proud to partner with CountryMark on this event that does so much for the families of soldiers. More than $57,000 was raised across all participating CountryMark stations. 

We thought this Facebook post from a CountryMark employee encapsulates the value in this event:

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Here is a breakdown of our results:

Greenfield Store: 1990 gallons and $203 in donations

Elwood Station: 355 gallons

KDS Oxford: 1906 gallons and $614 in donations

Greenville Station: 1896 gallons

United Energy: 2738 gallons and $178 in donations

Today’s Photo Friday offers a glimpse of the day!

Many thanks to all who participated. 

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Empowering Youth: Hancock County Farm Bureau 4-H Safety Day

Harvest Land believes that 4‑H empowers young people to be true leaders with confidence, the ability to work well with others, can endure through challenges, and will stick with a job until it gets done. In 4‑H, we believe true leaders aren’t born – they’re grown. 4-H also teaches our youth leadership skills and responsibility that they will use for a lifetime.

Harvest Land is proud to be a part of educating our youth in all corners of our trade territory. We recently participated in the Hancock County Farm Bureau 4-H Safety Day, sponsored by Farm Bureau at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Presenters for the day included:

  • Harvest Land, presented by Julie Lamberson
  • Hancock County Sheriff’s Dept
  • 911 Dispatch
  • Proper Food Handling
  • Koening Implements
  • Greenfield Fire Dept
  • Indiana DNR

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Harvest Land employee Vickie Ramsey is the leader of Country Kritters 4-H Club, and has been a 4-H leader in Hancock county for 16 years! She was there with “her kids” for a day of education and leadership building. We admire Vickie’s dedication to empowering Hancock County youth to be the best they can be.

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We’re proud to be invited to this kind of event, and also have strong represntation from our employee base. 

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Many thanks to Dawn Wallace and Julie Lamberson for supplying these photos.

 

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Ohio Grain Entrapment Training

Last Saturday Harvest Land hosted Oxford, West College Corner, Milford Township, Hanover Township, Seven Mile, St Clair and Riley Fire Departments for grain entrapment training in Ohio. The training allowed emergency personnel to practice using grain tube equipment for entrapments in gravity wagons, as well as in a large freestanding pile.

The training occurred at our College Corner Ag Center. Many thanks to the crew from College Corner and Seven Mile for organizing the event and giving up a Saturday for this training, as well as their participation.

As part of the training day, Harvest Land also donated a grain rescue tube to the Oxford Fire Department,  which would be the responding department for our College Corner facility.

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We would like to thank all the participating departments

for their dedication to the safety of our farm families.

 

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Grain Rescue Tube Donated in Butler County

Harvest Land recently donated a grain rescue tube to the Milford Township Fire Department in Butler County, Ohio. The department needed the equipment to perform grain rescue should the emergency arise.

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Harvest Land manager Tom study organized the donation.

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Grain rescue training with multiple fire departments in Butler County is set to take place at the College Corner Ag Center later this month. Harvest Land is happy to host such an event that could aid so many in a time of need.

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As part of our Cultivating Communities effort, Harvest Land continues to donate equipment and assist in training to protect farm families in our trade territory.

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Find the Helpers: Lynn, Indiana

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2018 Habitat for Humanity Build

Earlier this month Harvest Land employees traded office hours for hammers and worked on the Habitat For Humanity house at the Indiana State Fair. Our cooperative partnered with Land O’Lakes and four other farmer-owned co-ops throughout Indiana to make progress on this house which will benefit a local family in need.

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Tiffany Miller and Kent VanMeter from Rushville, Royce Cook from Mt. Summit, Troy Miley from Richmond and Curt Naylor, Region Manager all represented Harvest Land.

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“I feel like it’s our obligation to be supportive in our communities and help people who are in need. As a farmer-owned company, we should give back.” says Scott Logue, Harvest Land CEO.

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Their devoted time to community service proves that we can all cultivate communities in different ways, even if not directly in our back yard.

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Each year, in partnership with the Indiana State Fair, Habitat for Humanity builds two houses during the two weeks of the State Fair, all on the fairgrounds. For a day of home building, sponsors are asked to make a $10,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. This is not a small donation so it makes a big difference that member cooperatives Ceres Solutions, North Central, Harvest Land, Co-Alliance and Premier Companies were able to work together to share in the cost.

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We very much appreciate these five and their commitment to serving others and representing Harvest Land’s values well in Indianapolis. We’re proud of the work they did on behalf of our co-op.

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Food Desert? Not in Our Backyard

As part of our commitment to cultivate local communities, Harvest Land  recently donated $1,000 to the Centerville United Methodist Church food pantry for their food ministry, then applied for – and was granted – a matching $1,000 grant from Land O’Lakes. Land_O_Lakes_Logo.svg A total of $2,000 was donated for the monthly food ministry, as well as the on-demand food pantry where families can receive food assistance any day of the work week by calling the church office.

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Left to right:  Karen Dickson, Sam Dickson, Sally McCaslin, Jan Hofmann, Ken McCaslin, Kevin Smith, Jess Price and Jared Martin, Harvest Land’s CFO

The United States Department of Agriculture defines “Food Deserts” as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. Centerville and certain rural areas of Wayne County unfortunately fall into this category.

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The Centerville United Methodist Church Monthly Food Ministry was created in an effort to alleviate this problem in our own back yard. They team with Gleaners Food Bank, Inc. of Indiana to provide canned and boxed food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. Since beginning their monthly food ministry in September 2017, they’re assisting over sixty local family units each month.

The hunger epidemic can seem so far away when we hear about it on the news. But it really hits home when you realize it affects neighbors in our rural communities. 

We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide a bit of assistance in the Centerville area this summer, especially while children are home for summer and not able to receive school-prepared meals. 

 

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Hancock County Ag Safety Day

Our story of Cultivating Communities across our trade territory continues, as we attended the Hancock County Ag Safety Day on April 14, which was hosted by Hancock County 4-H.

The children rotated through several stations hosted by various community groups, such at Nine Star Connect, Canine Castaways Rescue, Greenfield Fire Territory and more. Harvest Land employee Vickie Ramsey was instrumental in organizing the day.
The Harvest Land station educated sixty 4-H members about grain safety. Specific topics included grain entrapment as well as auger and PTO hazards.

Today’s Photo Friday includes a few shots from our work with the youth of Hancock County.

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Thank you, Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager, for spending the day with these students.

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These two young men belong to Tarra Youngclaus from our Junction location.

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Many thanks to The Photography Barn for snapping these photos of our work.

 

 

 

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