Minnesota farmers ‘step up’ in time of need

Local ag organizations offering nutritional aid to neighbors during pandemic

As the world grapples with the unprecedented challenges presented by the impact of COVID-19, county corn and soybean organizations are actively giving back to rural communities through a variety of local projects across Minnesota.

“We recognize many people are struggling financially and may need help to feed their families,” says Freeborn County Corn and Soybean Board Chair Cole Pestorious. “As farmers, we recognize the need for agricultural products to be on the shelves for people who really truly need them.”

To meet the increased demand, and with the aid of soybean checkoff resources, the Freeborn County Corn and Soybean Growers sprang into action with a $3,000 donation to area food banks. The Waseca County Corn and Soybean Growers also pledged a monetary donation to local food banks.

“Soybean farmers continue to produce a safe, nutritious product that is shelf-stable to satisfy the need for protein in everyone’s diet,” says Scott Singlestad, treasurer for the Waseca County Corn and Soybean Growers. “By continuing to work together, we believe we will come out of this pandemic stronger and more unified than ever.”

With spring planting off to a promising start in some regions in Minnesota, there are many essential employees working to assist farmers through a safe and efficient planting season. The Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers stepped forward to say thanks.

“Farmers work tirelessly, day in and day out to plant their crop all across the state,” says Chris Opdahl, chair of the Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers. “Supporting all of those farmers are people working at the local coops, implement dealers and elevators to help deliver seed, chemical and parts across the county. We just want to make sure they know that we appreciate their help right now, too.”

Partnering with a local catering service, Murray County will donate bagged lunches to those essential workers in the county as a token of their appreciation.

“As a local board, it is our job to step up to the plate and rally together during times like these,” Opdahl says. “Giving back to the community and striving to bring a positive light during difficult situations like this goes to show how close knit agriculture really is.”

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