Traverse County farmers donate to schools, food shelves and first responders

Local fire and rescue departments and schools in Traverse County recently received some welcomed support from the Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers and their checkoff dollars. Fire and ambulance departments in Tintah, Wheaton and Browns Valley and schools in Browns Valley and Wheaton each received monetary donations for the purchase of biodiesel for their trucks and buses. Without local, trained volunteers, rural communities would face longer response time to their calls for aid.                                                         

Cheryl Shekleton of the Wheaton Ambulance Service accepts the biodiesel donation from the Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers.

“The school districts and fire and ambulance units were very appreciative of the donation from our organization,” said Gary Yost, treasurer of the Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers. “It’s important to help our local departments and schools and there’s no better way to do it by also promoting biodiesel. It’s a product that is made from soybeans grown right here.”

Fire departments throughout the state rely on the generous support of their residents, communities and organizations to assist in the purchase of new or updated equipment and trucks that enable them to provide only the best in rescue and emergency services to their communities. 

The Wheaton and Browns Valley food shelves will have more meat and soyfoods on their shelves thanks to the Traverse County board. To highlight soyfoods, the grassroots organization made a $200 donation to the food shelves to provide meat and soybean foods to families utilizing the resource.

“This donation is important for farmers here because the agricultural industry is vital to our county,” Yost said. “The livestock industry is the biggest consumer of soybeans and it is important to us to support them, and provide resources for those in need in our community.”

According to the United Soybean Board, nearly 98 percent of U.S. soy meal feeds poultry, swine, cattle and aquaculture, making the livestock industry soybean farmers’ number one customer.

Soy’s versatility is well-documented. Along with meat, Americans also consume soybean oil in the form of vegetable oil. Soy is also well known for its use in vegetarian foods like tofu, and is utilized because of its high protein value. Soy is proven to be an easy and effective way to help lower cholesterol, protect against some forms of cancer, reduce bone loss and minimize the effects of menopause. It also contains fiber, isoflavones, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, which oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the nearly 28,000 soybean farmers in Minnesota. The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans. 

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