In these times of great uncertainty and anxiety, farmers and the whole ag industry have risen to the occasion to help those in need. Not only will crops still get planted and animals taken care of amid COVID-19, farmers are continuing donations and volunteerism to help their communities.
Marshall County Farm Bureau President Charlie Houin donated a number of masks to Marshall County hospitals that he uses on his farm for dust. His aunt, a physician in South Bend, told him they were very appreciative of his donation given that they were of better quality than what they had been using.
“She also had some concerns about hazmat suits to deal with people coughing on you and face shields. Through Fertilizer Dealer Supply, we were able to order in chemical suits for them to wear. We ordered in ten chemical suits and a face shield.”
And Houin donated those as well.
American Dairy Association Indiana has been working with the Indiana Department of Education to find where the greatest need is for milk. They learned it was with child and adult daycare facilities.
“You think of those daycares, the smaller ones, the ones that aren’t big enough for a food delivery truck, which is a majority of them, and they were unable to get milk. One, when there was a milk shortage, they couldn’t find it at the grocery stores, and then number 2 because of the milk limit,” said ADAI CEO Jenni Browning.
So, donations came in from Dean’s and Prairie Farms to help distribute milk to those facilities. And ADAI is using their empty Dairy Bar at the Indiana State Fair to help.
“Some of the programs need anywhere from 25 to 90 gallons of milk a week and they were used to going to the grocery store every day or every other day and picking up a lot of milk. That’s just not possible now,” said Browning. “So, for right now, the Dairy Bar, where you can get grilled cheese and milkshakes, that’s where we’re helping adult daycares and child daycares get milk to the people that need it.”
Indiana Pork has also teamed up with the Illinois Pork Producers Association to donate over 4,300 pounds of pork to the Tri-State Food Bank.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so thank you Indiana agriculture for being a leader in our state.