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Goodwill efforts emerge during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Titan launches Goodyears Ahead campaign and Class of 2020 can get free pizza.

Updated 2:06 p.m. May 22

The global pandemic has brought forth many goodwill efforts to protect and help thy neighbor.

Here's some of the information we've received.

DMI, Pizza Hut partner to honor Class of 2020

Dairy Management Inc. and Pizza Hut are joining forces to give away half a million pizzas to Class of 2020 high school graduates.

“We are so excited to partner with Pizza Hut to help high school seniors and their families celebrate this special milestone in their lives,” said Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer and chair of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff. “This is a shining example of what we accomplish when dairy farmers and importers build relationships with a company such as Pizza Hut through our checkoff.”

To claim a free pizza, visit www.pizzahut.com/gradparty, sign into your Hut Rewards account and a coupon for a one-topping medium pizza will be deposited into your account while supplies last. Coupons will be valid for online redemption through June 4.

Titan launches Goodyears Ahead campaign

Titan International Inc. has launched its Goodyears Ahead campaign to recognize and thank agricultural workers. The campaign also gives farmers an opportunity to pay it forward with some assistance from Titan. Visitors to GoodyearsAhead.com can select the nonprofit organization of their choice to receive a $5 donation from Titan/Goodyear Farm Tires, and as a token of thanks, Titan will send a free hat to anyone who participates, while supplies last.

The nonprofit organizations that participants can choose from include:

  • FFA – the premier youth organization preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.
  • Feeding America – a nonprofit organization with a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people.
  • Farm Rescue – a nonprofit organization that plants and harvests crops free of charge for family farmers who have suffered a major illness, injury or natural disaster.
  • Frontline Foods – a nonprofit whose army of volunteers raises funds to support local restaurants and feed heroes working on the frontlines.
  • Action Against Hunger Canada – an international humanitarian organization that fights hunger and its root causes.

The social portion of the campaign allows followers to recognize and nominate those in agriculture who are working hard to put food on our tables, including farmers, growers, producers, ranchers and more. Titan will select five winning nominations each from Facebook and Twitter to receive a Goodyear Farm Tires cooler. Entries must be made by June 12, and winners will be notified within Facebook and Twitter through direct message by June 16.

Toro donates $500K

The Toro Company is giving $500,000 to assist families and communities worldwide that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funding from the Toro Foundation will span all regions where The Toro Company operates, and will focus on providing food, health and humanitarian assistance to helping people adversely impacted.

“Supporting our customers and communities is an important part of our culture and core to who we are as a company,” said Rick Olson, chairman and chief executive officer of The Toro Company. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we come together to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and to support those most vulnerable in our communities.”

Read more here.

American Farmland Trust starts mailing grant checks

American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund started sending out $1,000 grant checks to 1,000 farmers across the country as Americans witnessed unprecedented disruptions to the food system. The funds are going to help small to mid-size producers that sell direct to consumers, to food services businesses, or to institutions. All funds raised by AFT are being put in the hands of farmers with no restrictions on use, only that they use the money to support modifications to their business model that will get them through until their normal markets return.

“We are helping in a small way where the need is huge. We believe that farmers who sell direct to consumers were most immediately impacted when the pandemic set it, with no federal safety net in place,” said John Piotti, AFT president and CEO.   “There’s no question that our farmers and ranchers are struggling, no matter what size operation or what they produce. Challenges with transportation, labor shortages and even COVID-19 among the processing workforce has disrupted Americans’ ability to put food on their tables, especially those that have been or are now food insecure.”

The range of farmers that will be helped by The Fund is diverse, from farmers that sell specialty produce items tailored to restaurants, to farmers that depend on flower sales for weddings or Community Supported Agriculture memberships to sell their vegetables, small grass-fed beef operations that sell to local butcher shops and farmers that market all kinds of products through farm to school programs.

Read more here.

Simmental association adopts member support package

The American Simmental Association Board of Trustees recently passed a member support package for fiscal year 2021 totaling more than $280,000.

“We all know the reality of current struggles,” says Tim Curran, Ione, CA, ASA Board of Trustees Chairman. “It is only appropriate that ASA does what it can to aid members and their families as they plow ahead with the task of building the best genetics they can for the beef business.”

Starting in July 2020, the ASA will offer a 10% allotment for active ASA members based on their 2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) animal registrations, transfers, and Total Herd Enrollments (THE). Members may view the dollar amount of their individual allotment through their Herdbook accounts beginning July 1. The allotment can be put toward the same services in fiscal year 2021. When members submit registrations, transfers, or THE transactions, from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021 the total fees will be reduced until the allotment has been depleted.

Learn more at www.simmental.org.

Beef from farmers for families

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation are teaming up to provide beef for a growing number of families in need as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. The non-profit organizations have developed the Beef Relief Program, donating $20,000 to the Great Plains Food Bank to purchase beef from North Dakota ranchers to help feed struggling families in the state. The Great Plains Food Bank supplies more than 200 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and charitable feeding programs.

“There are so many people who are suffering due to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic,” said North Dakota Stockmen’s Association President Dan Rorvig, a McVille, N.D., cow-calf producer. “Even as they deal with their own challenges, North Dakota cattle ranchers recognize this as an important way they can help their neighbors.”

North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation President Warren Zenker is a cow-calf producer and feeder from Gackle, N.D. “North Dakota cattle ranchers are proud of the beef we raise,” he said, “and we are proud to be able to put beef on the tables of those who otherwise might not be able to.”

Kent Corporation feeds Muscatine residents

Kent Corporation is working closely with local non-profit partners to address critical issues. In collaboration with the Salvation Army, United Way and MCSA, Kent Corporation’s in-house kitchen staff will prepare nearly 300 meals every Wednesday and Thursday to be distributed to food-insecure families and individuals in its hometown of Muscatine, Iowa.

“Since the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic, Kent has been extra vigilant in keeping its employees healthy and facilities safe. In addition, the company has looked for ways to combat the largest challenges our community is facing as a direct result of this coronavirus,” said Carol Reynolds, corporate spokesperson. “Kent has the facility space and expertise to make large quantities of good food. It is a natural fit for us to provide our neighbors much-needed meals.”

Meals made with care by Kent Corporation will be delivered to the Salvation Army to support ongoing, collaborative efforts to feed Muscatine residents in need.

“Many of the events for which the Kent in-house kitchen staff would have been cooking, have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. Through our efforts to cook food for the community, Kent is able to give these employees work, it’s a win-win,” said Reynolds.

Additionally, Kent Corporation is matching up to $25,000 of donations given through the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine’s Community Continuity Fund. Donations to this fund support the immediate needs of Muscatine residents created by Covid-19 interruptions. To donate go to: https://www.muscatinecommunityfoundation.org/donate/

BASF donates to Feeding America

BASF Corporation will make a $170,000 donation to Feeding America. BASF employees throughout its Agricultural Solutions division participated in a virtual food drive by making financial contributions online. BASF matched donations dollar-for-dollar for the virtual food drive. All funds raised online, including the BASF match, will be donated to Feeding America member food banks based on donor zip codes. This gives employee donors the opportunity to help their own communities and make an impact where they live.

BASF will donate an additional $195,000 to Feeding America. The gift includes a $150,000 corporate donation and $45,000 from BASF’s largest facilities in Michigan, Texas, and Louisiana. In total, BASF will contribute more than $365,000 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 hunger relief efforts.

“We are grateful to BASF for being a partner of Feeding America before the COVID-19 pandemic and for coming forward with additional support,” said Lauren Biedron, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America. “This gift will allow member food banks to continue helping families put food on their tables during this difficult time.”

Make donations to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund at www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/coronavirus.

ADM donates to COVID-19 relief efforts

ADM will give an additional $800,000 in donations to organizations focused on addressing needs during COVID-19, including food assistance, hunger relief, and local support to hospitals and first responders.

“These are unprecedented times, and ADM is committed to doing our part to help address the tremendous need around the world right now,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano.

The $800,000 in total contributions are in addition to more than $1 million previously committed to COVID-related relief efforts, and are directed to various local organizations with a direct impact in communities and regions where ADM has a large presence.

The donations were given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares helps sustain and strengthen communities where ADM colleagues work, live and operate. ADM Cares focuses its efforts primarily in three areas: Advancing Sustainable Agriculture; Increasing Food Security; and Investing in Education.

Corteva Agriscience supports online learning

Global agriculture company Corteva Agriscience is partnering with National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization and its Agriculture in the Classroom state program members to provide online educational resources and virtual experiences with an agricultural context to teachers, parents and students seeking materials for learning at home.

The eLearning page on the NAITCO website at https://agclassroom.org/eLearning/index.cfm divides lessons and activities into grade bands of pre-kindergarten-2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, 6th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade and covers plant science, embryology, physical and chemical science involving food, inexpensive table top hydroponics gardens, renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy and more. It also provides the lesson and activities in Google Docs and develops tutorial videos for educational resources.

Sugar producers make donations to support relief efforts

Sugar producers are making critical donations, retooling portions of their production lines or diverting sugar from their normal supply chains to create necessary products to fight COVID-19.

Michigan Sugar Company uses PPE to keep sugar workers safe and donated a portion of their company supply to local health systems, including hundreds of masks, safety glasses, and gloves.

Amalgamated Sugar Company, which processes sugar beets in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, saw the pressing need for cloth face masks to protect against the COVID-19 virus and moved the industrial sewing machines in its quality lab into face mask production. They typically make tare sample bags but are now hard at work sewing face masks to protect their employees as they continue the essential work of producing food for our nation. Amalgamated Sugar employees are assisting in this effort as well, working to sew masks while at home.

Beyond masks, hand sanitizer was among the first items in short supply as the pandemic took its toll on stockpiles across the world. The sugar industry has teamed up with distilleries to help restock this critical item.

In Florida, the members of Florida Sugar & Molasses Exchange are donating molasses to Tampa Bay Rum Company to produce sanitizer that will be donated to doctors, hospitals, police, fire, EMTs, letter and package carriers or any frontline workers. U.S. Sugar is donating fermentable sugar to Sugar Sand Distillery in Lake Placid to make sanitizer.

Three Roll Estate Distillery in Baton Rouge normally makes rum, but with the help of the sugarcane industry in Louisiana, they’re now distilling a higher proof alcohol for hand sanitizer.

Domino Sugar’s Baltimore refinery donated sugar to Lost Ark Distilling, which will use it to create ethanol, one of the ingredients in the hand sanitizer it is producing and donating to local hospitals and first responders.

In Illinois, American Sugar Refining Group is donating sugar and molasses to KOVAL Distillery, which will use it to create ethanol for hand sanitizer that will be given to fire stations, hospitals and ambulance companies.

Share a photo and Zoetis will donate a $1 to Feeding America

Zoetis is asking cow/calf producers to submit pictures or videos at CalvingSeason.com to celebrate the commitment of cattle producers, and in turn, every submission will raise money to meet the challenges posed by this global crisis. 

For every photo or video submitted at CalvingSeason.com between April 17 and May 29, Zoetis will donate $1 to the COVID-19 Response Fund with Feeding America. The Response Fund was established to help food banks across the country as they support communities impacted by the pandemic. The fund will enable food banks to secure the resources they need.

Texas A&M Extension responders help inventory, distribute equipment

Responders from the Disaster Assessment and Recovery Team of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have been deployed throughout the state to help ensure urgently needed personal protective equipment and medical supplies get to those on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.   

AgriLife Extension responders will help with inventory, packaging, repackaging and distribution of supplies from their respective staging areas.

Some of the items they are tasked with helping inventory and distribute include personal protective equipment, such as gloves, gowns, face masks and face shields, as well as medical supplies.       

“We’re also involved in what we call the Pony Express part of supply fulfillment,” said Monty Dozier, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension program director for disaster assessment and recovery, College Station.. “If a healthcare facility or front-line operation makes a request, we will do our best to make sure the order is fulfilled quickly and expeditiously.” 

U.S. Sugar donates green beans for those in need

When the farmers at U.S. Sugar saw that many of their neighbors in the community were facing food insecurity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they knew exactly what to do.

“We are neighbors helping neighbors and trying to share the bounty of our farms with local families when they need it most,” said Judy Sanchez, U.S. Sugar Senior Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. “These communities, where we have lived and raised our families for generations, hold a special place in our hearts.”

In total, they donated more than 120,000 servings of green beans to those who needed it most.

POET donates santitizer for frontline workers

POET is donating 220 gallons of sanitizer, produced at its Chancellor, SD biorefinery, to the city of Sioux Falls and the South Dakota Health Care Coalition.  These groups will then distribute to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, firefighters, EMS, and other frontline workers. POET is also donating sanitizer to Pioneer Hospital, which provides health services to many of the POET team members who work at the Chancellor facility. 

Learn more about the project by clicking this link. 

Compeer dedicates $830K to relief efforts

Compeer Financial is dedicating $830,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts across the organization’s three-state territory of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Compeer’s support includes donations to local community foundations for COVID-19 response efforts, grants for organizations and emergency response providers, funding for local foodbanks, donations to rural healthcare facilities and more. Funding comes from the Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America and the organization’s newly established donor advised fund, the Agriculture and Rural Initiative.

As a part of  these efforts, the Fund for Rural America will open up two grants in the coming months. The application for Compeer’s general use grant will open May 1, with a deadline of May 31, 2020. Applications for the emergency response equipment grant program for volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance departments will open on Aug. 1 and are due by Aug. 31, 2020. Priority will be given to projects and initiatives related to COVID-19 response efforts.

 More information about Compeer’s grant programs is available at compeer.com/giving-back.

Compeer Financial donates to rural healthcare facilities

Compeer Financial, in partnership with the Fund for Rural America, is donating $25,000 to 19 rural hospitals and nursing homes across the Upper Midwest. The donation is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, a step that brings some much-needed funding to the rural healthcare community.

“Healthcare workers are on the frontlines in an unprecedented situation, often caring for their own friends and neighbors. The pressure they and their facilities are facing as they combat this pandemic is unimaginable,” said John Monson, chief mission and marketing executive and also chair of the Fund, which is Compeer’s corporate giving program. “There was no question Compeer and the Fund for Rural America should extend our support to help rural communities in this time of need.”

Many healthcare institutions are facing challenges with equipment, staffing, cleaning supplies, disinfectant and more. Donations will be sent to healthcare facilities that partner with Compeer Financial to contribute toward their most immediate needs.

Compeer Financial will provide financial support to the following facilities:

  • Augusta Area Home – Augusta, Wis.
  • Baldwin Care Center – Baldwin, Wis.
  • Bethany Lutheran Home – Brandon, S.D.
  • Colfax Health and Rehab – Colfax, Wis.
  • Community Memorial Hospital – Cloquet, Minn.
  • Dickinson St. Luke’s Home – Dickinson, N.D.
  • Glenhave – Glenwood City, Wis.
  • Hutchinson Senior Care – Hutchinson, Minn.
  • Lutheran Charity Association – Jamestown, N.D.
  • Madison Community Hospital – Madison, S.D.
  • Park View Home – Woodville, Wis.
  • Pinckneyville Community Hospital – Pinckneyville, Ill.
  • Prairie Ridge Hospital – Elbow Lake, Minn.
  • Schmitt Woodland Hills – Richland Center, Wis.
  • Cook County Hospital – Grand Marais, Minn.
  • Midwest Medical Foundation – Galena, Ill.
  • Minnewaska Lutheran Home – Starbuck, Minn.
  • Morrison Community Hospital – Morrison, Ill.

Missouri volunteers sewing to protect frontline workers

Volunteers across northwestern Missouri have mobilized into a virtual sewing factory, turning out homemade masks to help protect local health care providers and emergency responders against COVID-19. Their goal is 15,000 masks, and volunteers have already completed — or are actively working on — about 8,000 masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides these guidelines for making and caring for masks. It is important to note that masks are never a substitute for important social distancing and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

John Deere manufacturing face shields

John Deere, in collaboration with the UAW, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, is producing protective face shields at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois. Deere employees will initially produce 25,000 face shields to meet the immediate needs of health-care workers in several of its U.S. manufacturing communities.

Materials and supplies are on order to produce an additional 200,000 face shields. The company is using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project and leveraging expertise, skills and innovation of its employee base.  

Kalmbach Feeds launches 'Feed the Need'

Kalmbach Feeds is launching a campaign to support Feeding America by donating funds to supply 500,000 meals to friends and neighbors in need. 

The campaign, named “Feed the Need," has been created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. For each bag of Kalmbach Feeds, Tribute or Formula of Champions branded feed sold, Kalmbach Feeds, Inc. will donate one meal to Feeding America, with the mission of providing a half million meals.

Find more information here.

Versacarry converts to producing face shields and face masks

In an effort to help with the fight against the COVID-19 virus, Versacarry is in the process of converting their production facility from building holsters to producing face shields and face masks.

In less than a week, Versacarry has switched their focus and production and will be shipping face masks and face shields shortly. With weekly output expected at 20,000+ of each item, these will be sent to the front line of this pandemic war and into the hands of hospital personnel, EMT, police officers, firefighters and others facing the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis.

For more information on the face masks and face shields, check out the following link. If you work for an organization that needs these items, there is a place to contact Versacarry on the webpage.

Bunge commits $2.5 million to COVID-19 relief

Bunge announced a $2.5 million commitment to COVID-19 relief efforts. The funds will support health and hunger causes directly related to the pandemic in the communities where Bunge operates. 

Midwest Food Bank partners with The Salvation Army

Midwest Food Bank is partnering with The Salvation Army to provide "emergency relief" Family Food Boxes to individuals and families coping with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locations receiving this aid include northern Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Georgia, Iowa and Colorado.

Those wishing to help cover the cost of the supplies or the fuel needed to transport them may do so by visiting MidwestFoodBank.org, and clicking “Donate.”

Carhartt will produce medical gowns, masks

Carhartt is joining in the effort to supply the women and men working on the frontline with gowns and masks they need to protect themselves. Beginning April 6, Carhartt will begin producing 50,000 medical gowns and on April 20, the company will begin manufacturing 2.5 million masks. As long as these critical items are in short supply, Carhartt will continue to assist in production.

The safety of all associates is Carhartt's priority, so the company is working closely with local health authorities and following recommended protocols to ensure a safe work environment for employees.

Over the last few weeks, Carhartt temporarily closed all company-owned stores and implemented temporary rotating paid work schedules in its manufacturing and distribution facilities to encourage social distancing among associates. Decisions continue to be made based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Texas A&M employees are repurposing kits for human use

Viral sampling kits — usually used on pigs, cows and chickens — are being repurposed to test humans by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. The sampling kits are being assembled from lab supplies already in stock at TVMDL’s four labs across the state. Once assembled, they will be shipped to hospitals in cities with a Texas A&M System campus to help meet the surge in needed test kits including campuses in Galveston, McAllen and the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample in the vial, and a bag. The components of the kits are approved by Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in sampling humans for the COVID-19 virus. They kits cost about $4 to $5 if ordered in bulk before the pandemic. Now, these simple supplies are back-ordered for months.

ADM contributes $1 million to fight COVID-19

ADM has committed about $1 million to various organizations involved in the fight against COVID-19. The contributions include commitments to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, various regional and local charities focusing on COVID-19 in the areas where ADM operates, and matches to ADM employee contributions to COVID-19 relief and mitigation.

Keep kids safe while juggling farm work and homeschooling

The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety is offering resources to help parents keep kids safe while they are juggling farm work, off-farm jobs and homeschooling. Check out this link for more information.

GenYouth launches Emergency School Nutrition Fund

GenYouth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating healthier school communities, has created a COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund to assist schools nationwide as they strive to provide school meals during the coronavirus pandemic. The national movement is "For Schools' Sake – Help Us Feed Our Nation's Kids!" Donations are accepted at www.genyouthnow.org. Schools may apply at https://COVID-19.genyouthnow.org/ for grants of up to $3,000 per school feeding site to purchase supplies for meal distribution and delivery.

Smithfield launches 'Good Food Challenge'

Smithfield Foods, Inc. donated more than $3 million in cash and in-kind donations, including four million servings of protein, to support communities across America during the country’s response to COVID-19. As part of the donations, Smithfield and its family of brands also launched the "Good Food Challenge” to aid Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks. With a goal of $1 million in additional donations, this campaign will provide up to 10 million meals to aid the efforts of food banks across the country during this time of increased need. Amid school and business closures and the sharply rising unemployment rate, food banks are essential to feeding the millions of people that rely on food assistance programs every day.

Rogue Spirits donates Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer

The Food and Drug Administration changed their guidelines on March 18 to give distilleries permission to start making hand sanitizer for distribution as long as they were abiding by the formula outlined by the World Health Organization. Rogue Spirits is producing and packaging hand sanitizer at its distillery in Newport, Oregon, to donate to local emergency response and public safety officials. The "Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer" has been donated to fire departments, police services, county offices, local ambulance services and Life Flight.

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