A Gift for Several Michigan Growing Projects

A Gift for Several Michigan Growing Projects

What a precious gift FRB receives from Green Valley Agricultural Inc (GVA) who supplies a number of Michigan growing projects with pallets of seed each year. Employee La Raine Salmon explains how  it all began:

"About six years ago, Norm Braksick stopped in at Green Valley Agricultural's Caledonia office to talk to me to see if there was any way GVA could help with donations for FRB or help facilitate fertilizer donations with some of the larger companies he was dealing with. That first year I, if I remember correctly, we did help Norm get some fertilizer to a growing project. At first it seemed like there was not a lot we could do for FRB. Norm and I called on a local farmer to sign him up for a growing project and he was not interested.

It always seemed to me that there should be something more that GVA or I could do to help FRB and as time went on we were able to run a few small seed donations through or sales representative from Syngenta. Then one day a farmer went to plant a pallett of very expensive seed corn and when he opened the bag he saw that some of the kernals had sprouted. This was very unacceptable, trust me! GVA and DeKalb would have to replace his bad seed with a new pallet of unsprouted seed. DeKalb covered the cost of the seed for the farmer, however,GVA was left with a whole pallet of seed to dispose of. A thought then popped in my head, 'Hey, maybe FRB could use it?' We called FRB and they gladly picked it up and planted it - with good results.

About the same time, GVA  was having an issue storing and and getting rid of leftover plot seed. This is seed given to GVA to plant test plots that compare different varieties of corn to see which one performs best. We tried giving it to customers, but we just kept getting a bigger surplus. If we did not find a use for it we would have to throw it in the dumpster.

Being of partial Dutch heritage that was not an option for me. Then that thought came back.'Hey, maybe FRB can use it?' That is how GVA started giving seed to FRB. Every year we have about 3-5 pallets and have made connections with all the local seed dealers to bring their leftovers to GVA for FRB."

Last week as I visited GVA, La Raine shared that the initial donation of sprouting grain was worth over $10,000.  As the gift continues each year I couldn't agree with her more that "It is great fun to see something headed for the dumpster be turned into something useful". How many other ways might we all be able to find creative ways to use what might otherwise be wasted to bring a gift of life, first in fields in the U.S. and then around the world in places who benefit from growing project proceeds. I for one would love to hear those stories.

Bev Abma, FRB Staff 

08/20/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment