LOCAL AG PRODUCERS NOURISH LIVES – MARCH 3
Authors: Jean Tucker and Chris Houglum
March is Ag Month, providing an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the vital partnerships that provide nourishing food to people facing hunger. All this month, including National Ag Day on March 22, Second Harvest is honoring the ag community and highlighting agriculture’s essential contributions to our shared hunger relief efforts.
Second Harvest is grateful to partner with generous farmers and processors in our agriculturally-rich region who donate locally-grown produce, protein and dairy products to put nourishing meals on the table for our hungry neighbors.
One of our valued all-in partners for nearly three decades, the organization supports us through donations of food, funds, and volunteerism, all of which are critical to our success. They have generously provided leadership on our Board of Directors and financial support of special events, capital campaigns, program support and food/fund drives. Over the past few decades, nearly 500 AgWest Farm Credit volunteers donated a combined total of over 2,600 hours.
Heidi Whitman, director of marketing and public relations, spoke to the company’s commitment to building healthy communities. “AgWest Farm Credit understands how essential a robust and productive agricultural industry is to nourish communities,” Whitman said. “It’s especially important that we partner in efforts to grow fresh and nutritious food to share with our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Good food builds great communities and we’re proud to walk alongside local farmers, producers, and Second Harvest in making a difference throughout the Inland Northwest.”
Northwest Agricultural Consultants has sponsored Ag Month since 2019. The Kennewick-based organization has been of service to the agricultural industry of the Pacific Northwest for over 35 years. It is a full-service laboratory that specializes in wheat, potatoes, corn, beans, peas, onions, hops, tree fruits and vineyards. They provide in-house soil, plant and water testing services for Washington, Oregon and Idaho clients, specializing in soil and plant tissue analysis for fertility requirements in order to provide the best yield.
Wade Carter, NWAG’s president and lab director, saw a natural partnership in supporting Second Harvest. “Jason and his team at Second Harvest frequently remind us all that it’s the first harvest that makes the second harvest possible. We’re fortunate to work year-round with the people who raise crops in this region, from beans to wheat, and corn to tree fruits.”
The real impact of our ag partnerships lies in the healthy food we can share with people facing hunger. Michelle is one neighbor trying to improve health issues through dietary changes. She was excited about all the healthy food she’d be getting from the Mobile Market bus, which was parked outside of a community health clinic in downtown Spokane. She’s been working with a nutritionist there, who told her about the free food distribution.
With very limited resources and daily challenges around meeting her basic needs, Michelle was grateful to receive a variety of nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain bread. She was especially excited about the fruit. “For me, the fruit is an easy-to-grab snack on the go.”
AgWest Farm Credit and Northwest Agricultural Consultants will match the first $15,000 this month to help Second Harvest source and share nourishing food with people facing hunger. Donate today.
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