Farmers in the western part of Dubuque County were provided with a little fuel May 3. Not fuel for their equipment, but fuel for their bodies as Beckman Catholic FFA members delivered some snacks while the farmers were working in their fields.
FFA Co-Presidents Laina Marbach and Liz Wessel and Vice President Kayla Bonert set out to support the people who work to feed America.
“Farmers are some of the hardest working people,” Dawn Mausser, Beckman’s FFA advisor, said. “From sun up to sundown, so many of the farmers had been going multiple days in a row in the field by that point.”
Beckman’s program had heard of other chapters across the country that had done hot meals, and they wanted to do something similar. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed more simple options, so they provided the farmers with beef sticks, water, cheese sticks, chips, cookies and granola bars in a sealed bag for a mid-afternoon snack.
“We hit around 35 farmers from Worthington, Farley, Placid, Cascade, Bernard, Peosta, Epworth, Graf, Durango, Bankston, Sherrill, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Petersburg and Dyersville,” Mausser said.
The leadership team of the Beckman FFA wanted to represent Beckman in a giving spirit just as farmers are giving to others.
“I have always stressed with students that solving hunger starts at home,” Mausser said. “The level of pressure on the farm families in the area that are trying to make a living with extremely low prices below break-even is trying for everyone, so we must band together to try and bring a quick smile to farmers to prove that they are appreciated.”
Special measures were taken by the group to ensure that they were following the state’s guidelines during the pandemic. They used all pre-packaged food, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer after each stop.
“We hoped to have it be a bonding experience for our newly elected officer team of eight students,” Mausser said, “but with COVID rules, we scaled the operation back to just the three officers that were going to be seniors in the fall.”
The farmers who benefited from this gesture were thankful and welcomed their snack with a smile, Mausser said.
“We think it was a hit especially for our first try,” she said.
The officer team hopes to continue to expand the program for the future.