Minnesota soybean farmers turn to social media to feed families
Minnesota Soybean announced it is donating $30,000 through Second Harvest Heartland to feed local families, and they are asking college students to help make it happen. As part of the University of Minnesota’s Homecoming week, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council hosted a virtual food donation at Goldy’s Homecoming Kickoff Sept. 23 and encouraged each student to be a Five-Minute Farmer.
“We’ve made a commitment as an organization and as individual farmers to have more conversations with consumers about how we grow food,” said Bill Zurn, farmer from Callaway, Minn., and chair of Minnesota Soybean’s new uses team. “And we can’t wait for people to come to us to have those conversations. That’s why we decided to host this food donation program at the university and engage with students where they already are—on campus and online. And even better, we can work with them side-by-side to help end hunger.”
By taking just five minutes, the students play a vital role in ending hunger in Minnesota. They take a photo in front of backdrop designed to look like a soybean field, and share the moment to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #5MinuteFarmer. Through the partnership with Second Harvest Heartland, every picture tagged from the event with #5MinuteFarmer will feed five families.
“Farmers play a vital role in ending hunger in Minnesota by working passionately to produce safe, nutritious food for our communities,” said Rob Zeaske, chief executive officer of Second Harvest Heartland. “We are pleased to join forces with Minnesota soybean farmers to fill the plates of more than 25,000 Minnesota families in need through the Five-Minute Farmer program.”
The donation from Minnesota Soybean will be used by Second Harvest to purchase pork, poultry, beef and dairy products. The food will then be distributed across Second Harvest’s extensive network of food banks in both rural and urban Minnesota communities. The biggest use of soybeans is feed for animals, giving soybean farmers a chance to help families in need as well as their number one customer.
Second Harvest Heartland is one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative food banks. In 2012, we delivered more than 60 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries and other agency partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Second Harvest Heartland helps relieve hunger not only by sourcing, warehousing and distributing food, but through data-driven thought leadership and community partnerships that help improve the region’s larger hunger relief system. For more information, visit 2harvest.org or call 651-484-5117.
The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council is an elected board of 15 soybean producers from across the state. The mission of the council is to invest soybean checkoff dollars in well-defined research, marketing, education and commercialization programs designed to increase demand and thereby improve the profitability of Minnesota’s soybean farmers. For more information, visit www.mnsoybean.org.