FFA members and agriculture students at Marshall High School wanted to help their local community during these challenging times. They decided providing nutritious food for the community was one of the best ways to lend a hand, and Vita Plus employee owners were happy to support the effort by contributing $1,000 to purchase dairy and pork products.

This contribution is part of the Vita Plus Serving Customers & Rural Communities Project. Vita Plus, an employee-owned livestock feed and nutrition company, has committed $100,000 to support rural food security initiatives throughout the upper Midwest. The purposes of the project are to assist those in rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic while also supporting dairy, swine, and beef producers by purchasing their products as dairy and livestock farms face subsequent market challenges. Through this broad-based effort, local Vita Plus nutrition consultants and facilities will identify opportunities to make a difference in the communities where they and their customers live and work.

Rod Wautlet and Tim Hardyman with Agri-Business Consultants, LLC, a Vita Plus company, were glad they could partner with Marshall FFA to put their portion of the funds to work. The FFA chapter will use the money to purchase dairy and pork products from local processors, and the food will be distributed to families via the school’s meal program.

“Marshall FFA members are closely connected with the farming community,” Wautlet said. “We see them learning, building their leadership skills and developing into the next generation of leaders in our industry.”

Paula Bakken, Marshall FFA advisor and agriculture instructor, said she sees her students learning a lot through this experience.

“They’re seeing that agriculture is all around us when we purchase these products locally,” she said. “They’re also learning that every little bit helps. Every meal we can provide to someone is a meal they might not have had otherwise.”

“It’s easy to think one contribution is insignificant,” Hardyman said, “but when we all step up to help, the impact can be tremendous. We hope others will step up to support our local communities and farmers. We can make a difference.”

Agri-Business Consultants, LLC is part of Vita Plus Corporation, an employee-owned company headquartered in Madison. Vita Plus has served livestock producers since 1948. More than just a feed supplier, Vita Plus consultants offer the latest cutting-edge technology, nutrition and management information. For more information about the organization, call 800-362-8334 or go online at www.vitaplus.com.

Marshall FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.

The FFA mission states, “FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

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