Teerink: ‘This is one way I can give back’
Farm News staff writer
SIBLEY — A farmer, Darrell Teerink has participated in the Foods Resource Bank for the past five years. Each year, 15 acres of soybeans are planted with the sole purpose of aiding projects in Kenya.
It is a project that garners a lot of interest from his fellow church members. He has his whole church, Sibley Christian Reformed, standing behind him supporting him through offerings.
Designated offerings help pay for expenses in planting and harvesting his crop. Teerink keeps his church family updated with an annual summary.
Other contributors to the project have been the Hefty Seed Company of Sheldon and the Coop Elevator of Sibley and Ocheyedan. Donations included seed and some inputs.
Once the soybeans are harvested they are sold at the local elevator. The proceeds then go to the Foods Resource Bank where the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee is a member agency.
The money raised in church donations, and the check from the elevator, qualify for matching funds from the United States Agency for International Development. A faith-based initiative program President Bush began to oversee food aid to developing countries.
“Most recently, the money has been used to help farmers in Kenya,” said Teerink. “With this money, Kenyan producers purchased hybrid seed corn with improved genetics. It will help Kenyans grow enough food to feed themselves and their country.”
Interested in seeing more of the project, Nyamuhu Kabogo visited the Teerink farm last spring. Kabogo works as a program director with the in Nairobi. She was impressed with the size and type of operation of Iowa farms, Teerink said. In Kenya they are much smaller and more labor intensive.
“The Lord blesses us,” said Teerink. “This is one way I can give back.”
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