Missouri agriculture donates 8,120 pounds of pork to Second Harvest Community Food Bank

second harvestThe Second Harvest Community Food Bank received a donation of more than 37,000 servings of ground pork from Missouri Farmers Care's Drive to Feed Kids yesterday. In partnership with the Missouri Pork Association, Missouri pig farmers donated 60 hogs for processing under the Pork Partnership providing much-needed, high-quality protein for hungry Missourians.The Second Harvest Community Food Bank received a donation of more than 37,000 servings of ground pork from Missouri Farmers Care's Drive to Feed Kids yesterday. In partnership with the Missouri Pork Association, Missouri pig farmers donated 60 hogs for processing under the Pork Partnership. Harrison Creek Farms and JBS assisted in the effort, including providing the hogs' transportation to Central Missouri Meat and Sausage in Fulton for processing. The donation consisted of 8,120 pounds of ground pork, providing much-needed, high-quality protein for hungry Missourians.

According to Feeding America, before COVID-19 more than 45,000 Missourians faced food insecurity in the 15-county region Second Harvest Community Food Bank serves. With increased unemployment and the challenges of this year, Feeding America projects that number has increased by 5.3% to 63,700 Missourians, including 20,870 children.

"This pork donation from Missouri Farmers Care will allow us to provide quality protein to those in need within our service area," said Second Harvest Communications Coordinator, Blake Haynes. "We are proud to partner with such a community driven organization."

The Missouri Farmers Care Drive to Feed Kids works to reduce food insecurity across Missouri, in partnership with Feeding Missouri and their network of food banks. Meanwhile, slowdowns driven by coronavirus among major pork processors strained the processing chain in May and June. The Drive to Feed Kids Pork Partnership bridges the gap between Missourians needing a hand up and pork producers who faced a reduction in processing availability.

"Since it launched in 2017, the Drive to Feed Kids has focused on addressing food insecurity in children across Missouri," said Don Nikodim, executive director of the Missouri Pork Association. "We're proud to see how our partners across agriculture have again stepped up to address the needs during these challenging times. Missouri agriculture has a track record of coming together to solve problems, and this is one way to help in today's tough situation. We thank pork producers who have donated their hogs so food banks can meet the needs of our neighbors facing hunger."

More than $100,000 has already been raised for the effort. Missouri's agricultural organizations and businesses, including Brownfield Ag News, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Soybean Association, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, American Family Insurance, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, founders of Protect the Harvest, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Paseo Biofuels, LLC, Biofuels, LLC, and many individuals have donated to cover processing and transportation costs in this partnership.

Since the initial pick up on May 26, 2020, the Pork Partnership has distributed a total of 44,410 pounds of ground pork statewide to Missouri's regional food banks. The program will continue to accept donations of hogs as processing space and funds are available. Pig farmers and meat processors can take part by contacting the Missouri Pork Association. Individuals and companies can donate funds to support the effort at MOFarmersCare.com/drive. Contributions will be recognized as part of the 2020 Drive to Feed Kids.

Through Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of more than 40 Missouri agricultural groups, the Drive to Feed Kids donated 4.3 million meals to hungry Missouri families in 2019. Feeding Missouri's six regional partner food banks distributed the food statewide. To learn more about Missouri Farmers Care and the 2020 Drive to Feed Kids, visit MOFarmersCare.com/drive.

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Make room for data

Yield monitors are standard options on many combines today, and yield-mapping data is important information for MFA’s precision agri­culture services. With harvest season near, University of Missouri Extension offers these tips for collecting yield data before combines hit the field.

  • Back up last year’s yield data.
  • Copy each season’s data to a unique folder.
  • Maintain several backup copies of the display/raw data in different locations to prevent losses from theft, damage or modification.
  • Delete old files from the memory card or USB drive. Clear display memory if storage capacity is low.
  • Check data cards or USB drives to make sure they work properly.
  • Contact your local dealer or manufacturer for the most recent software and firmware upgrades for your yield monitoring and mapping system, the display, GPS receiver and other components.
  • Check all cables, connections and sensors for wear or damage. Ensure that wiring and harness connections are tight.
  • Make sure moisture sensor units are clean and undamaged.
  • For combines with a mass flow sensor (usually at the top of the clean grain elevator), look for wear on the flow sensor’s impact or deflector plate. Replace the plate if worn or damaged.
  • Look for excessive wear on the grain elevator and missing or worn paddles.
  • Make sure the clean grain elevator chain is tightened to manufacturer specifications.
  • For combines with an optical sensor, ensure the clean grain elevator paddles are not rubbing against sensors.
  • If purchasing a new or used com­bine with an existing yield mon­itoring system, check for proper installation.
  • If using a grain cart with scales or a weigh wagon for yield monitor calibration loads, check that they give accurate data. Check weights against certified scales to ensure load estimates are within a few percentage points. Use the same scales throughout calibration.
  • To ensure your grain moisture meter’s accuracy, take it to a local grain elevator with a federally approved moisture meter. Com­pare estimates on grain samples with a wide range of moistures.
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Still time to be counted

In March, invitations to complete the 2020 Census began arriving across the United States. Maybe you filled out the questionnaire immediately and dropped it in the mail. Maybe you went online or called to provide the requested information. But maybe you have not yet responded.

If so, you’re not alone. In Missouri, the self-response rate to the census is 61.9%, according to Marilyn Sanders, regional director of the Chicago Regional Census Center. That means nearly 40% of the people in our state do not make the time to respond to the census. The good news is there’s still time to be counted. The self-response phase of the 2020 Census continues until Oct. 31.

“The census is now. The census is important. It informs decisions for the next 10 years. It’s an opportunity for each and every one of our voices to count,” Sanders said. “The data informs so many decisions. Most recently, it helped with distribution of funding based on population as a result of COVID-19 and the Cares Act.”

The census also helps government officials plan distribution of more than $675 billion in funding each year for hospitals, schools, roads, public works and many other programs, according to Sanders. By responding to the census, you can help make sure your community is well represented.

Additionally, the census is more easily accessible than ever before. You can respond online at census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by mail. Census-takers will also follow up with households that have not responded. This variety of options has grown extensively since the last census in 2010, providing an opportunity for even more people to respond, Sanders said.

About 5% of people in rural communities do not have mailable addresses, which means they receive their mail through post office box delivery instead of at home. Because of COVID-19, census employees paused delivery of question­naires to those addresses. However, the operation resumed in June, and all questionnaires should now have been delivered to those households.

“Now, the message is ‘Go online, respond by phone or fill the questionnaire out to complete the census,’” Sanders said. “It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s safe.”

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