Imagine working sunup to sundown as a farmer. You’re exhausted from harvesting season, but then on top of your own crop for your business, you’re growing an additional five acres of food to donate to those in need. This is the life of Mike and Ken Richmond and their families.
Primarily soy bean and sugar beet farmers, Richmond Brothers Fabricating of Pigeon has been, for 10 years, planting additional sweet corn crop specifically for Hidden Harvest in order to help feed the people of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Along with family and local volunteers, they also sort and prepare the crop for distribution. Farm Bureau of Michigan provides the seeds each year.
“The number of hours they give is amazing, and we are so grateful for them,” said Samantha McKenzie, director of Hidden Harvest. “This year, with the challenges we have faced during COVID with food shortages, it was a relief knowing we had a reliable source. We are so fortunate that this program could continue.”
It is able to continue with the purchase of a used corn puller to replace a 100-year-old, borrowed piece of equipment that will no longer work. Because corn is not part of the brothers’ farming business, this equipment was not readily available. Earlier this year, Bay Area Community Foundation provided $10,000 from the Community Initiative and Bay County Healthy Youth/Healthy Seniors funds that alongside funding from other local partners would allow Hidden Harvest to purchase the harvester.
Because the new equipment is much more efficient, the same acreage was able to provide a greater harvest this year. The Richmond brothers were also gracious in stepping up to plant additional crops to meet the increased need. In 2020, this program has provided 15,000 pounds of food (nearly double the amount from 2019) to Bay County residents, especially those effected by the pandemic. In times of great need, great people show up.
The Richmond brothers are being bold, not just once as they stepped forward with this great service, but each and every year as they provide for our community.
2020 is the year to be bold. To offer inspiration on acts of boldness, we are sharing stories all year of those in the Bay Area who have taken action . . . of those who have dared to make a difference . . . and of those who took a risk. Know someone like this? Use our quick form to let us know so we can share their story.