We hunt high and low for good deeds. It's the culmination of all of our work here locally or an outreach we're passionate about that defines us as a community and while we're not "perfect' there is a LOT more good that goes on in Muskegon and throughout Michigan that needs to be celebrated, and when we can, we shine a light on that as quick as we can.
Following the progress on social media for a while, a friend of mine Allen Bonthuis who's with the Muskegon County Farm Bureau among many other things, has been posting some pretty amazing pictures of some John Deere's and while you might take the boy out of Sparta, you ain't taking away a keen eye for a really nice John Deere. These tractors are a little past their prime for larger farms in the USA, however, they are idea for emerging countries who up until now are still making use of hand plows with maybe the assistance of animals to cultivate enormous amounts of land to feed an ever growing population. What a lit of people don't know is that the vastness of the land in Africa compared to how it's used to raise food is a pretty sharp contrast. To help make best use of this land and expand the amount of agricultural output....well, that's where these groups of Michigan farmers come in.
At the first organizational meeting, John Deere number one was donated. Then came the second two along with mechanical overhauls as well as the body work to make them look brand new. Other equipment was brought in, some was sold to help with costs, some may very well be in the shipping container heading to Africa which will be up to a 6 month journey. Once arrived, there will be everything needed to help the local farmers with the equipment and best practices to cultivate and harvest. This has been established with chicken farming already and as they work toward crops, the potential is life changing for everyone this touches. This is happening through Heartland Cropping and Ebenezer Africa.
Multiple trips have been taken in advance to help understand the people, culture and needs. Multiple trips will continue as well and the experience for both ends of this project is truly immense. We can help people with our knowledge of farming, and we can learn too that everything we take for granted, someone in the world desperately needs. This is simply amazing giving of the highest magnitude.
Can you imagine the impact that's coming? Generosity. Compassion and the desire for a better world has brought so many people together to help find a solution. What we can give be it a beautiful John Deere, some time, som knowledge or even just some attention to the project is what makes the world a better place and it's the kind of change that's lasting. Our many thanks to Allen for finding a parking spot in his busy day to share what's going on and if you'd like to help there are a number of ways. Allen has offered his number directly 616-437-2366. You can send a donation to their headquarters at First Fruits Initiative, c/o OXFORD Partners 2900 Charlevoix Dr SE - 160 Grand Rapids, MI 49546. You can also donate to the project through First Fruits website linked below, but they ask that you put "Cropping" in the comment section so you can be assured your donation goes directly to this incredible program.