Main Course Project

Brent Vorpagel, Feed Department Manager (507) 533-4222

I feel very blessed to work in agriculture and live in a rural community. It is hard to explain but the agricultural and rural community have deep roots in helping others out when there is a need. A prime example of this is the relationship between All American Co-op and Nutra Blend. Nutra Blend is a micro nutrient feed ingredient supplier that All American Co-op has worked with for many years. Four years ago, Nutra Blend started a philanthropic project called Drive to Feed. The early goals and purpose of the program were to drive the message of modern production agriculture and the efforts the industry is making to feed a growing world population. As their efforts grew, their focus also grew to include bringing awareness to childhood hunger. Currently 1 of 6 kids in the United States is food insecure. Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. As part of Nutra Blend’s efforts, they have partnered with their customers, including All American Co-op, to bring financial support to local backpack programs. Many school age children don’t have access to adequate food on the weekends or when school is not in session. To combat this many schools partner with churches and other organizations to provide backpacks with packaged food to school age children to take home on weekends and the summer months. Since Nutra Blend started the Drive to Feed Program they have helped our co-op donate $7,000 to backpack programs we choose right here in our local communities.

We are proud to continue our partnership with Nutra Blend as they enter a new phase of Drive to Feed called The Main Course Project. The Main Course Project is a program with the purpose of supplying food to insecure children with the high quality, animal-based proteins our farmers and ranchers produce. Through the Main Course Project we are now able to donate shelf-stable, ready to eat, meat sticks and shelf-stable, ready to drink 2% milk. Shelf-stable milk is made using Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization. UHT is a thermal process used to remove organisms from milk before putting it in the box. Micro-organisms are killed by heating the milk to 280 degrees for a very short period of time. Regular refrigerated milk is only heated to 180 degrees. The UHT milk is then packaged in a special Tetra Pak aseptic container, sealing in the natural goodness of milk for many months with NO preservatives. I am excited to share with you that over the next few months Nutra Blend will be donating over $2,500 worth of shelf-stable meat sticks and shelf-stable milk to All American Co-op for us to distribute to local backpack programs in our communities. This is yet another example why I am proud to work in agriculture and live in a rural community.

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