Ag Community Relief is proud to provide scholarships to deserving individuals and groups who embody our mission.
Thank you to Milnes Auto Group for partnering with us on our first ever truck raffle. Proceeds from the Truck Raffle go into our scholarship program. Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket to help support our scholarship.
Also a big thank you to Family Farm and Home for their donation to our scholarship fund.
Avianna Jackson was our first winner. Avi is looking forward to heading to Lansing Community College this Fall where she will study Animal Science. We wish you the best of luck and appreciate your help giving back within the ag community.
Will Sharrard was our other winner and he will be attending the a University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will pursue a degree in dairy and has plans to come back to his family’s dairy farm in Peck, MI
Affton Schlochtermeir and the 4 Leaf Clover 4-H Club from Meade, Kansas
Affton Schlochtermeier is a member of the 4 Leaf Clovers 4-H Club in Meade. When her family decided to help out with the orphan calf project, she had no idea the work load that was about to happen. Trailer after trailer of calves showed up at her families home. She was part of the initial handling of the calves that received any necessary medications or care and one bottle of milk. After deciding if the calves were well enough, they either stayed to receive more care, or were passed along to another 4-H family to care for. Affton’s home was one of the two primary locations for drop points for the calves. Anyone involved with the project understands this is quite the undertaking. Before the fire, some of us would have considered Affton a private person that was always willing to help where needed, but never wanted to be in the spot light. Week after week, Affton helped receive donations from strangers, welcoming them into her home and facilities. Donations were organized and then reorganized, time after time. Then families that received the calves, would stop by to pick up the supplies they needed to care for the calves. Affton also was one of the primary 4-H faces with the Media. Being on of the oldest 4-H members to help with the project, she was an ‘easy’ target, but easily one of the best to be chose also. Affton’s composure throughout this project has been something that not only the younger 4-Her’s have looked up to but also many adults.
When the 2017 Starbuck fire broke out, the 4-Leaf Clover 4-H club began messaging one another as a group knowing that they needed to do something to help. One of the members whose family was affected by the fire, suggested that they begin taking in baby calves orphaned by the merciless fires. – It only took a short time after a group email to know that the club had enough support to see the project through.
Needless to say, this project blew up much bigger than ever imagined. A couple of families from the 4 Leaf Clover 4-H club took the driver’s seat, getting calves picked up, organizing caretakers, and taking in supplies. The number of calves needing to be placed grew rapidly. Fortunately, the club itself had 8 families that offered to take calves in, and then reached out to other volunteers to help care for 100 baby calves.
This group has been awesome to give up so much of their personal time to work with these babies to give them a normal life! When a new group of calves came in, 4-Hers gathered, to give shots, treat wounds, and to make sure they could get a bottle down the baby before it was re-homed. Sadly, tough decisions had to be made on some of the more severely burned animals. The club put forth every effort to keep all of the calves alive if it was humanely possible. That meant tubing 3 of the more burned babies 3 times a day for many days, until their jaws were healed enough to take a bottle. Some of the families had wounds or burns that they had to treat daily to prevent infection. The caretakers basically put their personal lives and livestock on the backburner for the first 2 months while the survival of these babies was critical.
To the public watching this club work together to help their neighbors the task seemed fun and cute. It wasn’t always that way, however. Most of these families already had a full morning of chores, without adding burn treatments, and bottle feedings, fighting lung issues from smoke inhalation, scours from stress, and other sickness. But they did it graciously, without complaints, and with a selfless heart, not for publicity or a big pat on the back, but because they are part of the bigger rural America, and as we have seen from across the country…..this is just what Rural America does.