The following is an excerpt from the Kentucky Dairy Development Council‘s newsletter that provided an overview of the efforts, led by Rockingham Cooperative, to send Virginia sourced agricultural products to the rural areas of Kentucky following the devastating tornadoes that occurred in the early days of December.

The following excerpt was written by Dave Roberts, a KDDC employee, and partner in The Farm Ministry:

“Three years ago, Executive Director Maury Cox read an article in the Lancaster Farmer about (Wayne) Martin’s story of economic hope. Soon after KDDC consultant Jennifer Hickerson organized a meeting at Blue Licks State Park which started a relationship between Kentucky Dairy Development Council, Kentucky dairy producers, and the Farm Ministry of Harrisonburg, Virginia. The focus was to help dairy producers that were struggling financially to create a plan that would give them hope of financial success…

The relationship and Ministry of Hope took a new turn after the deadly tornados that ripped through massive parts of Kentucky on December 10th. On Tuesday, December 14th Keith Turner texted me saying Virginia had help on the way to Kentucky. A few days later Keith called to ask if the KDDC could handle the logistics and distribution. The Rockingham Cooperative Board of Directors, at the request of Jay Etzler, voted to donate $20,000 for the Cheese Ministry to benefit those in need in Kentucky. The $20,000 purchased 5,000 lbs. of cheese from Country View Creamery and made it available for distribution to families in need and to help feed clean-up and work crews that have traveled to the area. That money will help in several ways. It’s using local milk to make cheese in our local cheese house to feed local families in need. Keith Turner said, “We’re supplying cheese that comes from cows in Kentucky, while also supporting local dairymen that were in the tornado’s path. That is in addition to the contributions made from across several agricultural industries in Virginia sending Virginia-made products to support our fellow farmers – in the true spirit of the Farm Ministry’s core principle – people helping people.”


The full article can be read here, beginning on page 8 of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council’s newsletter, including a complete list of partners within Virginia, and around the country, that have contributed to The Farm Ministry’s efforts to send aid to rural Kentucky following the tornados on December 10th of 2021. We suggest you also read some of the other articles covering the recovery and rebuilding efforts and look through the photos shared which are eye-opening to the devastation and the rebuild project in-store for those in the community.

The Farm Ministry is a non-profit organization officially endorsed by Rockingham Cooperative’s Board of Directors, which works to connect support the agricultural industry as well as those less fortunate in the communities we serve.

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