Browsing Category: Program Updates

Farmers in North Dakota Find Hope in Every Harvest

Just like most farmers, Russell and Holly Edgar have experienced hardships. The Red River Flood of 1997 caused mass destruction to their land in North Dakota and they were unable to plant crops on half their farm for more than two years. They were forced to sell their equipment and rent out the farm that had been in their family since the 1800’s. But Russell knew that wasn’t the end for them.

“I started thinking about what it would take to build a dairy heifer-raising facility on our land,” Russell explains. “I would wake up some mornings with design ideas.”

In 2004, the Edgars started construction on a 3,000-head facility. Once up and running, they were able to work toward getting their land back.

“I felt like God was telling me that since he had helped us through that difficult time, it was our turn to do something for others,” Russell adds.

Russell spoke with a friend of his who worked with the grain donation program, producing food for Convoy of Hope. Bob and LeAnn Bachman explained the program to the Edgar family, who decided that pinto beans would be the best fit for the children Convoy of Hope serves.

“I decided to donate 20 acres of pinto beans to the feeding program,” Russell says. “I received tremendous favor and reached out to a local bean seed company who donated all the seeds for free.”

Since then, the Edgars continue to donate pinto beans and corn to Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Initiative serving countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and the Philippines. They are proof that there is hope in every harvest.

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Agriculture

Fighting Hunger through Agriculture in Nicaragua

Five years ago, Convoy of Hope launched our Agriculture Initiative to teach impoverished farmers how to grow more abundant, disease-free crops. Under the guidance of our own Dr. Jason Streubel, tens of thousands of farmers in four countries have been able to grow crops that now feed their families and produce an income when the extra harvest is sold at market.

For the last two years, Calixta Cruz has directed our Agriculture Initiative in Nicaragua. Because she came from an impoverished farming family herself, she loves teaching farmers — especially students — how to grow crops that thrive so their lives are changed for the better.

What kind of obstacles have you faced?

My father passed away when I was five years old so my brother had to work to support our family. My mom baked bread in the morning and my sister and I would help her make the bread and sell it after school. I graduated high school in 2007 and wanted to attend university, but I didn’t get a scholarship. I shared a room with six other students and worked hard my first year, then got a scholarship my second year. I graduated with the highest grades in my class. I want people to know that anything is possible.

What’s your favorite part of working for Convoy?

When I go to see the school gardens. Kids ask me to teach them about the garden and ask if they can help. Several students have gardens at home now, and they’ve shown their neighbors how to start gardens too. I like to remind the kids they have to fight for what they want and can’t let any obstacles get in their way.

What was your most memorable moment working at Convoy?

I was working with sixth graders at a school, and we were sifting through soil for our garden, taking out glass and stones. I noticed that the kids were laughing nonstop and realized they had put a dead mouse in the dirt where I was working and I grabbed it without even realizing it! It was so funny!

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

I love talking with my family and I spend a lot of time thinking about work and how to improve things for the people we serve. I also enjoy going to church, the movies and hanging out with friends.

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Agriculture / Staff Spotlight