PIQUA – Students in the Edison State Community College agriculture program recently took it upon themselves to help farmers and families who were devastated by flooding across the Midwest.
Students collected items such as first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, painting supplies, tools and building supplies, livestock supplies, and monetary donations. Donations were delivered to the small-town of Hamburg, Iowa, which is home to Edison State agriculture student, Kayla Seman.
“We left on our journey to Hamburg, Iowa, on Thursday, April 25, at 6 a.m. and we made it to Riverton, Iowa, at about 7 p.m.,” said Brad Lentz, Edison State Agriculture Program Director. “We unloaded the truck with the help of volunteers at the school, which was set-up like a general store with donations of all types.”
Later that day, the group of volunteers from Edison State visited downtown Hamburg to survey the damage.
“The water had just recently receded from the southern part of the town, which was virtually abandoned and looked like a war zone. Homes and business were gutted with all of their contents sitting out on the curb. Some of the buildings were underwater for nearly 50 days as flood waters reached as high as 12-feet,” said Lentz.
The volunteers spent the second day in Hamburg at a local Napa Auto Parts store cleaning display shelves and sprucing up the storefront.
“The shelves were caked with mud, making it a challenge to clean without running water or electricity,” added Lentz.
“Everywhere you looked was destruction and devastation. It will take months if not years for the town to return to normal. It is sad to say that many of the homes are not repairable and the families will most likely move out of the town. It was a humbling experience, to say the least.”
As they left for home, the volunteers witnessed the most eye-opening experience of their trip.
“We drove back through Hamburg and took a road south about 20 miles to the town of Rockport, Mo., where we then merged onto Interstate 29. We traveled on I-29 South for about 70 miles, and the whole time we could look to the west and see water that looked like an ocean, water that was not supposed to be there,” said Lentz.
The Edison State Agriculture Department wishes to thank the following individuals and businesses for their contribution to these efforts: Rowland Trucking of Greenville for donating the use of 24’ Box Truck to haul the donations. Jeff and Teresa Beanblossom and Union City Country Club for sponsoring the rental van to transport volunteers who assisted with the cleanup effort. The families of Chuck and Terri Ward and Charles and Rosemary Ward of Riverton, Iowa, for their hospitality. Dan Subler of Maria Stein for volunteering to drive the box truck to and from Iowa. Kayla Seman, Jen Knick, and Brad and Casey Lentz who served as members of the cleanup crew. All of the Edison State Agriculture students that solicited donations and organized the effort. The staff of Edison State that organized donations and answered phone calls.
Thanks to the following businesses and individuals that made monetary or supply donations: Ace Hardware-Greenville, Andersons Marathon Ethanol-Greenville, Ansonia Auto Parts, Ansonia FFA Alumni, Ansonia Lumber Company, Ashes to Beauty Salon, Brad and Casey Lentz, Bruns Animal Clinic, Carl Hunt Custom Butchering, Casey’s General Store, Darke County Vet, Dave Knapp Ford, Deb and Gene Niekamp, Family Health-Greenville, Farm Credit Service, Francis Furniture, Greenville Fire Department, Greenville National Bank, Grilliot Farms, Janice Michael, Jaylene Garbig, Jeanette Stark, Urban and Irene Gehret, Jen Knick, Jim and Jinny Hale, Keller Grain and Feed, Kenny and Sarah Edwards, Lori and Roy Seman, Lowell and Penny Kissinger, Mary and Greg Knick, Mary Jane Edwards, Matt Aultman, Patty’s IGA-Bradford, Pleasant Hill Marathon, Post 66, Premier Crop Insurance, Rhonda Rich, Roy and Kayla Seman, Jr., Rural King-Greenville, Scott Zumbrink, Tammy Tollefson, Teresa Miller, Treaty Mills, Tractor Supply Company-Greenville, Versailles Feed Mill, Werling Meats, Whistle Stop, and Winner Meats.
Thanks to the organizations who collected donations: Edison State Community College-Greenville and Piqua Campuses, Twin Valley South FFA, Ansonia FFA, Franklin Monroe FFA, Versailles FFA, Doug and Nicki Garke, and all Greenville Bank Branches.