U.S. Agriculture Aids in Haitian Relief

January 24, 2010 06:00 PM

Rachel Duff, AgWeb Contributing Editor

The U.S. agricultural industries are finding their place in the Haiti disaster. Companies from all sectors are contributing money, services or food to aid the country in its rebuilding. Volunteers and equipment have made their way into the country to help in any way.
On the livestock front, the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Foundation joined the Animal Relief Coalition of Haiti and will provide monetary donations to care for Haiti's livestock. These associations are also ready to organize specific vet supply donations for the care of animals. Animal rescue teams are on the ground in Haiti to provide rescue and vet care as well as longer-term vaccinations to prevent disease outbreak, according to the AVMA and AVMF Web sites. Dairy Farmers of America donated 4,500 cases of Sport Shake, a protein shake made from dairy products, to relief efforts through Convoy of Hope. The DFA Cares Foundation will also make a monetary contribution, according to the DFA Web site. Pfizer Animal Health Company is making a cash donation with employee-matching. It is also working with partners to assess which products are needed most in Haiti, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Web site.
Food contributions have been a huge part of the donation process for U.S. agriculture. Archer Daniels Midland donated 700 tons of rice, or 12 million servings, to Friends of the World Food Program and will match donations made by its employees to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. Cargill donated $50,000 to CARE and the World Food Program as well as packaging 50,000 meals over the next month for earthquake survivors. ConAgra Foods Foundation donated $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund for Haiti. General Mills gave $250,000: $100,000 to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund and $150,000 to CARE. Hormel Foods is matching employee donations up to $25,000, with donations going to the Red Cross. The Kellogg Company gave $250,000 to the American Red Cross, and Kraft Foods gave $25,000. McDonald's Corp. donated $500,000 to the Red Cross; Arcos Dorados, a McDonald's franchisee that operates 1,700 restaurants in Latin America, will also donate $500,000. McDonald's restaurants will also donate 50 cents from each Big Mac sold. Peanut Labs will donate 10% of all profits generated from new and existing client sales through the month of February to the American Red Cross Haiti earthquake relief effort. Nestle donated $1 million worth of bottled water, and Nestle USA will donate $30,000 to the American Red Cross. Nestle Purina Pet Care Company is matching the donations of Nestle Purina Associates to the American Red Cross, dollar-for-dollar, up to the amount of $25,000, and Nestle Nutrition is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross. Anheuser-Busch donated 1 million cans of water; matching donations made by North American employees and its network of U.S. wholesalers to the American and Canadian Red Cross organizations, totaling $300,000. The National Milk Producer Federation and Cooperatives Working Together donated $100,000 to the Red Cross. Tyson Fresh Meats is matching employee donations up to $100,000 and will donate that to the Salvation Army, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Web site.

The U.S. Agency for International Development sent 14,550 tons of food aid from the Title II prepositioned stocks in Jacinto, Texas, containing 7,000 tons of rice, 4,550 tons of corn soy blend and 3,000 tons of vegetable oil. The wheat industry is looking into donating wheat, flour, technical assistance or cash. The Western United Dairymen wrote a letter to the USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, asking him to include surplus dairy products among the food supplies sent to Haiti. Bunge Limited sent $100,000 to the U.N. World Food Program, according to its Web site.  
Chemical and seed companies, along with many others, are also contributing to Haiti relief. Monsanto donated $50,000 to the Red Cross. Mosaic donated a total of $500,000, giving $125,000 each to the American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross, International Red Cross and the American Refugee Committee. Dow Chemical Company is giving $500,000 to the American Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund and matching employee donations up to $250,000 to benefit the World Food Program and CARE. DuPont donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief & Development Fund, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Web site.
Equipment aid has been a big help in clearing the area for Haiti. Caterpillar donated $200,000 to International Red Cross and Red Crescent relief efforts and is matching employee, retiree and dealer donations up to $100,000. JCB donated diggers and other construction equipment valued at $163,000, and John Deere Foundation has given $250,000 toward aid recovery efforts in Haiti. CNH is sending available excavators, wheel loaders and other heavy construction equipment to Haiti as well as $50,000 as a company donation and an employee match to $100,000, according to its Web site. 
Each sector of the U.S. agricultural industry has done its part in aiding Haiti during this time.

You can e-mail Rachel Duff at rduff@farmjournal.com

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