Engaging in local activities is one way GreenStone gives back to places where we work and live. Our employees carry out our passion for community engagement through a variety of activities both as GreenStone representatives and as volunteers – we are pleased to tell their stories here. Watch for upcoming stories of how our employees give back in our Open Fields blog!
Summer means spending time with friends, family and neighbors, cookouts, and of course, wheat harvest. For community members in Gratiot County, what follows wheat harvest is a much anticipated tradition continued for over 40 years; Rural Urban Day. This event takes place at the Alma Fairgrounds and serves as a way for community members from both rural and urban areas of Gratiot County to spend time getting to know each other while enjoying a meal using many of the agricultural commodities grown in Gratiot County.
“My favorite part of the event is seeing so many people at one joyful, community-centered gathering. I love catching up with and visiting with many neighbors and friends. There are always lots of activities for the kids as well,” said Jennifer Whitford, vice president of lending in GreenStone’s Alma branch.
Jennifer serves as the co-chairperson on the Rural Urban Day committee, as well as the event’s food coordinator.
The children enjoy a petting zoo and clowns, while many of the adults look forward to the awards presentation. Each year, one Farm Family of the Year and one Farm Business of the Year are selected by the winners of the previous year and are given a special award for their community involvement efforts and sound farming practices. This year, the Strong-Kellogg Homestead Farm received the 2018 Farm Family of the Year award, and Pavlik Auction and Real Estate received the 2018 Farm Business of the Year award.
Along with the fun and fellowship, the funds raised through the event ticket sales are donated to the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce, where they will be used to fund local festivals and outreach programs. The official total amount raised will be announced in a few weeks, but the Chamber president expects the event raised around $7,000.
“The guests always love the meal and being a part of the awards presentation,” Jennifer said. “It really is a celebration of the impact the agricultural community has in Gratiot County.”