W. MI farmers respond to Midwest floods

Allegan County

HOPKINS, Mich. (WOOD) — Farmers are a unique breed. They rely on each other for help, even when the farmer in need is several states away.

Such is the case with the Midwest farms devastated by flooding along the Missouri River and portions of the Mississippi River.

“Record flooding. Basically apocalyptic flooding, from what we’re hearing,” said Todd Brink of Brink Show Cattle in Caledonia. “Whole herd of cattle washed away. Feed, houses, buildings… they’ve lost their whole lives. Some of them have lost their houses, their farm shops. Everything they’ve ever worked for.”

The results are wreaking havoc on the farms, and could show up on your grocery bill down the road.

But Brink and dozens of other farmers from West Michigan, and elsewhere, are answering the call for help.

It’s not the first time.

After devastating wild fires hit the Great Plains in 2017, West Michigan farmers were part of the effort that brought convoy after convoy of relief to farmers in those states.

“We don’t tend to wait for the government in our business. You can’t. It’s kind of a see-something-happen-you’ve-got-to-react kind of business that we’re in,” Brink said.

A blizzard and the melting snowpack are both contributing to the problems.

The Missouri River, swollen by all the spring runoff, has stripped top soil off land that farmers were planning to seed in the coming weeks.

Grain and other production from last fall’s harvest sits in flood-soaked silos. Feed is scarce.

“We’re looking for hay donations. Several trucking companies have stepped up already and said ‘We got trucks,’” Brink said.

You can find more needed items by visiting the Farm and Rancher aid from West Michigan Facebook page. They’re asking the public for help on this fundraiser.

“It takes the least amount of your paycheck to put food on your table in our country that any other country in the world, because America’s farmers are so efficient at what they do,” Brinks said.

The following drop-off sites have been established:

Automatic Transmission Clinic
2706 Portage St., Kalamazoo
7:30 am to 5:00pm, Mon-Fri
269.345.6162

Browns Hay and Grain
26366 M-40, Gobles
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday – Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
(269) 998-5554

Hopkins FFA Barn
333 Clark St., Hopkins
269.806.2727

Jeff Gouker Farm
1619 119th Ave., Allegan
616.291.3870

Leighton Farms
2945 4th St., Shelbyville
616.284.7292

Morren Brothers Ag Service
4670 142nd Ave., Holland
269.751.6511

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