posted on Monday, July 13, 2020
It’s Christmas in July! As we continue our look back to the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation accomplishments in 2019, we must visit one of our favorite programs – Operation Christmas Meal!
Each November and December, we load up Black Beauty (our beautiful semi), break out Mr. and Mrs. Clause’s formal attire, and spread joy throughout our Homegrown Iowa communities where our employees live and work. We love spending time with our employees as they help distribute pork loins to people in their communities.
In 2019, we started off like we do each year with a big event at the State Fairgrounds. The early morning lineup stretches throughout the Fairgrounds, and this year we moved to a new location with beautiful green lights. Visiting us this year were Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Deputy Secretary Julie Kenney. We enjoyed having two fellow farmers on hand to help our fellow Iowans, and Mrs. Clause brought a special present for Secretary Naig from Santa. Turns out Oreos are his favorite treat!
After our big kick-off, we hit up 13 towns across rural Iowa to continue spreading joy. Last year, we repeated previous visits to Hampton, Humeston, Iowa Falls, Osage, Osceola, Parkersburg, Pocahontas, and Webster City. We also visited some new towns – Carroll, Eldora, Lenox, Mason City, and Storm Lake. Mason City was a huge hit, and we were able to help 2,000 Iowans at that one stop!
All told, we visited 14 different towns with Operation Christmas Meal and distributed 18,000 pork loins in 2019!
We hope everyone stays on Santa’s nice list this year so we can have Operation Christmas Meal (looking at you, Coronavirus!). Until then, happy Christmas in July!
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Ashley Dyer Heads Hooper Sow Farm Farrowing Department
As the farrowing department head, Ashley and her team of Selene, Vivian, Dolly, David, Zory, Hugo, Alonzo and Yulissa—to name a few—will receive the gestating sows within a day or two of farrowing, make them comfortable, monitor health and feed intake, and then assist with birthing.