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,” Lentz said. “Homes and businesses 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.”
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,” Lentz said.
“Everywhere you looked was destruction and devastation,” he added. “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, Missouri, where we then merged onto Interstate 29,” Lentz said. “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.
“We were glad to help with what little bit we did, but Hamburg and the many other communities and families along the Missouri River all need continued support and prayers,” he said. “Thousands of acres of land, homes, and businesses remain underwater and will be for some time.”
Several individuals and businesses contributed to the efforts of the Edison State Agriculture Department, including Rowland Trucking of Greenville, which donated the use of 24’ Box Truck to haul the donations; Jeff and Teresa Beanblossom and Union City Country Club, who sponsored 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, who provided immeasurable hospitality; Dan Subler, of Maria Stein, who volunteered 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; and all of the Edison State agriculture students, who solicited donations and organized the effort; and the staff of Edison State, which organized donations and answered phone calls.
Monetary and/or supply donations were made by 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.
Organizations who collected donations included 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.