State farm associations understand how important ag retail stations are to farmers during spring planting season and they have purchased and donated locally made hand sanitizer to prove it.
Hand sanitizer began rolling off the assembly line at Marquis Energy in Hennepin, IL this past week and will be distributed throughout the state. The sanitizer comes as COVID-19 cases are starting to increase in rural parts of America.
Mark Wilson, Illinois Corn Marketing Board member, went to the Marquis Energy plant and tried out the product firsthand. Illinois Soybean Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Board decided to partner together to help their farmers who depend on ag retailers.
(picture of mark Wilson)
“I thought it was important to help the community during this crisis. It made the most sense to purchase products made right here in Illinois and distribute them across the state. Logistics was the trickiest part,” Rodney Weinzierl, director of Illinois Corn, said.
Evergreen FS and WinField United provided the key component of logistics to this project as well as many other ag retailers who helped deliver or pick up cases of sanitizer. The response on social media has been overwhelmingly supportive and it makes us proud to be a part of the Illinois agriculture community.
In Bloomington, IL cases of gallon jugs of sanitizer were sorted and distributed at FS Farmtown all while maintaining safe distance guidelines. Ag retailers who are in usually in business competition put aside their differences to help distribute the product. It is not every day you see a Nutrien truck at an FS location.
The threat of COVID-19 in the Illinois ag industry during the planting season is considerable. If ag retailers and farm implement dealers, their workers or management test positive for the virus, locations could be shut down. This leaves Illinois farmers potentially without access to fertilizer and customer applicators, equipment parts or experts for maintenance, seed and seed expertise, and more.
Please continue to practice physical distancing while completing needed tasks to keep your businesses running. It has been exciting to see the Illinois ag industry come together during this unusual time and like many of you I am looking forward to the day where we can gather together in person again.