Land O'Lakes Foundation Nearly Triples Community Garden Program

Program Plans to Donate 100,000 Servings of Fresh Produce to Food Shelves

Jun 14, 2012, 15:00 ET from Land O’Lakes

SAINT PAUL, Minn., June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Land O'Lakes Foundation plans to nearly triple the amount of fresh produce and number of gardens grown by students through its Answer Plot® Community Garden Program and donated to food shelves this summer.

Last year, program participants donated 39,000 servings of fresh produce to food shelves across the country; in 2012 they plan to donate 100,000 servings of fresh produce. Started in 2011 with six gardens, the Answer Plot® Community Garden program increased the number of gardens to 17 this year. The Answer Plot® Community Gardens are designed to help students learn about agriculture and provide fresh produce to food shelves in communities near the gardens.

The Land O'Lakes Answer Plot® Community Garden Program, in partnership with co-ops around the country, FFA chapters and Land O'Lakes WinField Solutions agronomists, was created as part of Land O'Lakes Foundation's Feeding Our Communities initiative. Introduced in 2010 to increase the amount of product donated to food banks across the country, the program is dedicated to alleviating hunger locally, nationally and internationally.

"Hunger continues to be a significant concern in rural communities today given the challenging economic climate, and we're eager to combine Land O'Lakes' ongoing commitment to fighting hunger with the expertise of our Answer Plot® professionals," said Lydia Botham, executive director of the Land O'Lakes Foundation. "The growth of the Community Gardens Program will help feed more hungry families, engage more Land O'Lakes members in feeding communities and give more young people the opportunity to learn about farming."

The 2012 Answer Plot® Community Gardens are located in Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. To help each location get its garden started, the Land O'Lakes Foundation gave each FFA chapter a $1,200 grant and a toolkit to assist with its plot with support from WinField Agronomists and local cooperatives.

Local Answer Plots® are "growing plots" dedicated to demonstrating agricultural technologies that lead to improved production within a targeted region. By bringing together farmers and WinField Solutions' highly trained field experts, farmers see firsthand how making the right agricultural choices can benefit production, profit potential and the environment.

"For the second year, we're proud to build on the success of our Answer Plot® program and partner with local FFA chapters and co-ops to plant healthy produce to feed hungry families in local communities," said Kevin Eye, director for Answer Plot® & Agronomy-Seed Services. "This program also provides us with a great opportunity to reach out and share our agronomy expertise with students who may become our future farmers."

Students from the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture in Vadnais Heights will grow an Answer Plot® Community Garden Program at the Land O'Lakes Corporate Offices in Arden Hills for the second consecutive year.

"We chose to participate in the Land O'Lakes Giving Garden for the second year because it benefits our students, school and community," said Jordan Pollock, agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture in Vadnais Heights. "Working with Land O'Lakes benefits our school by strengthening our relationship with one of the industry leaders in agriculture. There are many benefits to our students and school. But the most valuable benefit is donating to our local food shelf, which benefits our neighbors in need."

Find more information and the location-specific updates all summer by visiting the Answer Plot® Community Garden page at

Also watch for updates on Facebook at

The Land O'Lakes Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in communities where the cooperative has members, employees, plants and facilities. The Foundation helps rural communities prosper and prepare for tomorrow by donating resources that develop and strengthen organizations dedicated to hunger and human services, education and youth, civic activities and the arts.

Land O'Lakes, Inc. ( is a national, farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative with annual sales of $13 billion and is listed as 210 on the Fortune 500 list. Land O'Lakes does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. It is a leading marketer of a full line of dairy-based consumer, foodservice and food ingredient products across the United States; serves its international customers with a variety of food and animal feed ingredients; and provides farmers and ranchers with an extensive line of agricultural supplies (feed, seed, and crop protection products) and services. Land O'Lakes also provides agricultural assistance and technical training in more than 25 developing nations.

Community Garden Locations and Partners


Member Cooperative

FFA Chapter

Vincent, IA                    

Key Co-Op

Gilbert FFA

Jerome, ID

Valley Co-op

Wendell FFA

Pana, IL

Effingham Equity

Pana FFA Chapter

Crawfordsville, IN

Ceres Solutions

Lafayette, IN

Ceres Solutions

William Henry Harrison

Colby, KS

Colby FFA

Wamengo, KS

Farmers Cooperative Association of Manhattan, KS

Wamengo FFA

Land O'Lakes Corporate Giving Garden, Arden Hills, MN

Land O'Lakes Corporate Offices

Twin Cities Chapter; Academy for Sciences and Agriculture

Truman, MN

Wantonwan Farm Service

Truman FFA

Ulen, MN

West Central Ag

Ulen-Hitterdal FFA

Nettleson, MS

Argo Distribution

Nettleton FFA

Pawnee City, NE

Southeast Co-op

Pawnee City FFA

York, NE

United Farmer Co-op

York FFA

Harvey, ND


Harvey FFA

East Clinton, OH


East Clinton FFA

Garretson, SD

Eastern Farmers Co-op

Garretson, SD

West Salem, WI

West Salem Co-op

Bangor FFA

SOURCE Land O’Lakes