In early November, 11 farmer volunteers gathered to harvest 40 acres for an eastern Iowa project called Hearts to Harvest. The project is a combined effort from eight farm families and members of St. Ann’s and Faith Lutheran churches in northern Scott County.

“We’ve been doing this for 17 years,” says Bob Braden, Hearts to Harvest volunteer. “We partner with Growing Hope Globally to support projects and charities in third world countries that teach people how to grow food and feed themselves.”

Hearts to Harvest farmer participants provide labor, fuel, machinery, transportation, management and marketing. Crop inputs like seed, fertilizer and chemicals are donated by local businesses, including Liqui-Grow, River Valley Coop, Wyffels Hybrids, Brevant and Bayer. 

“Hearts to Harvest has changed the way we think and respond to world hunger,” says Dave Boeding, Wyffels seed representative and farmer. “Our philosophy is not just to provide them with food, but provide them with the means to grow their own food.” 

Proceeds from this year’s harvest will fund a project in Nicaragua to educate local farmers how to rotate and diversify their crops and build soil health. “This will improve the yields and incomes in order to better support their families,” Boeding says.

To date, Hearts to Harvest has donated more than $400,000 to global hunger project organizations and impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people in Africa, India, Bosnia, Central America and others.

“It’s such a worthwhile project,” Boeding says. “Being able to help less fortunate people feed themselves. It’s so rewarding to think about how a few farmers have helped thousands of people.”  

For more information on Hearts to Harvest, contact Bob Braden at 563-320-2061 or Sarah VanDeWalle at 563-508-1183. More information is available at