One Sweet Idea

This Corn Patch Feeds Local Community

Gregg Hillyer
By  Gregg Hillyer , Progressive Farmer Editor-in-Chief
Farmer Nick Allen donates sweet corn for Troy, Missouri, FFA Chapter members to distribute to nursing homes and food pantries. Allen is shown here with (left to right) Jacob Love, Emilee Harris, Grace Rhodes, Kelsey Sachs and Lexi Collins. (Photo by Gregg Hillyer)

HAWK POINT, Mo. (DTN) -- Nick Allen sure knows how to make sweet corn taste even sweeter.

For several years, the Hawk Point, Missouri, farmer has raised a 1/2 to 3/4 acre patch of sweet corn. Allen's son, Kyle, purchases the seed and fertilizer, and local FFA alum, Adam Leek, plants the crop. Members of the Troy FFA Chapter harvest the crop, shuck and clean it, then donate the fresh, tasty treat to Lincoln County nursing homes and food pantries.

This month, DTN and Progressive Farmer launched a new initiative called "Homegrown Hope" to both recognize volunteer efforts and share ideas that might benefit other communities.

Allen is a prime example of someone who doesn't seek the spotlight, but in his own way is making a difference in his community. "It's something I just like to do," he said, matter-of-factly, quickly brushing away any attention to himself.

"The people who receive the sweet corn love it, and the FFA kids learn important life lessons," he noted.

Growing hope doesn't get much sweeter.

To read more about our "Homegrown Hope" project and find more information on other farmers volunteering time and talents read "Pay It Forward: Healing Comes When You Give From The Heart"…

Gregg Hillyer can be reached at

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Gregg Hillyer