You are empowered to lend a hand

Credits and debits. Vanilla and chocolate. Summer and winter. Like it or not, each pro has a con. This means, although sustainability is stacked against our small rural communities, there is a shield that offers survival. Volunteerism. It is the glue that binds our compassion and solidarity. A powerful aspiration that not only acts as the backbone to unify strength, but a way of life that makes these local heroes super.

Zachary Stuckey
Zachary Stuckey

It is amazing. My community has fewer than 1,500 residents. I am certain without volunteers the clock would stop. The bell would never ring and fires would never be put out.

Between 4-H leaders, recreation commission, co-op, fire department, hospital, school, churches, fundraising efforts, and many others there are hundreds of folks that offer their time and skills for the benefit of their community. Not to mention all the times we help our neighbors when their cows are out or machinery breaks down. The beautiful part about it, my town is just one of thousands of others like it throughout the High Plains region. It is pretty special.

Much like you, High Plains Journal has recognized the essential nature to community-based volunteerism. After all, most of our staff live in rural communities and have farming or ranching families. It is important to recognize the future of agriculture depends on all of us to help preserve the legacy and, at the same time, provide opportunity for the next generation of producers. To help illustrate our commitment, HPJ will donate 25% of all subscription revenue from October 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022, to our partners Farm Rescue and your state Agriculture in the Classroom. Information is available at

Although different, both organizations value our industry and its impact on rural communities. Please take a moment to learn about them and why they believe agriculture has a direct influence on quality of life. They have inspired diverse programs and outlined several opportunities for how we can help.

Farm Rescue supports many volunteer services, especially in the field operating farm equipment. Currently, they need volunteers who can operate tractors, planters, grain carts, combines and semis. Visit to learn more and to complete a volunteer form.

Agriculture in the Classroom and their volunteer needs vary by chapter. Needs range from host farms for field trips, volunteers to help run chapter-sponsored events, or to read ag-focused books in classrooms. Contact your local chapter at to learn more.

For most of us, days are short and the chore list is long. No doubt our time is precious. It is the one gift above all that can mean the most to people. You are empowered. By volunteering your time, it can be the fuel that helps your community not just survive but thrive. Put on your cape and be an agriculture hero!

Zac Stuckey can be reached at 620-227-1833 or [email protected].