NeCGA and Pork Producers
Blood Drive Information:
Norfolk - August 14
American Red Cross
2612 Norfolk Ave.
Columbus - August 15
American Red Cross
2905 23rd St.
Grand Island - August 31
212 E. Fonner Park Road
For More Information:
The American Red Cross is still calling for more blood donors as the nation's blood supply had dropped to emergency levels, and now Nebraska ag groups are pitching in to help out.
For farmers like Curt Friesen giving life by growing food isn't a new concept.
But this summer Nebraska Corn Growers and Pork Producers have gotten together to give life by giving blood.
"We partnered with the Red Cross last year and tried to raise funds for the tsunami relief in Japan and we worked together so well with the Red Cross and together it kind of grew into this," says Friesen. "We wondered what else there was that we could do with them."
Red Cross officials say one of their greatest needs right now is donors.
"Agriculture is the life blood of Nebraska and these guys wanted to get involved and help support the blood supply," says April Oppliger, American Red Cross spokesperson. "It couldn't have come at a better time, especially with the recent decline of blood donations."
The Red Cross put out an emergency call for donors in late June, and officials say more drives and awareness have helped.
"While we have seen a rebound in blood donations, we've seen about a 30% uptick from what we had expected, we still need donations at this time, so there is still the emergency need," says Oppliger.
With only three out of every 100 people in America donating, the Red Cross says having groups like the Corn Growers and Pork Producers team up is a big benefit.
"There is a shortage of blood and typically summer is really a hard time to get enough donors, but it's just something that I guess farmers can give back to their community a little bit, this provides us that opportunity," says Friesen.
The Red Cross says that while the need for blood stays constant throughout the year, donations do fall off during the summer because of hectic schedules and warmer temperatures.