Giving Locally: One Kernel At A Time

June 28, 2024

Great Bend, Kansas, might be a small rural community, but it's big on supporting Great Bend schools. The local high school has embarked on a partnership that exemplifies the spirit of community and collaboration between education, agriculture, and its young people.

The initiative, led by Matt Westerhaus, Activities Director at Great Bend School, and J.C. Stroup, DSM for Hoegemeyer Hybrids, has sparked a unique sponsorship that benefits both the school's programs and Hoegemeyer's Community Investment program. Hoegemeyer Hybrids has become the official popcorn sponsor for school events whenever the concession stands are open. Whether it's a spirited football game or the school theatre production, Hoegemeyer is a part of the school's activities.

"It's a win-win because Hoegemeyer can support programs in the community, and we benefit from it as well," says Westerhaus. The initiative is the school's first venture into such a partnership. "This program compliments the tremendous work of our booster club, which has over 120 sponsors," adds Westerhaus. While the popcorn sponsorship is distinct from the booster club, it's inherently intertwined with the school's overarching goal of promoting and supporting the student's school activities.

Stroup, a sports enthusiast, coach, and father of four, resonates with the program's impact. "Every time a fan enjoys popcorn at an event, they're not just tasting a snack; it's a reminder of the support our company has for our young people, our community, and agriculture," adds J.C. J.C. and his wife Ashley’s’ passion for coaching youth sports underscore a deep-seated belief in nurturing the next generation.

The synergy between Great Bend's school programs and Hoegemeyer's community investment is clear. Westerhaus adds, "J.C. has been awesome to work with, and the banner at concession stands reminds the community of the solidarity between agriculture and education."

As seen in Great Bend, Hoegemeyer Hybrid's Community Investment program is a testament to local businesses' ability to make a difference. Through innovative thinking and a shared commitment to community values, Hoegemeyer Hybrids, and Great Bend High School set a new standard for corporate- community engagement, one kernel at a time.