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R.D. Offutt builds community with grant program

Published on January 13, 2018 12:01AM

The Boardman Rural Fire Protection District received a Community Builder grant from R.D. Offutt Company. Those present during the presentation included Lt. Adam Cole, firefighter Jeremy Gehrke, fire marshal Marty Broadbent, fire chief Mark Rogelstad, firefighter Tammy Sheppard, Marty Myers, general manager at Threemile Canyon Farms; assistant fire chief Bill Ellis, Lt. Casey Zellars, Jeff Wendler, director of livestock operations at Threemile Canyon Farms; Greg Harris, farm manager for Threemile Canyon Farms; and firefighter Gene Sheppard.

Photo contributed by Anne Struthers

The Boardman Rural Fire Protection District received a Community Builder grant from R.D. Offutt Company. Those present during the presentation included Lt. Adam Cole, firefighter Jeremy Gehrke, fire marshal Marty Broadbent, fire chief Mark Rogelstad, firefighter Tammy Sheppard, Marty Myers, general manager at Threemile Canyon Farms; assistant fire chief Bill Ellis, Lt. Casey Zellars, Jeff Wendler, director of livestock operations at Threemile Canyon Farms; Greg Harris, farm manager for Threemile Canyon Farms; and firefighter Gene Sheppard.


Threemile Canyon Farms recently announced the Boardman Rural Fire Protection District is the recipient of a grant through the Offutt Family Foundation.

The grant will be used to purchase a lightweight quick response unit. The fire district, which spans 330 square miles and serves approximately 3,310 citizens within the city of Boardman and another 5,000 in daily commuter traffic, also responds to residents living in outlying areas. In addition, they also respond to Morrow County Health District requests for medical emergencies.

As part of its special volunteer fire department focus of its Community Builder program, the unique initiative is open to employees of R.D. Offutt Company, parent company of Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman. Anne Struthers, director of communications with R.D. Offutt, said the company isn’t disclosing individual grant amounts but that more than $500,000 was donated in this special cycle of Community Builder grants that benefited volunteer fire departments throughout the organization’s footprint.

All R.D. Offutt Company team members who are active volunteer firefighters were invited to apply for a Community Builder grant, Struthers said. As part of the application, the employee explained how the grant would benefit the local community along with information about his/her personal commitment to the fire department.

Tammy Sheppard, crop records clerk at Threemile Canyon Farms and a dedicated volunteer firefighter since 2010, submitted the Community Builder grant for the Boardman Rural Fire Protection District. Sheppard and her husband, Gene, currently man Station 3 for the fire district.

“It is fulfilling to help the citizens of my community and those traveling through our district and commuting here for jobs. I also take pride in the fact that we are protecting the environment and agricultural resources within the district,” she said.

Community Builder applications are submitted year-round and awarded twice a year. Because of the number of team members who donate time to their local volunteer fire departments, this fall’s round of submissions was specially designated for rural and volunteer fire departments, Struthers said.

“The response we received was overwhelming and speaks to the great needs our communities have in providing resources to volunteer fire departments,” said Jean Zimmerman, executive vice president of RDO Equipment Co. “Supporting our communities is important to the Offutt Family Foundation and these grants will greatly impact, not just the volunteer fire departments, but the citizens who rely on this crucial community service.”



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