Farm Rescue volunteer helps position a planter
HELPING HAND: A Farm Rescue volunteer helps position a planter so that it can be loaded with seed.

Engelstad Family Foundation donates $250,000 to Farm Rescue

Betty Engelstad, who grew up on a Minnesota farm, says she understands the need for assistance in time of crisis.

The Engelstad Family Foundation — famous in North Dakota for its support of University of North Dakota hockey — has given Farm Rescue a $250,000 grant.

Farm Rescue is a nonprofit organization that provides planting, harvesting, haying and hay hauling assistance free of charge to farm and ranch families who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster.

The grant comes at an important time, as Farm Rescue just completed its busiest year, says Bill Gross, Farm Rescue founder and president. One hundred and twenty-seven farm and ranch families received assistance in 2017, more than double the total of any previous year.

"Our goal is to offer time-sensitive services in an efficient manner to help the maximum number of rural families in a time of need," Gross says. "Farm Rescue will be able to accomplish this through the generous support of the Engelstad Family Foundation."

Engelstad understands farms
Betty Engelstad, trustee for the Engelstad Family Foundation, said in a statement: "I understand the need for assistance, having grown up on the Stocker family farm in East Grand Forks, Minn. We commend all Farm Rescue volunteers for their charitable work and know they are helping those that would turn around and help them if it was needed. You are wished good fortune for the agricultural seasons of 2018.”

Ralph Engelstad, originally from Thief River Falls, Minn., attended UND at Grand Forks, N.D., and founded a construction company. He was the multimillionaire owner of the Imperial Palace casino-hotels in Las Vegas and in Biloxi, Miss. He also owned the Kona Kai motel in Las Vegas, which later became the Klondike Hotel and Casino. He was also the donor for the construction of the $104 million Ralph Engelstad Arena at UND and another arena bearing his name in Thief River Falls. Engelstad was also a co-developer of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One of the very few independent casino-hotel owners in Las Vegas, Engelstad died in 2002.

Since its inception, the Engelstad Family Foundation has donated well over $200 million to support causes in Nevada, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Dakota.

Accepting applications
Farm Rescue has helped more than 550 families since its inception in 2006. It operates in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Iowa.

Applications are currently being accepted for fall harvest assistance, which can be obtained at 701-252-2017 or farmrescue.org. Referrals are welcome.

Source: Farm Rescue

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