United Cooperative supports fire departments with donations

Wisconsin State Farmer

BEAVER DAM, WI – The Green Valley-Morgan Fire Co., Helenville Fire Department and North Freedom Fire Department all received donations of $1,000 recently from United Cooperative. “United Cooperative is owned by area farmers across Wisconsin. We appreciate these volunteers who provide services to keep our members and rural communities safe,” said David Cramer, President and CEO. “We’re proud to provide these funds for improvement of these departments,” he added.

United Cooperative

Joel Nischke is the assistant fire chief for Green Valley-Morgan Fire Co., Inc., and a grain and hog farmer near Green Valley. The volunteer organization has a station at Green Valley in Shawano County and a station in Morgan Township in Oconto County, and gets about 25-30 calls each year, Nischke said. “We own ten self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units, each unit has its own air bottle and a back-up air bottle, which are re-certified every five years and have a life of 15 years. To comply with the National Fire Protection Association codes and standards we replace outdated equipment regularly, it’s not a choice of what we can do.” United Cooperative’s $1,000 donation will help Green Valley-Morgan Fire Co. replace outdated SCBA air bottles. 

United Cooperative donated $1,000 to Helenville Fire Department to help pay for equipment and personnel training. Brian Hohensee is a local landscaper and truck driver who is also vice president of the fire department and chairman of its fundraising. “The department has 20 active members. When you see a person dressed in full firefighter turnout gear, they could be wearing $10 to $12 thousand dollars in gear,” he said. “We appreciate United Cooperative’s sponsorship. It puts a big dent in what we need for our annual operating expenses,” he added.

Frank Anstett operates a farm outside of North Freedom, and is one of 41 volunteers for the North Freedom Fire Department. United Cooperative’s donation was unexpected, he said. “The Village of North Freedom is located between Baraboo and Reedsburg. We do appreciate the $1,000 donation as our fire department depends a lot on fundraisers as it’s a relatively small tax base that supports the department. Specifically, these funds will be used to send new volunteers through the entry level fire fighter course,” he added.

United Cooperative’s community giving spans three core areas – rural health and safety, agricultural youth and community food and nutrition resources. Since the beginning of 2017, the member-owned organization has donated over $32 thousand dollars to rural health and safety needs throughout Wisconsin.