Farmers Grow Communities Grant Benefits Sibley Co. FoodShare

From left to right: Farmers David and Rhonda Stenzel, Latham® seed dealer Tom Maiers of Stewart, Sibley County FoodShare board member Arden Kroehler and FoodShare coordinator Jacki Kruggel

From left to right: Farmers David and Rhonda Stenzel, Latham® seed dealer Tom Maiers of Stewart, FoodShare coordinator Jacki Kruggel and ShannonLatham

David and Rhonda Stenzel, who farm in rural Winthrop, Minnesota, were selected as winners in Sibley County for America’s Farmers Grow Communities. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program helps farmers support local organizations that are important to them.

The Stenzels chose to direct this $2,500 donation to Sibley County FoodShare because they know there are residents in their home county struggling to put food on their tables. A report issued last fall by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows one in 10 Minnesota households doesn’t have access to enough food for healthy living.

While Minnesota is doing better than the national average of 14.5 percent, the state’s numbers for food insecure families are at an all-time high. The statewide trend is evident in Sibley County where FoodShare coordinator Jacki Kruggel says there is high demand for emergency and supplemental food supplies.

“We serve about 200 families each month through FoodShare,” says Kruggel. “Demand is especially high from November through the winter months. Then we’ll see demand spike again from July through October.”

Sibley County FoodShare is a non-profit organization that has been helping people for more than 25 years. It’s made possible through generous support from communities, churches, businesses and civic organizations. Additional assistance for local families in need are provided by Minnesota Valley Action Council, Sibley County Public Health and Sibley County Human Services.

Shelves at the Sibley County FoodShare are stocked with staples like butter, milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and vegetables like onions and potatoes to cover a family’s basic needs for three or four days. So today on TheFieldPosition, the Stenzels are sharing one of their favorite recipes that uses ingredient that nearly every kitchen has on hand. Warm up this winter with a hearty bowl of Ham & Potato Chowder!

Ham & Potato Chowder



  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • ¾ c. cooked ham, chopped
  • ¼ c. celery, chopped
  • 1½ c. raw potatoes, diced
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper



  1. Sauté onion, ham and celery in butter.
  2. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; add salt, pepper, flour and milk. Mix well.
  4. Return to heat and slowly warm up the chowder. Do NOT boil.

COOK’S TIP: This recipe feeds four, so I usually make a double or triple batch when company comes. This chowder makes a hearty meal on a cold night.