Devastation and disbelief swept across Iowa Aug. 10, 2020, when a weather phenomenon called a derecho destroyed crops, decimated buildings and left thousands without power. A derecho is a rare, straight-line wind storm that causes heavy rain, hurricane-force winds and tornadoes. Wind speeds reached 75-99 mph in Iowa. Homes were turned to kindling. Livelihoods were wiped away in the wind. More than 14 million acres were destroyed.
Today, neighbors are helping neighbors. Cleanup is underway while many still wait for the power to come back on. Busy hands focus on clearing the wreckage and getting food, water and basic supplies to all.
A longtime Certified Angus Beef ® leader, the Schroeder family raises registered Angus cattle, crops, hogs. The storm damaged family members’ corn crop and barns, but Doug Schroeder says they were some of the lucky ones.
“When we saw the damage it was overwhelming, just trying to figure out how we were going to fix this,” Schroeder says. “But if you go two miles North of us … we are blessed.”
Known as The Corn State, Iowa has about 90% of its acreage dedicated to agriculture. The derecho decimated one-third of the state’s crops, including 40% of its corn and soybeans. Cedar Rapids is one of the hardest-hit areas. It will take months—years even—to recover. Purchase “Sheltering Generations” for you or as a gift for someone special. Every single penny spent will be directed to Operation BBQ Relief efforts in Iowa.
The Certified Angus Beef ® brand will donate sales from the purchase of “Sheltering Generations—The American Barn“ to Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that deployed on the ground in Iowa to help feed first responders, volunteers and linemen, working to restore power to rural areas.
Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri, a community of about 50,000 residents. Volunteers from competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, police, fire, National Guard and emergency personnel.
We were able to serve over 120,000 meals over 13 days. Food was delivered to shelters, hospitals, senior living communities and the Humane Society. Volunteers loaded food into vehicles and delivered directly to families in the impacted areas. The operation was made possible by all who contributed food and supplies and funding from across the country.
Operation BBQ Relief continues to respond to natural disasters and other situations to help feed displaced residents and emergency personnel.