Early this fall, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance’s Law Division spent a Friday afternoon at Growing Places Indy located in downtown Indianapolis. The group spent several hours harvesting produce, weeding, cleaning and prepping garden beds and
assisting Growing Places Indy staff in moving heavy items around the farm property. While volunteering, employees had the opportunity to catch up with one another outside the office and work together to assist a local organization in helping others
in the community.
Growing Places Indy, located on 727 N. Oriental St. in Indianapolis, is all about, “protecting the future of real food,” according to Victoria Beaty, executive director of the organization.
Last year, Growing Places Indy harvested 7,100 pounds of produce and donated 3,300 pounds to the local Indianapolis community. In addition to the produce that was grown and donated, the organization enlisted high school students to work on the farm.
The students had the chance to make a positive impact in the community while also learning about growing and sustaining quality produce regardless of living arrangements.
The organization focuses on communicating the concept that anyone can grow produce inside or outside of their homes regardless of the living situation they are in. They teach that many people have spaces in their yards or areas of their homes that
can be used for growing produce. It could be a small outdoor garden, a windowsill garden, or even a few pots growing indoors. Growing Places Indy takes advantage of every available space on their farm, including the small slits of soil right against
their greenhouse where they grew garlic this year.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance grows together while volunteering in the community
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance provides employees paid volunteer time annually to encourage employees to donate time to nonprofit organizations within our Indiana communities. Some employees volunteer individually with charities that are personally
meaningful to them, and other employees volunteer in groups to help the community while working together as a team.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Kristin Keltner, prioritizes pulling together her teams within the Law Division to volunteer each year. The group grabbed lunch before working together on the various tasks at Growing Places Indy,
which provided time to visit with coworkers, cultivate new friendships and build upon current relationships. The division was able to take time out of their typical workday to enjoy each other's company while working together as a team to assist
Growing Places Indy.
Harvesting wasn’t the only task the team of 31 employees completed that day. Teams were created and split up to complete various assignments set forth by the organization’s two full-time employees, David Geers, farm and market manager and Kevin Goheen, assistant farm manager. One crew was assigned to weed and clear a large space that was filled with large weeds and sticks. The now cleared space will be utilized to house new crops at the farm.
Geers was overjoyed with the work the team did and said that they had wanted to clear that space for over a year and a half but never had the time to do so. The team not only cleared the space for more crops to grow, but they also were able to get
to know each other a little better while doing so.
Nate Miller, talent development consultant, started at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance only seven weeks before this volunteer event. Although he has been able to get to know people in the office, it was nice for him to meet other coworkers in a different
environment while helping the community.
“Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance providing the opportunity to get out into the community and make a difference is something that means a lot to me. Being new is challenging and the opportunity to work towards a common goal for the local community
is a great way to connect with others. I also am very grateful to see the impact our volunteer efforts made at Growing Places Indy. It is fantastic to work for an organization that makes community service a pillar of what they do,” says
Bailee Batch, who is on the talent acquisition team loved her experience so much as a 2022 summer intern that she was more than excited to join the Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance family part-time this fall. Batch had a smile on her face the entire
time during the event and loved the chance to get to know the division she was working in even better than before.
“It was very influential for me as a young professional to see what a strong team and leaders look like. My manager, coworkers, and executive leader not only encourage me to be the best I can, but to also serve and work hard alongside me speaks
volumes about who they are,” says Batch. “Volunteering together as a team at Growing Places Indy really solidified to me that I am at the right place. Everyone was excited to be there, had a smile on their face and made the hard work
fun. I’m at a company and with a team that truly cares about me, my growth and the impact we are making.”
How to help Growing Places Indy
Growing Places Indy is always in need of help from anyone who is interested. There are many ways in which an individual or group of people can help the organization serve the Indianapolis community.
Ways to get involved at Growing Places Indy:
Volunteer – Growing Places Indy has individual and group volunteer opportunities. During the growing season, the farm offers regular shifts throughout the week for volunteers to come and help. Learn more about the different volunteer opportunities today.
Farm tours – Come and tour the farm and see the good this organization is doing for the community. Go online and request a tour today!
Workshops – Interested in learning more about planting seeds, amending soil, pruning, harvesting and more? Growing Places Indy offers various workshops for anyone interested in the excitement behind the lifecycles
of the farm. Learn more about the various workshops they offer.
Ways to support Growing Places Indy:
Growing Places Indy is all about creating a better world for the Indiana community. The organization and its people embody resilience, hard work and determination to make a difference in the world one piece of produce at a time!
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance understands the importance of giving back to our local Indiana communities each year because we live and work in the communities we serve. We are proud to support Growing Places Indy and many other Indiana based nonprofit