Didion Milling Foundation will continue to distribute funds after raising a record $123,000 at the Strong Communities Golf Outing in September.

Sun Prairie, WIDecember 9, 2022 – From educational opportunities to hostage rescue equipment to a regional rescue training facility, area schools and emergency agencies put funds donated by Didion Milling Foundation to work. The community support is far from over thanks to the Foundation raising another $123,000 in September.

Back in April, Didion Milling Foundation announced it distributed $100,000 to local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and programs that serve area youth and families. Organizations receiving funds included Cambria, Pardeeville, Randolph, Friesland, Columbus, and Fall River Fire Departments, Columbia and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Offices, Habitat for Humanity, and Randolph and Pardeeville Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters. 

Didion spoke with several recipients to learn how they have used the funds. 

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department put the funds they received towards purchasing a camera system and building a hostage rescue training facility. “Didion probably has a better understanding of the needs of the community than most businesses,” said Paul Milbrath, Jefferson County Sheriff. “Didion could see how important it would be for us to have the new equipment and training if we have to respond to an active shooter situation. These deputies are going in to save kids’ lives, and I could not be more thankful for Didion’s contribution.”

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reports they’ve used their Didion Milling Foundation donation to hold community events and purchase a drone and critical safety equipment for deputies. “Especially when county budgets are getting tougher and tighter, having community partners means we have access to tools and equipment that we would not otherwise have,” said Roger Brandner, Columbia County Sheriff. “It also allows us to build upon those positive relationships with our youth.”

Columbus Fire Department used its funding to replace an old grain rescue device called “the Great Wall of Rescue” and purchase four new harnesses and rope rescue equipment. “We appreciate their generous donation,” said Scott Hazeltine, Columbus Fire Chief. “Thank you for helping our department have the tools to protect and serve our community.”

Friesland Fire Department used Didion Milling Foundation funds to purchase an ATV, which they used to help at both a combine fire and a cornfield fire this fall. “The donation from Didion has positively impacted our organization,” said Josh Rimmert, Friesland Fire Chief. “Receiving a donation from a local business is critical as a volunteer department with limited resources. Without the generosity of donations and fundraisers like Didion’s, we wouldn’t be able to purchase equipment that helps us serve our community.”

Pardeeville High School FFA used Didion Milling Foundation funds to purchase a hydroponics system. “Thanks to Didion’s financial support, our students are growing food in the classroom for our cafeteria,” said Amanda Seichter, Pardeeville High School Agri-Science instructor and FFA advisor. “Not only have I seen the young women in my classes show an increased interest in science, but we are also exposing all students to potential science and ag related fields by having access to technology and real-life implications in our classrooms.”

Randolph FFA subsidized eleven students’ trips to the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference. “Without Didion’s donation, this trip would not have been possible,” said Lauren Frances, Randolph High School Ag Science teacher. “The cost per student was over $1,500, which is a huge amount for a high school student. But thanks to the generosity of Didion, there was a very minimal cost to the students. Attending the FFA Washington Leadership Conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am so glad my students could experience it.”

Didion Milling Foundation proudly announces that contributions to community organizations will continue over the next year thanks to raising more than $123,000 at its 14th annual Strong Communities Golf Outing in September. Didion remains committed to supporting first responders, youth and ag organizations in the area.

“It is humbling to hear how quickly the organizations put the funds into action and that they were able to make a tangible and significant impact in our communities,” said Riley Didion, Didion CEO. “The stories and continued need reinforce the call for all of us to do what we can to support our communities.”

About Didion

Didion is strongly rooted in the local community. For fifty years, Didion has supported various area efforts such as blood drives, flu clinics, school supply drives, Kiwanis programs, Habitat for Humanity, emergency services and first responders, among others. The Didion team, over 250 strong, shares our vision to positively impact the world. We pride ourselves on a culture that encourages collaboration, rewards hard work and supports each team member’s personal journey on and off the Didion campus.

Didion, headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, celebrates fifty years of producing quality food and alcohol-based products and is home to North America’s newest, most advanced dry corn mill and ethanol/alcohol facility in Cambria, Wisconsin. Didion uses a proprietary milling process to capture only the highest quality corn kernels for food processing and designs customized products that can meet specific customer needs from top grocery and food service brands. The rest of the corn kernel is used to produce alcohol-based products, such as hand sanitizer. In addition to corn flours, grits, meals, pregelatinized ingredients, and whole grains, Didion makes over 350 million corn- and soy-based meals each year for the USAID program through the USDA. These meals help to fight global hunger in four dozen developing nations.