MCC photo/Diana Williams

Cows are milked twice a day at Peckman Farms in Chambersburg, Pa. The milk goes from the cow, through the milker, in the milk line and then into the bulk tank.

Did you know that, on average, a cow produces 6-7 gallons of milk a day1 and that the average domestic consumer drinks 18 gallons of milk a year?2 Through the generous stewardship of many dairy farmers, proceeds from that same milk also brings relief, development and peace to people all over the world.

From the early 1990’s to today, over 40 dairy farmers have donated a portion of their milk proceeds to MCC raising between $20,000 and $30,000 a year in the East Coast alone. Current participating farms span the state of Pennsylvania including farms in Gap, Lebanon, Robesonia, Ickesburg, Drumore and Kirkwood and participate in dairy cooperatives such as Mount Joy Farmer's Co-Operative Association, Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America.


Lowell Peckman and his son, Tony Peckman, who run Peckman Farms in Chambersburg, Pa., have been donating milk proceeds for years. A fifth generation farm milking approximately 100 cows twice a day, the Peckmans are longtime supporters of MCC. Years ago, they donated cows for MCC meat canning. When MCC began canning more chicken and turkey, they started donating milk proceeds.

Lowell states, “This is something I can do, donating through milk… it’s not a big deal but it’s something.” He points to 1 John 3:17 as his motivation for giving through MCC’s ministries to help others in need.

“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” 1 John 3:17 (NRSV)

“Faith and trust in the Lord is everything,” says Lowell reflecting on how faith and farming are closely interconnected. “You see the hand of the Lord working in the farm outside. It’s exciting.”

At MelMar Acres in Middletown, Pa., Mel Nissley has been donating milk proceeds for almost 20 years. Having grown up on a farm himself, three of his five children are currently involved in farming. His son Jeff and his family now own the herd and milk 165-175 cows daily. “I’ve always enjoyed being a tiller of the soil and raising a commodity that our culture needs. It’s a joy to be involved in a business where you’re providing a necessary need for society,” says Mel.


Matthew 25: 35-40 inspires Mel to give through his monthly milk check allowing MelMar Acres to be the hands and feet of Jesus. “I’ve always been a believer that our business can be our ministry. Whatever career the Lord calls us into, whether it is full-time ministry or some type of a business, we can be ministers of the gospel in our daily lives by how we conduct our business and manage the resources entrusted to us by our Lord… I appreciate what MCC does around the world and see this as an opportunity to give monthly.”

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink… Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?... And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:35-40 (NRSV)

The process for donating milk proceeds is fairly simple. Tony explains, “You milk the cow and put it in the bulk tank. Beyond that, the milk truck comes and takes it away to the processing facility… It’s an interesting agricultural product because once the cow gives it the clock starts ticking on the shelf life.” When the farmers receive their monthly check, part of their check goes directly to MCC. “When times get tough or in the good times, it allows us to be consistent in giving.”

There is a long-standing tradition of farmers supporting MCC through first fruits and commodity giving—whether through grains, livestock, fruit or milk. The Pennsylvania Heifer Sale, a part of the Pennsylvania Relief Sale, held every March at the New Holland Sales Stable in New Holland, Pa., raises on average over $50,000 a year for MCC ministries. Over 40 head of cattle were donated and sold in 2016.
 
MCC is grateful to all of the farmers who contribute resources like these. Their creative ways of giving make an impact in the lives of many of MCC’s partners including those working in rural development and agriculture around the world. Thank you for helping MCC share God’s love and compassion in the name of Christ.

MCC welcomes donations of many types of assets including commodities, publicly traded securities, real estate, tangible personal property, gifts from retirement plans, life insurance, etc. If you would like to talk about ways to give, please contact MCC East Coast at EastCoast@mcc.org or (215) 535-3624.

1 Midwest Dairy Association

2 United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service