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GreenStone employees help plant trees in Detroit

EAST LANSING, MI -- For the second year in a row, GreenStone Farm Credit Services demonstrated its commitment to non-traditional, urban agriculture through a partnership with Hantz Farms in Detroit. The second annual Hantz Farms community service day was held on May 9. GreenStone volunteers traveled to the city to help plant 5,000 mixed-hardwood trees, continuing the transformation from vacant lots into beautiful woodlands for the enjoyment of Detroit area residents.

"GreenStone is dedicated to providing sound and dependable credit to American farmers, regardless of size or location," said Randy Stec, GreenStone chief sales and marketing officer. "We are committed to Michigan and Wisconsin producers, especially young, beginning and small producers, many of whom are part of the emerging urban farm movement. GreenStone is proud to continue this partnership with Hantz Farms to further the improvement efforts in downtown Detroit," he said.

After Hantz Farms acquired 1,700 vacant lots in the city, GreenStone employees joined community volunteers to plant 15,000 trees on the eastside of Detroit in 2014. This year, the community development day expanded to include live musical entertainment, a cookout lunch and heavy equipment demonstrations. GreenStone provided potato chips from Detroit Friends, a small Detroit enterprise that is part of a larger organization which helps eastside residents find jobs and affordable housing. Amid the food and entertainment, volunteers planted trees, spread mulch and picked up litter to help beautify the city.

"It's tremendously exciting and humbling to see how many people believe in this vision to help create new life for the residents and businesses on the east side in Detroit. We are very proud to be leading something like this," said Mike Score, Hantz Woodlands President.

AgriBank, a wholesale bank based in St. Paul, Minn., is a supporting partner with GreenStone in the Hantz Farms project.