Delivering Hope To Millions Through Trucking & Bulk Commodities

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Jared Flinn: You're listening to the bulk loads podcast, your number one resource for everything bold freight trucking. Jared Flinn: Hey, guys. Jared Flynn with the Bulk Lowe's podcast. Got Tyler with me. Tyler Allison: What's going on? Jared Flinn: What are we, week or 2 weeks away from 4th July? Tyler Allison: Yeah. We're just about a week away, a week and a half away, I think. Jared Flinn: And you were saying the, shirts, which is not necessarily 4th July, but it it's a very patriotic shirt that we had, the summer shirts. Like, I haven't been seeing the activity, but you said, like Tyler Allison: Yeah. We're getting They're flying off the streets. Yeah. Hundreds and hundreds of people wanting those shirts, which which is awesome. Yeah. But we do still have quite a bit left. So if you guys would like a 4th July shirt, we do have some available. We'll link I think Joe's gonna link the form down. Tyler Allison: All you have to do to get one, subscribe to our YouTube channel. That's it. You have to click a button, and you get a free shirt. Jared Flinn: No catch whatsoever. I think somebody commented, like, are you guys scamming people? Like, I there's no scam. Actually, I sent that guy a shirt. I found his information. I sent him his shirt just to prove that this was not a scam. But, I think people wanna win shirts, and we're not really about, like, making it hard. Tyler Allison: Like Yeah. Jared Flinn: We wanna do it because we love giving out these shirts, and I I think they're cool, and it's a blessing for us to, Tyler Allison: to Jared Flinn: give out. Tyler Allison: And we get to highlight one of our members on the shirt, which is also cool Lance Doyle. I mean, that's slick rig, but I love the shirt. You're going to see me wearing it. I mean, Jared Flinn: going forward. I'm sitting there pretty red neck. Tyler Allison: That's who we are, man. I just gotta embrace it. Jared Flinn: We did it. We did a good job. I love them. I absolutely love them. I was wearing them out at the, golf course the other day. So I, Yeah. I think they're cool. So yeah. Jared Flinn: So to get the shirt real quick, again, it's as easy as possible. Tyler Allison: Yep. Click a button, drop down. You just gotta subscribe to our YouTube channel. Drop down the form, and then you just let us know where to ship the shirt, and we'll get it to you. Jared Flinn: And if you're even not listening on YouTube, I mean, if you in the wherever what medium you're listening to, it'll be in the episode notes below. So just go down there. You'll see the link, and you really just gotta type in your name and address and shirt size, and we'll get one Tyler Allison: to you. Yeah. And we're giving those out our team in here. I mean, like I said, we have hundreds of orders, but we're we're getting them out within a few weeks. So you should have it by the 4th July. Jared Flinn: I thought I liked the, the green, but, that gray with that red. Tyler Allison: Makes the yeah. Yeah. American flag. Yeah. I agree. Jared Flinn: I get a little emotional too. Every time I see that, it was just the the patriotism of Tyler Allison: You see your yeah, born in the USA start playing in the background as you look into the shirt. Jared Flinn: So alright. Enough on the shirt. Truck feature. I'll let you take this one. Tyler Allison: Today, we got Austin Hammond with A H Trucking. Jared Flinn: 17 laying right down the road. Tyler Allison: Right down in Purdy, Missouri. Austin he's, we've interacted with him multiple times. I love Austin. He's a good old boy. They run how many trucks? I mean, probably close to 20 trucks. Jared Flinn: Probably more than that, I think. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Austin, has been a bulk loads member since 2013, and he also does business with us on the smart freight side. Jared Flinn: I need to get him on the podcast, but, Austin, I've got to hang out with him several times at different events again. He's down the road. I mean, I say, I think an hour plus, but he's come up to some events, and, I'm gonna have to give him all the podcast. Great story. His dad started the company, who has passed, and Austin has just taken it and really 10 x it with what he's done and how he's grown it. He's a very entrepreneurial guy. So yeah, I know Austin really well. And man, this is a sharp rig. Tyler Allison: Yeah. I was gonna say they run some really good looking rigs. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Stripes. It looks, looks slick. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you, Austin for submitting that to us and, being a member with us on bulk loads. We appreciate it. Jared Flinn: Yep. And as always, send us truck pictures. We want to feature you. It's easy and, and, means a lot to us. Tyler Allison: [email protected] or just go over to our socials on Instagram or Facebook, and you can DM us there. Jared Flinn: Yep. Send those over. So cool. Well, getting in today's podcast, I hope that you all will enjoy this one. It's not business centered, but you'll see it's biz there's an element to it. But more importantly, we have to have our faith. Tyler Allison: Yep. Jared Flinn: There's no business. There's no life. There's nothing else without God. And, I wanna bring on well, today, I bring on Ashley Jonas. She is with Convoy of Hope. A lot of people have probably never heard of Convoy of Hope, and, they are an organization founded and based here in Springfield, Missouri. Tyler Allison: Yep. Jared Flinn: They actually just celebrated 34 years and, absolutely love this organization. I think they center around, trucking, obviously, the word convoy. They start off as doing disaster relief, delivering supplies to areas, with anything really. And, but then since the business has evolved, they've branched into other things. This podcast, we kinda dance around some of it, but I think we got most of it covered, and Ashley did a great job. And, yeah, super excited to bring this one to you all. Tyler Allison: I love the tie of just the bulk commodities into it, and how they're really looking, they're turning to bulk commodities and, looking for donations and everything. But I volunteered at Convoy Hoag. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I was going to say Joe will throw this picture up. We had 2 different days that guy that people employees we offered employees 2 different times. They could go over there Tyler Allison: Yep. Jared Flinn: And volunteer. And Utah, what did you what did you guys do? Tyler Allison: Yeah. I mean, it it was just an unreal first off, they they built this, you know, pristine facility. I think it's actually they, it's a technically a distribution center instead of a warehouse because they get product out so quickly. But, yeah, I was just in awe of seeing everything, like their disaster room, like they have a team with just TVs all over the walls watching all the news channels just waiting, you know, whenever this, you know, tornado or something happens they're just staying informed that way they can dispatch teams out. But while we were there our team, actually packed some meals to feed kids. So we were packing different things, but, really just, you know, snacks, you know, rice, different meals that we that they can ship out to the kids. And I think both of our, teams, we were able to I think it's gonna provide like 2,000 meals for kids. So it was just so cool, you know, seeing the immediate impact, that we were having there. Tyler Allison: And yeah, just with their logistics and and their volunteer truck drivers, like Ashley will dive into in the episode. But yeah, it's just so cool how how the whole operation is just based on volunteer work and donations and how they're Jared Flinn: able to do that. Yeah. Before we get started, I I wanna say this and, I want this to be encouragement. Hey, man. We can all do something. Yep. And I'm sure many of our listeners are, but, we really dumb this down, to talk about how I wanna say easy it is, but there's ways that we can all make an impact, positively, to help the lives of others. So with that said, here's my conversation with Ashley Jonas of Convoy of Home. Jared Flinn: Ashley, thanks for coming on. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Thanks for having me. Glad to be here. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Well, you are videoing in from Wichita, which a lot of our listeners are from the great state of Kansas, so I wanted to definitely make mention of that. But, let's just start off for people that don't know who Convoy of Hope is. Give us that 1,000 foot overview. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. So I love talking about Convoy of Hope. I have I don't say this lightly. I have had the honor to be a part of this incredible team of humans just charging after good for 3 years this month. Actually, next week will be 3 years for me. So, yeah. Yeah. Ashley Jonas: It has flown by. It's been an incredible experience, especially being on here today. So, just to talk a little bit about convoy of hope, we are a 501c3 faith based organization. We just have a driving passion to feed the world really through children's feeding initiatives, community outreach, and disaster response. And so that's really the heart of what we do. This year is an exciting year for us. We were actually founded in 1994, so we are celebrating our 30 year anniversary this year. And so, lots of impact and good just crammed into those 30 years, and, I'd love to dig into some of those numbers here in a little bit. Ashley Jonas: But, really, just the heart of where this all started was from one incredible human being, and that is, our founder, Hal Donaldson. It unfortunately started with heartache. 1969, his dad, unfortunately, was lost in a fatal car crash. His mother was severely injured and just completely changed the dynamic of their family life and and next steps for their entire family. But really through the journey, of kindness received from their whole family by others, that compassion really just laid a foundation for convoy of hope. And that's the backbone of of where it all began, and it's incredible to have a leader like Hal. We all just truly love and glean from him, and he's one of the most humble people I have ever met in my life. So that's Yeah. Ashley Jonas: That's where it all began. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I've gotten to meet Hal, a a couple times, and, yeah, just amazing human being. You know, my wife and I, she she grew up a little bit in this area, but we moved down here 13 years ago to the Springfield area. And, you know, I heard the name convoy. There was this warehouse east of town, and every once in a while, you'd see these trucks. But never really realized till, you know, couple years later how big of an impact convoy has, and, I mean, just the size of them. And I'm gonna let you go through these numbers, but, I I mean, this last year, I've learned, like, 40 something as as as far as one of the largest nonprofits. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Isn't that right? Yeah. Absolutely. We've just had the honor to really work with incredible people as far as our colleagues who have had just hearts for good and kindness and change, which has just, really skyrocketed the vision and mission that we've and the reach that we've had is is because of who we work with, but also because of our partners and donors who, support that vision and and help us cast that vision, and they're coming alongside us to really make it happen. So we couldn't do it without the people around us. But, yeah, they it's pretty impressive, and, the the ability, the reach that we have continues to grow every year. When numbers come in, everyone's jaw hits the floor every year because we just can't believe what just happened, what the fiscal year brought in, and the impact that happened in such a short year. So it's pretty pretty incredible. Jared Flinn: Actually, if you if we can kinda jump in, talk about again, people are still listening to us trying to understand about the who this nonprofit is and what they do, but really talk about kind of the different aspects of what Convoy does. It's not just they don't do just one thing. They there's many of things all centered around Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Jared Flinn: Helping others and serving others. But, if you can kinda unpack kind of the the the different things that convoy does. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. I wanna jump in and kind of share a story that Hal, shared with our team, and I heard it my 1st week that I started at Convoy. And it really empowered me personally, to have a space or a seat in the room. And it was kind of that shift moment for him when he realized that something needed to happen, after just this really traumatizing situation that his whole family went through. And, he previously was a journalist in the Sacramento area, and he was on a trip and somehow had the opportunity to meet with mother Teresa. And she asked him a very simple question and said, young man, what are you doing to help feed the hungry? And he shares that, unfortunately, he looked her in the eye and says, I really can't answer that. I'm I'm not doing anything. Ashley Jonas: And the phrase that changed his life that he shares is when she looked at him in the eye and said, son, anyone can do anything for something or for someone. And so that just kind of, has motivated me that anyone can do something. And I just hope that people really hang on to that today as we kind of talk through these, incredible numbers and impact and all of these programs that we have and the incredible things that people are doing is really because anyone can do something. So, just that little nugget. But just to kinda dive into some of those big numbers that we have, I'm gonna kinda start just talking about the different programs that we have here at Convoy of Hope. It'll kinda help share the story, and the numbers will kind of make sense. But first, since 1994, we have served over 250,000,000 people. Jared Flinn: Wow. Ashley Jonas: Mhmm. Yeah. And, with that, 2,500,000,000 with a b, billion, and food supplies have been distributed since 1994. So, it's hard to wrap your mind around that. 200 and 50,000,000 people served with 2,500,000,000 supplies. On just adding on to some of those numbers, one of our big programs is our children's feeding initiative, and, currently, we're feeding 571,000 children daily in our feeding programs. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I think that's incredible. That's every day, 365 days a year. I mean Ashley Jonas: Every day. Jared Flinn: Amazing. Ashley Jonas: We have set a goal to, hopefully reach a number of feeding 1,000,000 children every day by 2030. Jared Flinn: Wow. Ashley Jonas: And I truly believe that bulk commodities, including grains, will help us get there. Yeah. Absolutely. I'm excited about this conversation today, because now we're at the point where we're just calling on anyone who may have the capacity or heart to join us in reaching that number. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Ashley Jonas: That goal, if you will. Jared Flinn: I I wanna go right in I wanted to go into that, but just one other thing a lot of people don't realize, and and I always love just even the disaster relief that come with us. So, like, a lot of times, people don't realize when there's a hurricane or tornado or just some devastating, you know, usually convoy, they have trucks ready to go. And, obviously, there's government organizations that that step involved, but, usually, convoy, they're right there with those organizations. And one thing I even learned last year when we were on an, a convoy event, like, convoy, even after, you know, FEMA and some of these organizations pull out, they still stay there and keep supplying, the necessary items, food, water, whatever supplies to those people until they the communities get back on track. But that's one thing that I just find staggering. I mean, a lot of times and people may or may not see, but when you see those convoy trucks going down the road, they're usually, you know, the the the you all have the quote, help us all the way, but, Jared Flinn: I Jared Flinn: mean, they they're bring they're sending supplies immediately to those disaster areas. And I I mean, just incredible, what they're doing with that. Ashley Jonas: Yes. Yes. That's our long term recovery, which is pretty astounding to be able to talk about. A great example of that would be Ukraine. As of last month, we were still sending shipping containers to Ukraine, and it's been over 2 years since the war started. And so that is such a great example of that long term response of if we have the capacity to send product and support and the ability, and the finances to support that, then then we're going to. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I loved our, yeah, our church out in Branson. You know, a lot of people were trying to ask what they could do to help, and it even the pastor one day gave this message saying, hey. Mhmm. Convoy has already stepped in. If we wanna help, we help Convoy because they've already got logistics figured out, how they're getting supplies in, and, that was the whole thing about it. Like, man, there's already things being done. We just need to support the organization that's doing it, which is incredible. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Well, thank you for that support. That's awesome to hear. Yeah. Jared Flinn: Absolutely. Well, let's talk, the the the one of the, I guess, will center really around this, the heart of the conversation about bulk commodities. A good friend, of mine, Mark Landers, we're in a small men's group, but, you know, he came over to convoy a couple years ago and was talking to him, and he said, Jared, you really need to meet Ashley that he said that, hey. She's part of this food this food program, and I don't wanna give the details. I want you to talk about it, but, like, where you're actually getting grains and commodities from har or, you know, from farmers and actually getting that to the market to help people in need. But, yeah, walk us through really kind of the beginning of that and kinda get into where that is today. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. So, this is such a dear passion of mine. I had previously worked at a a similar nonprofit organization called New Manna, and, really, what we did was assemble packages of food to send all over the world, and we really leaned in on volunteers who would come in and hand pack. Some of your listeners may have done this before with their church, brought their kids or grandparents and and came to the event and really just hand scooped beans, soybeans, lentils, rice, and vitamin packets into a bag and then sealed it, and then we were able to ship that out to the greatest need. Just like everyone else when COVID hit, it turned your world upside down. Everything that made sense suddenly didn't make sense. Anything that worked before, you have to shift, and and pivot and and make things that used to happen every day. Ashley Jonas: It took all day to maybe make one simple task now work. Everything became complicated. Right? That was the same thing in the food industry world. For us, we really required human beings to show up to produce meals, and we all know we couldn't gather. So it got us kind of in this issue, this, struggle of how do we assemble meals or put together meals to continue feeding the hungry, and it just came straight down to bulk dry commodities. And to make a very long story short, we were able to ship truckloads of beans and rice to convoy of hope, and they were able to directly ship that to those in need. And so, with this incredible goal to feed a 1000000 kids by 2030, we really have to get creative and, open opportunity and doors for people that we may have not had conversations with in the past who are their direct source of the food and may have that same heart and desire to feed those kids. So that's what this is really all about. Ashley Jonas: It's just, sharing the opportunity to see if there's a heart, a desire, and a capacity for someone to step up and say, you know, I could maybe donate 50 bushels, or maybe I could donate a full truckload, or I'd like to glean 50 acres of my field for people who are facing hunger. That's the heartbeat of what this conversation is really geared towards is is, listening to the calling of the hearts of farmers around America. Jared Flinn: Hey, guys. I hope you're enjoying this podcast with Ashley. I wanna just take a quick break and say thank you to you all for being members of Bulk Loads. I know I don't get to talk near to all of you as much as I really want to, but I just wanna say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of Bulkloads. And rest assure, your membership with Bulkloads goes on to serve the greater good of this kingdom. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of and partner with organizations like Convoy of Hope, where we can actually bring hope to those and help feed feed children and just the tremendous of other things that they do to serve this community. I absolutely love convoy of hope. Again, with their alignment with trucking and their convoy, delivering food and relief and also what they do in agriculture to help feed, not just, kids here in America, but around the world. Jared Flinn: So I just wanna say thank you for that. Again, if you wanna know more about Convoy of Hope, you can go to the link below at You'll see that and click on that to learn more. But I just wanna say more than anything, thank you so much for being a part of that. And last but not least, regardless of where you are in your faith, man, I just wanna know and just speak a little bit of a blessing. God loves you no matter what. There's nothing you can do, for his love to ever be less for you, and, just know that that you, are a new creation every day regardless of your past. I have a past. Jared Flinn: I'm sure everybody has a past, but god loves you the fullest. Man, he wants the best for you. He wants to see, you flourish in him and serve others in this community. That's why we live here on this great planet. So, man, thank you so much again for being a part of the bulk loads community. God bless. Jared Flinn: Talk about it. You had maybe a couple stories you're Yeah. To share, but, talk about maybe one of those stories that kinda relates to this that that that's already made an impact. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. I had a life changing opportunity to go to Cut Bank, Montana 2 years ago, with an incredible friend of mine, and that now has become a friend of mine after our visit. I'll just be completely honest. So I am a Kansas girl through and through. I did not grow up in ag. I'm not a farmer kid. This is not something that I'm comfortable in yet. Ashley Jonas: I know I have so much to learn, but I do know a lot about hunger. I've spent, fortunately, a lot of time in Haiti on the ground in some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world and seen hunger and malnutrition at its worst. And I smile when I talk about it because it was a change in my soul. There was a shift that happened, which was a beautiful thing for me personally. But it was one of the most devastating things I've ever seen in my life, and I never could come back the same. And so, having the opportunity to be a convoy and fly to Cut Bank, Montana and meet with this farmer standing in a pea field about 40 miles east of Glacier National Park was just one of the most astounding moments. And he had previously donated to convoy of hope, 3 truckloads of well, 2 were of peas and one truckload of beans. And, he really struggled with making that decision to kind of give up that land or give up that harvest of his. Ashley Jonas: And, he said one day he was sitting in his truck and just felt that calling from the lord to do something, And he didn't know what that meant. And just a few days later, I had called him and said, hey. I you don't know who I am. You had talked to someone at Convoy 6 years ago, but I'm just here to reconnect and see if there could ever be a desire maybe to jump back in and donate some peace again to Convoy. And he immediately broke into tears sharing that he had just had this conversation with the Lord and his, combine in the field, just the 2 of them. And so the timing of that was pretty incredible, but we stood in the field and, he had this huge 13 foot wide banner that said this field is dedicated to convoy of hope. And, he's surrounded by the Herodites, which is a colony. Yeah. Ashley Jonas: Very, very strict religious beliefs. It's very difficult to communicate with them, and that that'll come up later in this, quick little story. But he was in his field one day and could see across the mountain and that there was a storm coming in. And he was incredibly worried because they said there were supposed to be hail and high winds, and his harvest was just ready, to to be plowed. And he was, you know, getting very worrisome about that, and his brother called him and said, I don't know what we're gonna do. We may lose the field. And so they just started praying over the field, and he starts crying when he tells me this and says, Ashley, every feather of a field hawk was missing, and every stone of hail hit every field but my field. Not one single grain and not one single plant on my field was damaged. Ashley Jonas: It went completely around my field, and that was the most beneficial, the greatest harvest, the healthiest harvest I have ever had in that field to date since being a farmer when my dad owned this land. And so I knew that because I dedicated this land to the lord and made a promise that he protected that, And we harvested the the acreage and loaded that up, and Convoy came and picked it up, sent it directly to Haiti, and somehow his pastor was in Haiti the same time it arrived and helped unload the truck of his harvest. After dodging this huge hailstorm, it just and he's in tears sharing it. And so it just changed my view and my heart, and it just was an incredible experience to see the passion that he had and the promise and protection that he was given. Jared Flinn: Yeah. And you said something about the the the religious group up there? Was there something? I feel it. Ashley Jonas: So I bring that up because the herdites were angry. I mean, they were frustrated because all of their fields were completely damaged but his. So they him and asked, what did you do? What could have happened for your field to be the only field in over 200 miles of farmland, and yours was the only one that was not damaged. And it gave him the opportunity to share his testimony of why his field was the only field that was not damaged in the hailstorm. Jared Flinn: Wow. Ashley Jonas: And so when I went to visit, they allowed me on their colony, on their farm to come speak to them, and they also received a banner and dedicated, acreage to donating to Envoy of Hope, which is unheard of for that specific. So Jared Flinn: Wow. Praise god. That is that's awesome. Ashley Jonas: It it was pretty crazy. Jared Flinn: Yeah. For listeners right now, talk about kind of, you know, wrapping their heads around kind of what this really how how hard of a lift is this or how easy this is. Hey. I'm just using an example. I'm a farmer in, you know, Northern Kansas, North Central Kansas. Yeah. I raise, you know, some corn, soybeans, stuff like that. How hard is this if I do wanna make a donation, or really kinda how are the what's are those steps and processes? I know some people, like I said, have big operations, small operations. Jared Flinn: What's what's really the lift involved, and how do I get this to where it needs to go? Ashley Jonas: Absolutely. So the cool thing about Convoy of Hope is that we actually handle 100% of the shipping responsibility. So immediate lift of burden to a farmer, a coop, any processing organization, that's the first win. Right? So we actually a fun thing about our transportation team is that we have 30 trucks in our fleet. We have a couple reefers, a few box trucks, but around 30 trucks and trailers. A fun fact to go along with that, one of my favorite things to talk about, is that we actually function primarily on volunteer drivers. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Ashley Jonas: And so we have 27 volunteers. Some are retired, from previous truck drivers. Some are still full time, but, you know, they work somewhere else. But they literally donate their weekends to be able to drive for Convoy. Jared Flinn: But I was gonna bring it up later on. I'm glad you brought that up now, though. But, I mean, just for people listening, because we have thousands of of CDL drivers at all different ages that listen to this podcast. But if if it's ever a calling on your heart, those listening, that you wanna volunteer your time and drive, I think Convoy, I I assume could there's a list or would would love to have that availability out there. I mean, actually, I've thought about myself. I have a a class a CDL when I used to drive, but I'm always like, man, if I if Conway can ever use my, you know, my talent to drive a truck, I'd be happy to. But I think and we'll put the links down. We'll we'll talk about this towards the end of the podcast. Jared Flinn: But if you have interest even using your ability to drive, semi with a class a CDL, I'm sure there's something Conboy can use you for just on that element. Ashley Jonas: Yep. Absolutely. That would be incredible. I love all of our drivers. They're so fun to hear the stories and their favorite gas stations and their trips where they get to go. So we have a lot of fun talking about some of those fun things. But, I start with that just simply to relieve the burden off of the farmer or whoever is, you know, donating their time and their product to convoy of hope. So start to finish, what that could look like is really just having a conversation. Ashley Jonas: I would love to have a conversation with anyone who has questions or ideas or thoughts or just the intent to maybe plan for a donation in the next harvest. I know that takes time. It's not an overnight thing. And so it's a one on one relationship. You will not call a phone number and talk to a robot. You will not email something and get a bounce back email. We'll share my email and direct info later, and you'll talk to me. I'm the only person heading this thing up right now. Ashley Jonas: And so we'll just talk through what that looks like and what works best for you and, dating, whatever that might look like. But just to kinda give you an idea of what we can take is that's most helpful sometimes is, we'll take excess. If there's ever an overharvest, we'll take it. If there's an intent to glean or an intent to donate, like you're growing it to give it, that is a huge win for us as well. Anything that maybe has already been packaged that's misdated, mislabeled, damaged, we'll take it. We can receive anything that is damaged but still edible. And so just keep that in mind. Sometimes packaging can get tricky for some. Ashley Jonas: We have received bulk tote, shipments. Not always ideal, especially for international there's if there's the ability for them to be in smaller bags up to 50 to a 100 pound bags, if they have dating, nutritional labeling, and any other kind of certification required, we'll take it. Jared Flinn: And, I would even say this to those listeners, even if you haven't I mean, even if you can't provide that kind of packaging, still talk to you, Ashley, and Yes. I'm sure you could even hopefully direct to a facility that maybe could take it to that next step. Because I do know a lot of these farmers, it would be bulk loaded. Yeah. You know, usually at a big trailer or maybe in super sacks or totes like you mentioned. But if, again, if your farm doesn't have that capability, still talk to ASHA. I'm sure they can get the product to where it can be done that way. Actually, talk about because, again, in Midwest, you know, most farmers are growing, you know, different grains and stuff more for animal feed. Jared Flinn: Mhmm. Probably not as much, like, human consumed grain. But, like, if someone's maybe thinking about maybe next year or maybe I'll look at you know, I got my you know, right now, crops in. It's already growing up. But what are some of the most more desired grains or or commodities that you guys are really look for? Like, what's what's like when you find something like this is number 1, this is what we want the most of. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. Great question. So for grain, it would definitely be rice and then sorghum and then milled flour. Those would be our top 3 for grains specifically. Outside of that, beans are a huge win. Soybeans? Any kind of beans. Soybean, black bean, and red bean are really our Jared Flinn: We do raise a lot of soybeans around here, so I think we I think that's one one for sure. Ashley Jonas: Yep. That's true. Yes. Soybeans would be great. We are building partnerships with some larger processors, And so if there's a potential to utilize that soybean and have it crushed or processed, for better consumption on the, meal side. We're looking into that as well. But, any kind of dry bean is a huge win mostly because of the dating. I mean, all grains and commodities, of course, have long dating, shelf stable, huge win. Ashley Jonas: But with the beans, they have packed full of protein and nutrients. But, also, sorghum is such a huge need as well. We have a fairly new initiative called Africa weights. We are responding and opening the scope of our response for West Africa, because they are currently facing one of the largest food crisis in over 50 years, and it's devastating. And so we're really putting a lot of effort and time into that initiative. And so sorghum is one of the top needed food items, received by Africa. Jared Flinn: Awesome. Talk a little bit, and I don't wanna get too far off on time here, but when you talk about some of the the agriculture programs, convoy also has a program where they actually have, experimental labs growing different grains to even teach other country how to grow those grains. Can you talk a little bit about that? Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. I would love to. So our center for agriculture and food security is just this incredible on-site resource that we currently have. It's built to have the capacity to really train and resource people and farmers in need. And so we've kind of lightly touched on multiple programs. And so just real quick, I would really like to just kinda talk through those really quick so this all comes together. Okay. Ashley Jonas: So we have 6 different programs within Convoy. The one we're talking about right now is agriculture. It focuses primarily on food security, and supporting and training local farmers in the countries that we have programming in for long term sustainability. Obviously, the goal is to eventually have an exit plan, an exit strategy. Agriculture is part of that exit strategy. Another one of our high level programs is our children's feeding initiative. We are currently in 37 different countries around the world providing those daily meals that we previously talked about. And we have a map. Ashley Jonas: We you can get on our website and see the map. It's incredible to just look at holistically the impact that children's feeding can do. The goal with, bulk commodities in general is to support children's feeding program because they have the capacity to receive these large bulk loads and break them down and to be able to feed the children within schools and orphanages and and families around the communities. 3rd, we have our women's empowerment program. It is what it sounds like. It's just an opportunity to empower women who are sometimes a leader within the family in rural areas of different countries that we're serving in. And so when we go into these program countries, these three programs work in tandem. We feed the children, we educate the farmers, and we empower the women, and they all work together to really build this, bridge, this gap to support the community. Ashley Jonas: And so the remaining programs that we have that we've kinda lightly talked about is our disaster services. That's both domestic here in the United States, and we can, highlight a little bit of that later as well, but we also have our international disaster services. I mentioned Ukraine earlier. We are responding to Gaza at the capacity that we currently can. Gosh. We've we've really been involved anywhere that's needed, Turkey, Japan. If there's a disaster happening internationally, we are either responding or we're preparing to see if there is, a need for our response. And then last, we have our community engagement, which really is just this tree of of breakdown for other community support. Ashley Jonas: So it includes our rural initiative program, our community event program, and several different other areas that we just touch base here in the United States. So I know that's like drinking out of a fire hose. That was a lot of information, but we really function within those 6 different programs here at Convoy of Hope and utilize the product that and the cash donations that are received to support those programs. Jared Flinn: I'm so glad you brought up the rural initiative. That that was actually the other point I was wanting you to finish with because, know, I was actually surprised. I didn't learn that till really last year that I had no idea that convoy, actually, the rural initiative that they're feeding and helping children in rural America. This isn't just I mean, children are, I mean, important all over the the globe, but it's not just children in Africa, but there's children here in rural America a lot where a lot of our listeners are listening from are are are originally from that Convoy is having an impact on. So I'm so glad you brought that up as well. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. It's personally one of my favorite programs that we had. I had the opportunity to go with our team in Montana and, see it firsthand. And it's really about supporting the community stakeholders, like the police chief, the school nurse, the nursing home that, you know, holds just an incredible group of the elderly who may have been unfortunately forgotten about. And so convoy is able to bring supplies like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, fresh water, healthy foods, and empower the community stakeholders to step in and educate on how to support their community by utilizing the product that we donate. So it's very intentional from top to bottom, and it is. It's all about supporting rural America. Jared Flinn: That's awesome. I wanna kinda close out here and just I wanna hear your your response to this. But, again, I said earlier, and I've heard Hal speak a couple of times, but, you know, we did this podcast. We wanted I want people to know about who convoy, I hope, is. But when I heard one of the house conversations, he said he really convoy is not after they don't want people's they're not necessarily wanting people's resources and money. They want their heart. They want people to experience God's joy for people. And although I can get through this without getting too emotional, but I love that that Hal said that that his heart is that they want they want people's heart for the Lord. Jared Flinn: I'd love to hear your response to that because, you know, you're in this every day, Ashley. Like, what, like, what warms your heart with this, or what breaks your heart, I guess, too, in general when you see what's going on? And but I guess, more importantly, the hope that you have working through convoy. Ashley Jonas: Oh, that's a heavy one. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Ashley Jonas: But thank you for asking that because I mean, really, that's what it all comes down to is the heart. And I truly have a belief that everyone wants to help. Sometimes they just don't know how. Mhmm. And convoy of hope opens that door for really any kind of person to bring the skills or their ability or their time, their heart, their cash, their donation, their network, the people they know, whatever they may have. They open the door to bring that in and utilize it to serve the most the most heartbreaking situations, those facing hardship in any capacity. So, we do so much, and we really are so big, but it does open that heart and that door for people to do something. And just like we talked about earlier with mother Teresa, anyone can do something. Ashley Jonas: And it just it really ties in with Hal's heart. He's so humble, and so giving and just has that kindness about him, and that it reflects within the organization. And so it does. It it it provides hope to the people that work here that we what we do every day, it matters, and it provides opportunity for the people around us that we get to talk to and empower that they can do something too. Jared Flinn: I love that. I wanna share a a a story and and then we'll kinda wrap up. But yeah. So my wife and I, we went on a on a convoy event, with and it was just amazing. But I we get back and I'm talking to my business partner, Matt, about convoy hope. And my business partner, Matt, he's in California and just really explaining that how much we love the the event, and we love convoy. And I told Matt, this is kinda towards the end of your year, man. I'd love to support the event. Jared Flinn: And his response was just in my my goal that he said, you know, Jared, you know, we've had a great year. Yeah. I'm sure I could take this this money and buy a motorcycle or something like that, or we could feed a lot of kids. I think we'll feed a lot of kids. Mhmm. And that was just, like, for me, it was just touching. I I got very emotional on it. I'm getting emotional now, but it was just cool that that he saw that the way I that that there was a need greater, and that was just that we could serve and love others. Jared Flinn: And I'll say this, we've been so blessed for it, so it's been reciprocated. And I think that's one thing I try to teach our team here is how much the more you give, you get so much more back in return. Mhmm. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. It's so true. There's opportunity everywhere, and and sometimes we think we're the ones helping. And then for me, personally, sometimes when I have given the most, whether it's of my time or my heart or relationship or tithe, whatever that might look like. Yeah. Sometimes the things that come back are so much bigger than what I could have ever imagined, and that wasn't the intent, but at the end of the day, the lord is like, I'm gonna double that. I'm gonna get that double. And it's just it is. Ashley Jonas: It's very moving, and it's bigger than me. You know? Like, it's just it's so much bigger than myself. Jared Flinn: Yeah. So, yeah, that's my challenge for others. And everybody's at a different stage, and I know that, but I think more than anything, like, you know, god wants your heart, and he'll show you the blessings if you trust in him and and show him. So and so, so awesome. Ashley, we're gonna go ahead, and we'll put the link to convoy hope on the website, or we'll put it on the link below, if you're, listening to this, and we'll go ahead and drop your phone number in there. So if you're listening right now, all you need to do is is drop down in the podcast notes, and you'll get Ashley's information. We'll put her email as well. But, yeah, I just encourage you to reach out there. Jared Flinn: It's not a big lift, just to reach out and see. And, again, like you said in the very beginning from how convoy of hope got started from mother Teresa, everybody can do something, you know, something super I mean, even if it's something small, it's it's a it'll have a bigger impact or more than a bigger impact than you think. Ashley Jonas: Yeah. Absolutely. You know? And at this whole time, we've been talking about truckloads, But I do wanna share, like, we have the capacity to receive 2 pallets of product, and it is just as powerful and will make just as big as impact as a full load could. And so I don't want a full truckload to stop anyone from thinking that 2 pallets wouldn't be enough because it'll be enough to a chill a child looking for a meal. And so if anything that has been said today has triggered your heart or a thought, I welcome conversation and questions, and thanks for the time. Jared Flinn: Absolutely. Ashley, thank you so much for coming on. God bless you. Ashley Jonas: You too. Thank you. Jared Flinn: Tyler, I know I've been a big proponent and probably have led us us being more involved with convoy hope, but I don't know why, but I love the tie to trucking Yep. And agricultural bulk commodities. I think I don't know. I kept we kept praying and meditating over it. We did go to this convoy vote convoy of hope event that I shared. And I was like, I think this is our calling. I mean, I think this is where the next step God has us Yeah. In one of the ways to help other people. Tyler Allison: Yeah. 100%. And convoy help, they actually, came and spoke at our conference this year, which is really cool. So everyone who attended our conference, kinda knows a little bit about who they are and how they can get involved. But for those who don't, it's really cool to see. They have numerous videos about their mission, what they're doing across the globe. And sometimes I forget, like, I don't know why, but whenever I think of them, I'm just like, you know, they're doing disaster relief in in the US and just, you know, North America, but they are really around the globe. And something that's fascinating to me is they're not only just giving food to people, like they're going out to the farmers and teaching the farmers how they can grow. Tyler Allison: Sustainable. Yeah. Like they're, they're teaching them how they can make a better way of life. And they just have fascinating success stories of, you know, moms and owning businesses. And yeah, it's we will link the website, in the show notes. So if you're curious about how to, you know, donate or get involved, volunteer truck driving, or just want to learn more about convoy, hope we'll drop that in the show notes. Every time I've heard the founders video that they have a few different times, every time it gets me like just with how and how it got started, his dad, like getting hit by a drunk driver. Yeah. Tyler Allison: Yeah. It's, it's, it's a really cool story. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I, yeah. Just to your point, and I said this before we started the podcast, but just anything like, there's little things we can do, and maybe that's not yet for you. So it affects us. But I love, you know, they want us for you to see the heart of God Yeah. And not necessarily feel obligated or guilt or anything like that. And again, there's more ways to be a part of what they're doing more than just financially. There's always that element. Jared Flinn: But I think, yeah, they're always looking for drivers, and maybe that's something somebody can do if they're retired or not driving for a while or on the side. I think there's so, yeah, get a hold of them. I will say this to a great organization, but they've been very open to listening to however people can, you know, help. If you have an idea or something that you can do, like, they're very flexible Yeah. Figuring out, like yeah. And that that's why I love this. It's not like, hey. No. Jared Flinn: We just give us a check and, you know, that's it. But they really wanna center around on how, you know, how people can feel like what what they're called to do. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Another thing that, blew me away is just hearing that so whenever they take financial donations, I think hopefully I get this right, but I think they said $97 on the dollar actually goes Jared Flinn: Yeah, I can't remember. It's close. I mean, Tyler Allison: it's huge. The majority of the dollar that you donate actually goes into their mission in, you know, feeding people. So that's with all these other different organizations, that's my one thing that I'm always like, okay, how much is actually, you know? But Convoy Hope, yeah, they're truly, they're serving, like, 2 hun like she said, 250,000,000 people. So Jared Flinn: Well, rest assured, like I said, you guys being part of bulk loads are part of that. But if you would even like to take the next extra step, their information is below. And guys, it's trucking. We're doing this trucking. It's ag. It's what we do. The next I mean, so yeah. Anyways, but, yeah, definitely get a hold of Combo. Jared Flinn: Oh, yeah. I do like the the the 1,000,000 goal to feed a 1,000,000 kids a day. I think that was really cool. I mean, that's a 10 x boom. Tyler Allison: That's a lofty goal, but I think they're gonna hit it. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean and yeah. Glory to be to god for them. Tyler Allison: So Yeah. Jared Flinn: Awesome. Well, a couple of other things before we head out of here. Tyler Allison: So IFTA's Q2 coming up, Jared. We got, July 31st IFTA's are due. I have the same thought. If you guys most guys out there, especially if you're running ELDs and stuff, you know, you can export all that information, get it into a system, do it yourself. Obviously, keep doing that. But if it is a headache for you, you don't like doing it, you dread it, or you just have trouble remembering and you get tacked on with fees or or penalties because you don't submit them, let us know. We have Tanner Batten leading up our permitting arm here, and, he is doing IFTA's for a ton of our members. And so if you would like for us to do that, definitely let us know. Tyler Allison: You can go to We have a permitting tab on there, or you can email us at [email protected], and we will get you connected to Tanner. Jared Flinn: Are you gonna make mention of any truck shows coming up? Tyler Allison: We do. We have 2 coming up. I think half our team is going to, both of them with the I eighty truck show, in Wolcott, Iowa. Our Smart Freight team and a couple other guys are going up there, but then we have, Rigs at the Run-in Miami, Oklahoma. This is the 1st year we're gonna attend that one. So we have some Jared Flinn: That's a hop, skip, and a jump from here. Tyler Allison: Yeah. It's not that far. So if you're gonna be at those shows, definitely let us know. We wanna meet up, grab grab a bite to eat with you, and Jared Flinn: Leave a comment down below real quick. Yeah. And, that way we can get a hold of you when it gets close. Yeah. We would love to meet you and, and say hi. Get a picture, give you some swag. Tyler Allison: Yep. We will be bearing tons of swag. So awesome. Cool. Jared Flinn: Well, as always, as we close out of here, we do have a prayer request line or prayer email. It's prayer at If there's something you would love for us to pray on, any kind of struggle, addiction, conflict, death in the family, we would love to, be a part of that. If you would allow us to send a quick email to prayer at bulk close dot com. We have a team that prays over that that gets assigned, and, man, we are just, honored that you would consider us, to be praying for you in this time. So send that out there. And, with that said, I'll close this out. Heavenly father, thank you for Ashley Jonas and Convoy of Hope. Jared Flinn: Thank you for the, the the blessing and, wisdom that you've given Hal, and the leadership team, to orchestrate just a phenomenal organization, that has impacted the world and, just the millions of families and kids that, that you have impacted, Lord. We just thank you for that right here in Springfield, Missouri. Lord, we we continue to pray over that organization, Lord, how we can be a part of it, how others listen to this podcast can be a part of that, Lord. So we, we just pray this and give this to you. Lord, we pray for our community this time this summer. Lord, we know that the industry is challenging right now. We know, rates are low. Costs are so high. Jared Flinn: And, Lord, many of us are feeling that pain, Lord. So we just, pray for your wisdom, over this community. Lord, we pray that you, help and bless those that are needed and that we can be blessings for those as well. So, Lord, thank you for everything that you do in your heavenly and precious name. Amen. Amen. Thank you as always for listening to the bulk loads podcast. If you haven't yet hit the subscribe button, I believe down in this corner, please share this with others out there. Jared Flinn: That could be just one favor, that we would ask for you. Share this to others out there on your social media or others that can value you, we'd be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. And as always, God bless you.