Farming for Health is a project of the Health Foundation with widespread support from the agricultural community in the Yorkton area. The project involves farming 560 acres of land that has been donated by the city of Yorkton.
All farming operations are done by local farm implement dealers, with the help of several local farmers. Most of the inputs have been donated, allowing the farming project to raise a significant amount of money.
"This farming project is a crucial part of our campaign to raise awareness of the need for a new hospital," Health Foundation's Ross Fisher points out. "The great support of the agricultural community shows the government there is a willingness to raise the community share of the funds for a new hospital."
The 2017 canola crop, on land south of Queen Street provided by the city, was harvested the last week of September, thanks to the volunteer efforts of many businesses and individuals.
Aerial photos courtesy Devan Yaholnitsky of Goodspirit Air.
Yorkton needs a new hospital to service the needs of east central Saskatchewan and western Manitoba. Our current hospital provides service to a population of approximately 120,000 people, and the volume of patients is increasing.
Our current hospital is 55 years old and will not be able to meet our region's healthcare needs as we move into the future.
The provincial Ministry of Health asked several years ago how prepared we are to move forward with a fundraising campaign for the community share of the money required, and if we have determined that the community wants and will support a new regional hospital. They wanted us to demonstrate that we had the capacity to raise our share of the funds to build a new hospital.
In 2013 we undertook a campaign to raise funds and demonstrate there is a very broad base of support in the region for a new hospital. We agreed to raise $500,000 a year with three projects: the Farming for Health project, a campaign to have 100 businesses to donate at least $1,000, and a fundraising campaign based on personal donations.
Our three projects have been successful the last two years and we were able to raise the $500,000 each year.
Based on that great success, we are continuing the Farming for Health project again this year.