The Farming for Health committee presented two cheques to The Health Foundation at the annual Gala Evening; the first was for $243,656, the proceeds of the 2017 crop year; the second cheque was for $1,000,000. These funds are set aside for a new Regional Hospital.
"This is a project that all of the participants believe in," said Larry Hilworth, Chair of the Committee.
"There is a lot of work to farming this land; all of the businesses involved set aside their own business for a period of time to donate time, equipment or product to make this project successful. This project is a success because the people involved care and want to see the project succeed."
"This project is possible because the City of Yorkton donates the land. The city has donated the land for a further four years; providing us the land for several years at a time allows us to plan, and organize our efforts in the most efficient manner," continued Mr. Hilworth.
"This cheque we are presenting today is from the efforts of businesses and individuals who believe in giving back to their community. Everyone working on this project understands we all have to work to make our communities better places to live work and raise our families," continued Mr. Hilworth.
Mr. Hilworth introduced the Farming for Health Committee to the Gala guests. Those in attendance were Dallas Bond of Pattison Agriculture, Blake Herperger of Rocky Mountain Equipment, Brad Guenther of Yorkton New Holland, Al Mitchell of Agratactics Agronomy, and Michael Yaholnitsky of Miccar Aerial. Not in attendance but on the committee are Darryl Flunder of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and Bruce Thurston of the Yorkton Co-operative. In addition to these individuals there are a number of individuals and businesses that participate and contribute in the project.
This was the fifth year for the Farming for Health project. The committee has reached their $1 million dollar goal. The committee has decided they will continue for another four years with the proceeds from future years to be used for equipment purchases that will enhance local health care right away.
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.