Sask. farmers donate time, machinery to help youth in need
Harvest for Hope benefits Rock Solid Refuge
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
About 25 farmers from near Swift Current, Sask., have donated time and machinery to Rock Solid Refuge for its Harvest for Hope campaign.
This year, farmers helped harvest a barley crop. The yield isn’t known yet, but the money it generates can go a long way.
“A project like this can bring in close to $40,000 depending on the year,” Herbert Seelam, project coordinator with Rock Solid Refuge, told Farms.com. “It’s incredible to see the community come together.”
Rock Solid Refuge is a 12-month, biblically-based program for males between 13 and 18-years-old struggling with drugs, alcohol or other issues.
And the Harvest for Hope initiative helps Rock Solid fund programs and operating costs.
Farmers choose a plot of land at least 80 acres in size and share the cost and efforts of growing and harvesting a crop.
Local farm businesses and the general public also made machinery, crop inputs or cash donations.
The funds are used to produce a crop, which is then sold at a local elevator. The proceeds from the crop sales are invested back into Rock Solid.
Some of Rock Solid’s students were able to ride in the combines with farmers as they harvested the barley crop. The experience helped them understand that people do care.
“Some of these kids come to our program out of rejection,” Seelam said. “So for them to talk to these farmers who are donating time for kids they don’t know, it helps them understand that even though they’ve gone through lots in life, it shouldn’t be the end of it.”
More Sask. farmers show generosity
Another group of farmers used land and machinery to harvest a crop and use its proceeds for different causes.
With the help of seven combines, Farm it Forward, from Mossbank, Sask., harvested 112 acres of wheat on Aug. 17.
“It’s what you expect out of small-town Saskatchewan,” Kiall Jennett, chairman of Farm it Forward and a local agronomist, told CBC on Aug. 20.
The total dollar figure is currently unknown.
Individuals and organizations can apply to for grants from Farm it Forward. Farm it Forward’s nine-person board will then decide which initiatives receive funding.
Top photo: Silver Blue Photography/CBC