Despite a difficult harvest, farmers and agricultural suppliers have done their part once again to raise money for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
They won’t have any detailed numbers on the outcome of this year’s projects until the new year, "but we’re anticipating, from the growing projects side of things, we may be down a little bit compared to other years," said Gordon Janzen, Manitoba representative for the Foodgrains Bank.
"Some of these issues with weather have affected the yield," he said, "but also then on the price side, the commodities have not been selling so well, right now, so I think that those are down a little bit. So that will affect us in our growing project donations, I think."
Ag suppliers and farmers team up to donate their time, inputs, land and equipment to grow crops for the fundraising initiative.
In total, 36 projects of varying sizes raised crops for the Foodgrains Bank this year.
Groups in the Boissevain-Fairfax area were unable to get their wheat crop off, while in the Roblin-Swan River area they were able to get their canola crop off just before the Thanksgiving snowstorm, Janzen said.
"So that was good."
Farther east, some groups were growing soybean crops for the project.
"They were stymied from getting into the fields during September and October," Janzen said. "But now, with the frozen ground they’ve been able to harvest some fields in the MacGregor area, Springstein area and in the Red River area."
Last year, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank received just shy of $2 million from these projects in Manitoba. The funds raised by the Foodgrains Bank are matched four to one by the Canadian government.
"It’s always amazing to me the generosity of the growing-project groups, the farmers and ag businesses that work together," Janzen said.
The organization is in the fourth year of a five-year agreement with the federal government, which provides up to $25 million a year to the charity.
Janzen said he is "hoping and expecting" the agreement will be renewed by Ottawa following a review of the project.
"We continue to encourage them to have robust overseas development aid because we know that has made a difference in the lives of a lot of people in different countries in different programs."
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a charitable organization formed by a partnership between 15 churches and church agencies working together to end world hunger.
Janzen noted an appreciation dinner will be held in Brandon on Nov. 20 at the McDiarmid Alliance Church and will feature a showing of a Canadian Foodgrains Bank documentary film "Common Strength."
Guest speaker Colleen Dyck, who is featured in the film, travelled to Kenya to meet with a woman farmer there.
Admission to the dinner is free. Those planning to attend can RSVP by Nov. 11 to Janzen at 431-334-8878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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