By Katherine Grant
Land owned by the West Niagara Agricultural Society wasn’t being used and that’s not something that sits well with those who have dedicated their careers to agriculture.
So 28 acres of soybeans were planted this past season, were harvested and the $5,858 raised from the sale will help those who often go hungry.
The money was donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an organization established in 1983 to create a practical way for farmers to share their abundant crops with the less fortunate of the world. The federal government matches funds raised, either dollar for dollar or as much as four-to-one, depending on the project.
“We had the land, now what do we do with it? The idea was to create a beautiful linkage between an ag society and growing food for the less fortunate,” said Albert Witteveen, West Niagara Agriculture Society director and co-ordinator of the Foodgrains effort. “This was a good use of our resources at the fairgrounds.”
“We could have made the funds project specific but we decided to put it into their (Foodgrains) general funds,” said Witteveen.
Darryl Haanstra, a local farmer and dealer for DuPont Pioneer, approached the company for a donation and the result was the delivery of 28 free bags of seed.
With the support of the WNAS, the land was planted, cared for and harvested, all by local volunteers from the agricultural community, said Haanstra.
“With the help of my guys, we planted, harvested and delivered the crop,” said Haanstra adding none of those involved charged for their services.
“We are stewards of the land and coming from a Christian background, we care about
people who are going hungry,” said Witteveen.
This is now going to be a annual venture, he added.