Grain project plants seeds of hope

Volunteers and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are once again planting seeds for a brighter future.

Volunteers and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are once again planting seeds for a brighter future.

On May 31 two volunteers from Agro Ponoka, and a seeder, working for the Ponoka Food Grains Project gathered just south of Ponoka to seed 170 acres with barley.

Project co-ordinator Peter Doorenbal says a few acres might not be seeded this year because the fields have been so wet.

Simco Farms donated this year’s seeds and Agro Ponoka donated the seeder.

“It’s fun, it’s for a good cause, and you get to show off your equipment to farmers a little bit,” said Ferdinand Harkema, a sales rep at Agro Ponoka.

Once the seeds have grown and are harvested the grain will be sold and the profit given to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to be used in emergency situations in Third World countries. The money is sent to Winnipeg, where the head office of the project is, then distributed to the affiliated church groups and organizations.

Each year volunteers who work with Canada’s Foodgrains Bank are able to travel and experience first-hand how their efforts help. Henderson has been to Honduras and Nicaragua in previous years.

Approximately 10 years ago Hurricane Mitch hit Nicaragua. “A lot of rebuilding was done with the help of Foodgrains sponsors,” says Henderson. “It’s just extreme poverty in some places. The people really have very little, yet they’re very happy. They appreciate everything they do have.”

As in past years food-for-work programs are still in place. Those in need are able to do work such as rebuilding their community after a disaster and for their efforts they’re given food.

“People want to be self-sustained,” Henderson said.

Currently there has been no profit to the project and according to organizer Larry Henderson it’s still to early to tell what the result of the donations will equal.

The Canadian International Development Agency is also still involved with the project and will be matching donations 4:1

It’s the Ponoka Food Grains Project’s 14th year and this year the project started weeks later than planned.

“You’re always at the mercy at the weather,” said Henderson.

However, just because the seeds are planted doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. Drought and hail can ruin a crop. However, Alberta Hail and Crop have donated insurance for situations like that.

This year’s volunteers were out in the field for several hours going in circles with the seeder and stopping periodically to check the equipment, but no one was complaining.

“It’s a farming community, so when they need your help they know where to find you,” Harkema said.

By Amelia Naismith

Just Posted

Ponoka council challenged on payments on new building

Resident continues worries the town is paying over $94,000 per month on something it may never own

Plan to pump into Gull Lake won’t happen in 2019

Two-stage filter process to be evaluated by Alberta Environment

Remember When: A photo of the 1903 Ponoka Presbyterian Church

The building would late become the sight of the Ponoka United Church

Ponoka County denies rezoning over road responsibility issue

Application to parcel off land shot down by council due mainly to lack of access

Ponoka County council pleased with fire services budget

2019 budget presented to council include some higher operational costs

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Huawei founder thanks inmates, Canadian justice system for treating daughter well

Ren Zhengfei said he believes there will be a just conclusion to the case of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Reflections: Looking back a brave Ponoka soldier

Private Frederick Keith Miller is recognized in this week’s Ponoka News history column

Most Read