UNITY — Unity schools’, Farming for the Future program has indeed become a full-on community project.
At North West Terminal Sept. 27, the scene was one of community co-operation and co-ordination.
The local agricultural community has rallied around the event. Supposed business rivals work side-by-side, pitching in wherever necessary.
Delta Co-op Agro’s Jaclyn Hunter and Ryan Mollenbeck of Cargill were talking about what their presentation should entail while Arisha Briggs of Summit 306 seeds and Ryley Maze of Bayer/DeKalb discussed the talking points for the seed presentation.
Off to the side, Darren Stifter of Nutrien was grilling burgers with Tony Riou and Evan Brown of North West Terminal. The ladies of Farm Credit Canada, who sponsored the food, were setting up their gazebo right next to Tammy of Claas Financial who was running around to help with anything. Hayden Tremblay of BASF and Tracy David of Syngenta were moving tables together. Julie Spencer of the co-op served as paparazzi.
Behind all of that Adam Miller of Tingleys Harvest Centre and Kaley Doke of Pattison Ag combined side-by-side to open up the field before the students showed up. \
About 200 students from Unity Public School, St. Peter’s and Unity Composite High School took in the presentations where they were taken from seed to harvest, listening to the sponsors teach about what has to happen for the project to be as successful as it has.
They learned that Delta Co-op, Cargill, Veikle Agro, Nutrien and The Rack donated the fertilizer to go with the seed provided by Pioneer (Briggs) and Dekalb (Maze). BASF provided both in-crop and desiccation chemical and Syngenta provided fungicide, which all led to 5,500 bushels that was combined by Claas and John Deere machines.
Local farmers and NWT board members, Vern Schultz and Garan Rewerts, used their equipment to spray the field and haul the grain to the elevator. Allan and Trudy Fawell provided the X9 combine, their tractor and grain cart for the field day, adding to the family farm support, and was driven by Quinn Maze of Pattison Ag.
Five hours after the students filed through the food lines organized by Wanda Gumpinger and left, the combines emptied their hoppers for the last time.
Miller has combined and seeded every crop and he says its one of the days he really looks forward to every year. He struggles to pinpoint why it is such an important day for him. Maybe it’s the fellowship he said. Maybe the opportunity to give to the kids. He just knows he doesn’t want to miss one.
The program, which has provided the elementary schools with playground equipment and a library expansion for the high school, is in line to have their biggest windfall to date. The plan is to have a UCHS student learn marketing from NWT canola merchant Scott Wildeman to maximize the payout.
Schultz and Rewerts, meanwhile, along with sponsors, have already started planning for next spring. Soil testing has begun as CropMax is lending their services.