Farming for Hospice has harvested their annual crop from the land provided to them by Nutrien, and hosted an event to celebrate the crop this year.

Operating on a new format, the team pre-sold their barley crop via Team Electronic live Auction Market as cattle feed. 

“We did a little pre-harvest on the Monday, (Aug. 21) because we knew Mother Nature had rain in the forecast. We sent six combines out on Monday afternoon, which was pretty fortuitous for us because we did get rain throughout the night,” said Teri McKinnon, community relations director with the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society (WAHS). “We sold it to feedlots because it was a feed barley that we grew and normally, a lot of the feedlots in and around the Strathmore area need to buy a ton of feed for their cattle.”

The WAHS team was exposed to multiple more buyers who may consider continuing to support the project in future years. 

Harvesting off of 155 acres, the WAHS averaged 120 bushels per acre for their yield this year, which McKinnon said was exciting to have been able to produce. 

“We (also) had a fantastic show up (Tuesday, Aug. 22)— Martin Shields came, we had Chantelle de Jonge, we had some big donors who showed up which was fantastic, and then our partners (including) Brandt, and they showcased this brand-new grain cart that was phenomenal.”

Representatives from Nutrien, local feedlots and farmers were also in attendance for the harvest celebration.

This year, McKinnon expects to have raised over $120,000 to contribute to the already more than $1 million gathered through the Farming for Hospice initiative. 

The team was also thankful to Nutrien this year for having donated a plot of land that has access to irrigation systems in order to make it through the drought experienced throughout the summer.

Though it is not yet confirmed, next year may see a winter rye crop grown through Farming for Hospice. Ultimately, the crop will be decided by the harvest wrap up event, Nov. 24, which will be hosted with Drew Gregory. 

Similarly, the harvest wrap up will be where the land will be pre-sold to sponsors for the next summer growing season.

McKinnon stressed that the WAHS team wished to express its thanks to all the farmers, neighbors, sponsors and supporters who gift their time, money, equipment and land to benefit their vision.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 30, 2023 at 14:38

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta
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