The Farming for Health committee raised $152,517 during the 2021 crop year. The funds will be used to purchase a GeneXpert 16 system for the lab of the Yorkton Regional Hospital.
The GeneXpert 16 system will help keep testing local and significantly shorten the time in which a diagnosis can be provided. In addition, we will be able to do molecular testing locally.
Earlier diagnostic results across these tests will improve management of outbreaks for Covid, flu, C-Diff (bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and colitis) and TB. While flu has not been an issue this past year because of travel restrictions, it will be now that restrictions are relaxed.
The 2021 crop had a net yield of 29.4 bushels of Nexera canola per acre. Given the year and the lack of rain, the committee considered this to be a very successful result.
"This is a project that all of the participants believe in," said Larry Hilworth, Co-Chair of the Committee. "There is a lot of work to farming this land; all of the businesses involved set aside their own business for a period of time to donate time, equipment or product to make this project successful. This project is a success because the people involved care and want to see the project succeed."
"This project is possible because the City of Yorkton donates the land. The city allows us to lease the land for four years at a time at no charge. Providing us the land for several years at a time allows us to plan, and organize our efforts in the most efficient manner,” said Al Mitchell.
"This cheque we are presenting today represents the work of several businesses and individuals who believe in giving back to their community. Everyone working on this project understands we all have to work to make our communities better places to live work and raise our families," continued Mr. Hilworth.
Members of the Farming for Health Committee are: Pattison Agriculture; Rocky Mountain Equipment; Mazer Group; Agratactics Agronomy; Miccar Aerial; Louis Dreyfus Company; Legacy Co-operative; and Assiniboine Valley Transfer (AVT). In addition to these businesses there are a number of individuals and businesses that participate and contribute in the project.
This was the ninth year for the Farming for Health project. The committee reached their goal of setting aside $1 million for a new hospital in 2017. Since then proceeds have been used to purchase equipment that will enhance our local healthcare right away. In four years Farming for Health has purchased equipment valued at $644,516 for the Yorkton Regional Hospital.