HayEast 2012 is celebrating its first major $20,000 corporate donation from Agrium. The money – to be split between Saskatchewan and Alberta – will help reduce the cost of transporting hay from farm locations to rail depots where it will be delivered to eastern Canadian farmers in need.
HayEast 2012 is a partnership involving farm organizations across Canada. The program is a follow-up to the HayWest program that saw thousands of eastern Canadian farmers send forages to Western Canada in 2002 to help alleviate the effects of that region’s drought. Organizers say western Canadian farmers are eager to reciprocate that good will to help Ontario and Quebec farmers who face a hay shortage following record-low rainfall in some areas.
“We are grateful for Agrium’s show of generosity, and we hope that other Canadian businesses will follow suit,” says Nial Kuyek, General Manager, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and HayEast 2012 organizer. “Farmers in Western Canada have stepped up to donate thousands of round bales of hay to our eastern neighbours in need, but we need cash donations to help us transport it across the country.”
During HayWest 2002, the federal government covered the cost of rail cars, and CN and CP rail companies also made significant transportation donations. As well, nearly $110,000 was donated by the private sector in Canada’s eastern provinces. Organizers of HayEast 2012 have issued an urgent plea for Canadians and Canadian businesses to provide donations to support the transportation of donated hay from Western to Eastern Canada.
“Agrium is pleased to be able to help farmers through this valuable program,” says Mike Wilson, President & CEO, Agrium. “We are proud to be part of an initiative that brings out the best in rural Canadian values, by supporting farmers helping farmers, and we encourage like-minded Canadian agri-businesses to contribute to this initiative.”
Individuals or businesses can make a donation at any Scotiabank location across Canada, or cheques can be made payable to “HayEast 2012.” Ontario farmers in need of forage must apply to the program for consideration. Program details are available at www.hayeast2012.com.