Prairie Post (East Edition)
Two southeast Alberta groups earn half of UFA’s Rural Communities Foundation grants
The Rural Communities Foundation announced the winners of its $100,000 grant created to help keep rural communities sustainable. As an agricultural co-operative, UFA has
always given back to its members. The mandate of the foundation is to improve the sustainability of farmers and ranchers in Alberta by improving access to funding for educational, recreational and cultural facilities and programs in Alberta. The RCF is just one more way the organization will support rural communities.
Two southeast Alberta-based organizations will share in the $100,000 RCF funding.
The Foremost and District Agricultural Society will receive $28,980 for overhead radiant heaters, water cisterns and a septic tank in their new $1.9 million arena. With water, sewer and heat, the building can be used year round for many community events. The indoor, agricultural arena will attract residents and visitors from across southern Alberta for rodeo, agriculture and school sports events.
The Dunmore Equestrian Society will receive $23,120 to build a warm up arena next to their existing outdoor riding arena. The warm up arena will give horses and riders a safe place to get ready before their arena events. Now, the warm up is done in the parking lot between parked cars and horse trailers. The facility is used by horse clubs, rodeos and equine-assisted wellness programs to promote a healthy active lifestyle and keep the western culture and heritage alive.
“There were many strong applicants this year and the judges had a difficult time narrowing the choices to just four winners,” said RCF board chair, Harvey Hagman.
“Through these applications we saw the strength of rural communities and the commitment by volunteers to keep rural communities sustainable.”
Also earning funding were the Grimshaw Curling Club. They will receive $20,000 towards the $300,000 needed to replace its aging ice plant. Curling is a growing sport in the northern Alberta community and the club has become a centre for community activities. A new ice plant will ensure the four-sheet facility will continue to bring families and friends together and ice in the facility for many more years.
The Stettler District Agricultural Society will receive $27,900 to renovate washrooms and shower stalls. In 2021, the agricultural society undertook a Legacy Project to completely rebuild, repaint and re-roof their aging facilities. The facility is used for programs throughout the year including cattle shows, rodeos and markets. With upgraded outdoor washrooms, the facility will continue to be home for community and regional events for many years. The only other time the southeast won was 2020 when Irvine earned funding.