Dallas Vert and Natasha Pospisil of Dryland Agro Services in Kirriemuir nominated and then won $15,000 for Altario School’s School of Excellence Program.
This program centres around agriculture where students from inside and outside of the school division have daily tasks and plenty of livestock to take care of including poultry, beef, a cow/calf pair, turkeys and their most recent addition of bottle-fed lambs donated by Lakeland College.
They also have a community garden and will soon work with Dryland Agro by using 50 acres of their land for a student learning test crop in the coming seeding season.
Adama Canada’s Thank a Retailer community contest is one where top agriculture retailers across Western Canada nominate a worthy cause and collect points.
Dryland Agro was up against some hefty competitors including some from Hussar and Drumheller but they were able to pull ahead by coming together.
The contest rallying period was from Jan. 23 until Feb. 17.
On Feb. 19, they were given the news they had won as well as two other recipients; Sharpes Crop Services in Moosomin, Saskatchewan and Prairie Giants of Manitoba.
“A small community that has 200 people in it can win against these big [businesses]. We were up against some very very large outfits and it was pretty neat to see how this community of ours can come together and do that for us,” said Vert.
Altario School Principal Kevin Van Lagen says there are two potential options the students will decide to spend the money on, a small tractor or expanding their chicken operation by purchasing an insulated structure.
“They are going to research what they are going to do,” said Van Lagen. “They will make a motion in their board of governors and get to spend the money like they want to.”
Altario school has approximately 60 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Van Lagen added, “Another group almost caught us. We went crazy and emailed everyone we knew to get playing and we won pretty handily so that was pretty awesome. We had people playing from different provinces and everything for us. Social media works.”
“It’s all a part of growing the program.”