The Rural Communities Foundation (RCF) announced its annual $100,000 rural sustainability grant winners the last week of October and the Stettler Ag Society was one of four Alberta organizations that will receive a share of the funds.
“The Stettler District Agricultural Society will receive $27,900 to renovate washrooms and shower stalls,” stated a press release form RCF.
“In 2021, the agricultural society undertook a legacy project to completely rebuild, repaint and re-roof their ageing 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.”
“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 in the press release.
“Through these applications, we saw the strength of rural communities and the commitment by volunteers to keep rural communities sustainable.”
Stettler Ag Society Administrator Marj Savage stated the organization greatly appreciated the boost. “We’re thrilled to death,” said Savage by phone Nov. 9.
Savage noted the Stettler Ag Society’s been in existence since 1907 and keeping on top of every bit of maintenance isn’t easy.
She noted the ag society applied for the RCF grant in the past and missed out, but the group was extremely appreciative of the RCF help. She added the legacy project is improving and updating the ag society facility which draws many people to Stettler every year.
Hagman explained RCF was set up several years ago with archived funds from which interest is returned to the community in the form of grants; $100,000 has been granted each year for four years with 2023 being the fifth year.
Hagman also confirmed UFA is looking at investing more funds into the RCF in order to increase community support.
He said every year applications open up in June and run for three months. Afterwards, a committee sifts through the applications and selects winners.
Three other organizations will also benefit from the RCF grant in 2022. The Grimshaw Curling Club will receive $20,000 towards the $300,000 needed to replace its ageing ice plant. The Dunmore Equestrian Society will receive $23,120 to build a warm-up arena next to their existing outdoor riding arena. 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.
According to RCF 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.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter