Thursday, 07 September 2017 04:58

Harvest project raised funds for international children’s program

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The 27 combines stand ready for the start of the harvest. Each combine carries a flag from a country where Children’s Camps International is working. The 27 combines stand ready for the start of the harvest. Each combine carries a flag from a country where Children’s Camps International is working.

The farming community south of Swift Current came together to support a Harvest for Kids project that raised funds to give opportunities to children in developing countries to attend camping programs.


A total of 27 combines participated in the harvest of swathed canola on the Hildebrand family farm about 30 kilometres south of Swift Current, Sept. 4.
Harvest for Kids will have five local harvest projects for 2017 in Saskatchewan and one in Manitoba. This was the first time a Harvest for Kids project took place in the Swift Current area, and it set a record for the number of combines at a local harvest project in Saskatchewan.
“I just want to say a big thank you to this community for making this part of what they do,” Harvest for Kids National Director Dave Thiessen said. “We’re so privileged to work with the farming community. You see the hearts of the farmers as they give. Farmers are some of the greatest giving people that I have met.”
There were contributions from different agribusinesses to the project, which was seeded with a canola hybrid.
“We’ve seen so many different businesses step up and help,” he said. “I can’t even name them all. … Our machinery dealerships have been heavily involved, the chemical, fertilizer, agrology and many other people have been heavily involved in this.”
The 160 acres next to Highway No. 4 was made available by the Hildebrand family, who decided together they want to do this project. The decision involved Marvin Hildebrand and his wife Talita, their daughter Lindsay Funk and son-in-law Brady Funk, and their son Jordan Hildebrand and his wife Alissa.
“Our son-in-law and our son just started farming, and they wanted to start farming on the right foot by donating a portion of a crop that they received this year,” Marvin explained.
It was an overwhelming experience for Marvin to see the positive response and support from others for the project.
“It was humbling that so many thought it was worthwhile their time that they donated of their time and energy and their equipment to come and help us out, to share in the moment and to partake in what we were doing,” he said.
He estimated the gross income from this project will be about $60,000.
There are still some expenses that have to be accounted for before the final amount can be determined that will be received by Harvest for Kids.
Brady Funk first became aware of Harvest for Kids Saskatchewan in 2012 when 244 combines participated in a harvest event near Dalmeny that set a new Guinness world record. Last winter he learned more about the organization at a promotional event and he wanted to support their work in developing countries.
“I just actually felt called that this is something that I want to be part of and I really liked what Harvest for Kids was involved in and what the money was going towards,” he said.
The goal was to have between 25 and 30 combines present for the harvest and he was grateful for the response from the community.
“I’m just overwhelmed with the generosity of this community and the willingness to help out for a good cause,” he said. “It’s very humbling.”
It has been a very dry growing season, but he was satisfied with the quality of the crop under the circumstances.
“Germination definitely was a huge factor from day one,” he said. “That was the number one concern for us and God has actually just provided for us. The canola has branched out immensely and we’re pleasantly surprised with the product that we have here right now.”
Funds from Harvest for Kids projects are used to support the activities of Children’s Camps International (CCI), an evangelical, non-denominational organization that has been doing children’s camping ministry since 2003. According to Thiessen these camps are similar to Vacation Bible School.
“They’re at different facilities for the day and then go home at night and then come back for a whole week,” he said. “Then after that they do a weekly follow-up with all the kids.”
CCI is currently running camping programs in five countries – Brazil, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Kenya and Mexico. Flags from these countries were tied to the combines when they arrived for the harvest event at the Swift Current project.

Read 492 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 September 2017 09:33
Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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