The Killarney Chapter of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank pulled together another fantastic harvest celebration with their community on Tuesday afternoon!

The 160 acre field of Henry and Anna Dyck located southeast of Killarney just a mile north of the US border was like Grand Central Station, when 16 combines, 2 grain carts, and a half-dozen semi's and super B's drove up into formation! 

After a 2-year hiatus due to covid restrictions, fellow farmers, community stakeholders and Foodgrains Bank supporters joined together for the noon meal of pulled pork, provided by the Willow Creek Hutterite Colony.  It was a welcome community celebration!

To start the procession of harvesters, Killarney Foodgrains committee alumni, Lloyd Jersak, played two brief selections of favorite hymns and then heralded the combines to begin.  

Committee Chair, Dan Penner, said conditions were perfect for harvest day with the sun shining brightly and a gentle breeze, both helping to dry the grain from the night's frost and early morning fog.  "Seeing it all come together has been so good - it's been a very good day!"

It takes a team to orchestrate the logistics of a day like this with many moving parts, but local committee member, Barry Reimer, recognized the passion and dedication of co-member, Betty Turner. "Betty Turner has really pulled everyone together," shared Reimer.  "She's really good at organizing things and getting people excited about it!  We've got basically every make, every brand, every company from this area supporting us in this and its just incredible to watch!  We all get along and we can all 'hack' on each other about the different combines, but it just adds to the fun!  It's really enjoyable seeing the community get together and do this all in fun, knowing we're feeding hungry people."

Both Penner and Reimer shared their gratitude to area farmers, community residents and businesses and Canada's federal government for doing their part in making the funds stretch further by matching the donations to the Foodgrains Bank $4 to every dollar donated, up to a maximum of 

"I just want to say 'Thank you' to our country for allowing us to having the 4 to 1 match, the dollars made on this project is matched 4 to 1.  I don't want to leave that out," Reimer added.  "That is something we should be very thankful for!"

"That is certainly something to be thankful for," agreed Penner, "and also for the incredible community support!  We have support from all over the community and that's good to see.  Not all communities have that."

Manitoba Foodgrains rep, Gordon Janzen, can attest to that.  He says the community support remains strong in this region and it has certainly been great to see everyone come out again with this many combines, especially when we are in our last week of September and timing is crucial for all our farmers.  The donation of everyone's time is very much appreciated.

In a brief presentation, Janzen reminded the crowd of the great need for food around the world, most notably in the severely flooded regions of Pakistan.  It is estimated more than 1,400 people have died as a result of the flash floods, and that number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks. Homes have been washed away and many crops have been lost, right before harvest.  Previously, the southern province of Sindh had been affected by soaring food prices, drought and the pandemic, as well as difficulties in crop and livestock production.  The monsoon rains have now created even greater food insecurities and malnutrition.

World-wide up to 828,000,000 people experience hunger.  Nearly 98% of people experiencing hunger live in developing countries, and approximately 80% of displaced people live in countries affected by long-term hunger.  The Canadian Foodgrains Bank partners with 30 Christian organizations in their pursuit to end world hunger.

'Today, the Foodgrains Bank is one of two primary channels for the Government of Canada’s funding for food assistance,' states their website. 'Through the Government of Canada’s support, the Foodgrains Bank’s 15 member agencies are able to leverage donations from individuals, churches and businesses up to a ratio of 4:1 for food assistance in the developing world—up to $25 million each year.'

The Killarney Grow committee is passionate about their mission, and as this crop is hauled to the elevator, thoughts on next year's project have already begun.

For the 2023 crop, there is no solid plan in place for their field location, and they're looking for a landowner to step forward and be willing to rent their land to the local Foodgrains committee to continue the annual project. 

Visit the Canadian Foodgrains Bank website HERE for more information on the their world-wide mission, and follow the link to the Killarney Grow Project page for more ways to support this local project:  Killarney Growing Project | Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The 2022 crop yielded 64.38 bu/acre.  Moisture level was 16.6 and was purchased in its entirety by Tri-Lake Agri Ltd (TLA).