July 21st, 2024

UFA giving back to communities with new grant opportunity

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on June 21, 2024.

asmith@medicinehatnews.com

The UFA is reaffirming its commitment to rural communities with the newly named UFA Agricultural Community Foundation and resulting grant.

“UFA has had a long history of giving back to our members and agriculture communities,” said UFA ACF advisory board chair Jennifer Wood. “So on Friday, June 14, we introduced the new UFA Agricultural Community Foundation, and also announced our first funding commitment of $100,000 to rural communities.”

This is a continuation of the previous UFA Rural Communities Foundation, which delivered a total of $500,000 to different community projects throughout Western Canada over the last five years. The Dunmore Equestrian Society was the recipient of some of this funding two years ago, said Wood.

The date of the launch was in line with Farmer’s Day, something that Wood was happy to point out as she explained the new foundation.

“We really want to continue to enhance how we give back to our members and our agriculture communities,” said Wood. “We will have more announcements later this year about just how we’re enhancing this new UFA Agricultural Community Foundation itself. This is the first launch, and an expansion of that new foundation, which is really a step up from the original Rural Communities Foundation, which has been around for the last five years.”

Charitable or nonprofit organizations will be able to apply online for funding for recreational, educational, or cultural capital projects, for amounts with a minimum of $10,000, up to a total of $100,000.

“So if they visit us at acfufa.com, they will be able to see that application. And if they have any questions, there’ll be a number there, too, to get assistance filling out the application,” said Wood. The ability to apply online is also new to the foundation.

Applications will be accepted until Aug. 31, with the announcement of winners in October. The projects must be within 200 kilometres of a UFA location.

“It’s really exciting to be launching this program. Obviously, there’s been a lot of hard work between not only UFA staff, but the board of directors as well,” said Wood. “We’re very excited to be able to continue giving back to communities. With the launch of this foundation, it will be ongoing, it’s long term. To see our vision come to fruition has been really exciting.”

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