Monday, 20 November 2017 04:10

Government of Sask. to donate to Wildfire Relief Fund for southwest

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On Nov. 16, the Government of Saskatchewan announced it will donate up to $100,000 in matching cash donations to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Wildfire Relief Fund set up to help farmers and ranchers impacted by recent grassfires in the province’s southwest.


“Under these circumstances and following this unprecedented event, our government believes contributing financially to this fund is the best, most flexible and fastest way to help affected farm families in the region,” Government Relations Minister Larry Doke said.  “I encourage all Saskatchewan people to donate to this fund and to help our rural neighbours during a difficult time.”

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Wildfire Relief Fund has received approximately $65,000 in cash contributions, while other assistance such as hay, fencing, and feed brings the total monetary and in-kind donations to an estimated $250,000.

“We sincerely appreciate the provincial government for what they’re doing today and thank them for finding an innovative way to help,” Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Shane Jahnke said.  “Every type of donation that helps with recovery is welcome.  During Canadian Western Agribition from November 20 to 25 in Regina, we will be accepting donations at our trade show booth to help us maximize the province’s full matching cash contribution to help farmers and ranchers.”

People can also donate by visiting www.skstockgrowers.com or calling 306-757-8523.

The province has also provided the following support:
    •    Non-permit harvested hay from the Qu'Appelle Coulee Ecological Reserve is being donated to help ranchers feed their livestock (Ministry of Environment);
    •    Grants of up to $10,000 per the five affected RMs to support the disposal and burial of deadstock (Ministry of Agriculture);
    •    The Agriculture Operations Unit worked with RMs to locate suitable deadstock burial sites (Ministry of Agriculture);
    •    Assisting producers with range health assessments and grazing management plans, which will extend into the spring of 2018 for further assessment as pastures recover (Ministry of Agriculture);
    •    Producers who are eligible and want earlier access to their AgriStability benefit can file a 2017 interim application (SCIC);
    •    Allowing people who have volunteered to haul donated hay through the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to use their farm plates (SGI); and
    •    The Cypress Health Region offered mental health supports to those impacted by the fires (Ministry of Health).
On October 17, wildfires near the communities of Burstall, Tompkins and Leader burned approximately 80,000 acres (36,000 hectares), which included crop and pasture land.  The fires also killed an estimated 770 cattle and burned fences, outbuildings and other structures.

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