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Soil conservation group donates cash to growing project 0

Greg Vandermeulen
Jake S. Enns, past president of the Buffalo Plains Soil and Water Management Association, presents Kevin Nickel of the Common Ground Growing Project with the remainder of their funds, totaling close to $1,800.

Jake S. Enns, past president of the Buffalo Plains Soil and Water Management Association, presents Kevin Nickel of the Common Ground Growing Project with the remainder of their funds, totaling close to $1,800.

A soil and conservation movement from the late 1980's will benefit starving people across the world.

That wasn't the original goal of Buffalo Plains Soil and Water Management Association but when the group was formally dissolved in fall of 2011, they still had some money in the bank.

Past president Jake S. Enns said they had about $1,800 left, all of which will be donated to the Common Ground Growing Project, a Canadian Foodgrains Project run by a group of Rosenfeld and Altona area producers.

"It was suggested to give them the money and we thought that was a good idea," he said.

Because the federal government matches contributions, ($1,800 becomes $7,200), the money goes even further. "A lot of people will benefit from it," Enns said.

Buffalo Plains Soil and Water Management Association was a group formed in response to the drought of 1988.

It was responsible for advocating soil and water conservation, planting miles of shelter belts in this area.

"We were quite active for about 10 years," Enns said, estimating they planted more than 200 miles of shelter belts.

The danger of drought slowly faded from farmers' consciousness and so did the need for the group to exist.

"In the 1990's it was wetter," Enns said. "Farmers lost interest in soil conservation because they were getting more water than they wanted."

Kevin Nickel of the Common Ground Growing Project said they appreciate the money.

"Our project this year, generated about $36,000 for the Canadians Foodgrains Bank," he said. "This will be a part of that."

That total is impressive considering the poor harvest (only 21 bu/acre) on their canola field. Donations of inputs and a good canola price helped them raise the funds.


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