The Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association conducted a regular spring ritual during a recent board of directors meeting, giving away thousands of dollars to worthwhile agricultural causes across Eastern Ontario and beyond.
"Much of the revenue from our annual Ottawa Valley Farm Show is returned to the community to support important organizations such as 4-H," said Seed Growers president Bruce Hudson of Kinburn, a long-time 4-H volunteer.
While the final tally isnít in, the 85th anniversary farm show held last month at the new CE Centre turned a profit despite increased expenses over 2011 of about $40,000, the last time the show was held at Lansdowne Park. Added costs were offset through a $1 increase in the square footage rental fee and a hike in the admission price for adults to $10.
Beneficiaries of the latest round of OVSGA donations include Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph where researchers are getting $5,000 for each of four projects including: Evaluation of New Fungicides in Spring Cereals; Smart Spring Cereals; Soybean Monitoring for Rust and Alphids; and Red Clover Under-seeded in Spring Wheat.
Also benefitting are 4-H programs including the annual regional show in Metcalfe, a fundraising golf tournament, each of 11 counties in Eastern Ontario, and several field crop clubs, for a total of about $7,000. The Seed Growers also donate about $2,000 worth of space and booth accessories for the 4-H display and activities at the farm show.
For the first time, directors decided to support the Royal Winter Fair-based Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame with $500; the Seed Growers are already major supporters of the Milton-based Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, including sponsoring a "mini hall" of Eastern Ontario inductees on the Kemptville campus.
Finally, directors rounded off proceeds from the annual farm show auction to $5,000 to be given once again to the Childrenís Hospital of Eastern Ontario
In other business, OVFS manager Tom Van Dusen reported on his recent participation in the Farm Show Council annual meeting in Spokane, Washington. The FSC groups 23 agricultural expositions across North America - with one in New Zealand - to exchange ideas and suggestions with the objective of improving the experience both for exhibitors and visitors alike.