Planting seeds for a need: Redhead Equip. donates $20K to Rose Garden Hospice

Redhead Equipment Agriculture Sales Manager Scott Vanderlinde (left of cheque) and Rose Garden Hospice Chair Marina Mitchell (right of cheque) announce a hospice donation of $20,000 on Jan. 28, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Redhead Equipment in Prince Albert has donated $20,000 in proceeds from its Field of the Future initiative to the Rose Garden Hospice.

For the past seven years, Redhead staff—with the help of other local businesses—have planted and maintained a crop. They then take the product to market and donate the money to a charity of choice.

Scott Vanderlinde, agriculture sales manager for Prince Albert Redhead, said he connected with hospice board members through Thunder in the Pines last summer.

“They didn’t realize that we did Field of the Future, so as I talked to them I said ‘I can commit to helping you out for this event, but maybe I can do something bigger,” he said.

Considering staff donate their time to maintain the crop, he first wanted to get their approval.

“I got a ‘yes’ from everybody within minutes that this was the charity for Field of the Future.”

The wheat crop was seeded around May long weekend. Although the province lacked moisture in the following weeks, the crop took off with some much-needed rain.

Dry conditions, along with plenty of other factors, can fluctuate the amount that Redhead is able to donate.

“It’s a little bit to do with the current market conditions,” said Vanderlinde, adding it also depends on the crop rotation. Last year they planted canola, their “cash crop,” while this year was strictly wheat.

“It gives us a chance to be in our customers’ shoes for a couple days,” he said, but it wouldn’t be possible without donations from local businesses.

Tomtene Seeds Farm donated the seed, Lake Country Co-op helped with scouting and donated crop protection equipment and White Star Elevator helped reduce some of the drying costs. Decisive Farming and Fremont Trucking also lent a hand.

“We are especially excited to be involved with Redhead because not only are we working in our own division, we’re working with agriculture,” said Sara Grassick, Lake Country Co-op sales agronomist.

“We help them with the products they need, the recommendations, making sure that they know that they’re doing, what they need to do at the right time and then help out seeding on the actual day, so we have a lot of fun with it, too.”

Rose Garden Hospice Chair Marina Mitchell said members are hoping to raise $4 million. In just a year of fundraising, they’re well over the half-way point at just over $2.2 million.

The idea for a hospice in Prince Albert, a home-like setting for people with terminal illnesses, sparked back in 2008.

“It’s kind of been going on for so long and it’s been a dream of ours. To finally see the dollar amount and the support of the community…and in the surrounding communities, to know that it is going to happen, it’s pretty mind blowing,” said Mitchell.

“We are so grateful to have been chosen (for Field of the Future).”

The Rose Garden Hospice is set to be built on the corner of Marquis Road and Fourth Avenue West. Board members are expected to break ground this spring and begin operations in 2021.

Redhead Equipment has previously donated to the Victoria Hospital Foundation, Buckland Fire and Rescue and Ronald McDonald House Charities.