GRAS donations benefit Equine Guelph and its Barn Fire Prevention & Safety programs, plus the Fergus Agricultural Society’s agricultural awareness efforts at the Fergus Fall Fair.
ELORA, ON — The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) recently presented two donation cheques to bolster local community initiatives. The presentations took place at Grand River Raceway, which is owned and operated by GRAS.
On July 19, a donation of $27,982 was awarded to Equine Guelph on behalf of their Barn Fire Prevention & Safety training programs developed for the Ontario Horse Racing Industry and the rural community of Wellington County.
Founded in 2003, Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and caregivers’ Centre at the University of Guelph dedicated to improving the health and well-being of horses through education and research. Equine Guelph is a unique partnership between the equine industry and the University of Guelph which develops programs to support horse people.
Offered to the Ontario Horse Racing Industry, Equine Guelph will offer a two-day Fire Safety/LAER awareness level training workshop for the three sectors of racing: Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse. It is proposed the workshop be hosted at Woodbine and Mohawk to accommodate all sectors, and be developed specifically for the stakeholders in the horse racing community: racetrack personnel, training facilities personnel, racehorse trainers and first responders from surrounding regions.
Equine Guelph will also have their programs on showcase at the 2016 International Plowing Match (IPM). The educational display will feature a focus on barn fire prevention and safety and be located in the Commercial Tent at this year’s IPM.
For 180 years, the Fergus Agricultural Society has hosted a fall fair event to celebrate harvest time in the Centre Wellington community. Activities include truck and tractor pulls, 4-H livestock shows, children’s entertainment and midway rides. The fair is coordinated by many volunteer committees and led by a volunteer board of directors.
This year’s theme for the annual fall fair is “Maple – From Sap to Syrup” and the GRAS donation will be used to help provided several rental tents required to house various Fergus Agricultural Society displays, initiatives, and activities on the fairgrounds, including the popular “Farmer for a Day.”
In 2012, the Fergus Agricultural Society expanded their hands-on area to include “Farmer for a Day” – a series of activity stations where children under 10 years of age can participate by picking an apple, collecting an egg, planting a soybean seed, milking a cow and bringing their items to market to collect a prize. This year “Farmer for a Day” will be moving to a small tent of its own for the first time at the Fergus Fall Fair.
The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated under the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies Act of Ontario and governed by a volunteer board of directors reporting to OMAFRA.
The GRAS mandate is to encourage awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community.
- Cheque Presentation- Equine Guelph: (l to r) Paul Walker, President Of the Grand River Agricultural Society; Gayle Ecker, Director, Equine Guelph; Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager, Grand River Raceway.
- Cheque Presentation – Fergus Agricultural Society: (l to r) Paul Walker, President Of the Grand River Agricultural Society; Wendy Whittaker, Secretary, Fergus Agricultural Society; Rebecca Hannam, Agriculture committee, Fergus Agricultural Society; Henry Vervoort, President, Fergus Agricultural Society; Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager, Grand River Raceway.