Corteva & Nutrien grants make a big difference in small rural communities

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08 July 2022, AU: Corteva Agriscience and Nutrien Ag Solutions recently joined forces to reward 30 extraordinary community groups in farming areas across Australia with surprise grants of $2,500.

For the third consecutive year, Nutrien and  CRT staff have nominated hardworking local organisations in their regions to share in a $75,000 prize pool.

Since being distributed over the the past few months, successful community clubs have been putting their surprise cash to very good use.

Corteva Australian Sales Director Kirsty Ebert said the grants were designed to support rural and regional communities and ease the burden on local fundraising.

“Volunteers and grassroots clubs make our farming communities tick and thrive,” Kirsty said.

“But raising money can be a huge hurdle with the same people often organising and donating,” she said.

Kirsty said Corteva has been working with CRT and Nutrien for several years to provide some financial help from outside the community, in the hope of relieving some pressure on local fundraising efforts.

“The program is unique as it’s our CRT and Nutrien partners who live and work in farming areas that make the nominations. They know what’s needed where they live and work,” she said

“Two wonderful grantees this year are the Cressy War Memorial Pool Committee in Tasmania and the Mullewa Community Resource Centre in Geraldton in Western Australia.

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“How they have used their funds to support their communities reinforces why programs like this are so important.”

Training junior lifeguards – a win-win for Cressy

Michelle Hogarth, Consultant Agronomist at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Longford, Tasmania, nominated the hardworking Cressy War Memorial Pool Committee.

Cressy is a little town about 35 kilometres southwest of Launceston in Tasmania. It has just over 1,000 people, and the swimming pool is run by volunteers.

Michelle said the pool is an important centre for fun and fitness, and that their $2,5000 is being used to kickstart a lifeguard training program for local young people.

“We’re so lucky to have a pool, and it’s such a vital part of our little community,” she said.

“It’s used by people in town and local farmers. Our small schools have their swimming carnivals there, and it’s open every day after school in the summer and when the weather is good.

“Swimming is so good for physical and mental health, and it is just a lovely place for everyone to spend time with family and friends and have fun and relax. But it’s a lot of work, and the committee do such a great job so everyone can come together for enjoyment and exercise.”

Michelle said the pool committee were delighted to receive the grant, and said she believes that it will have a long-term positive impact –  as they make use of the money to launch a training program for junior lifeguards.

“Every year, the committee has difficulty getting certified lifeguards to come out and manage the pool. The pool can’t open without lifeguards, which is disappointing for the kids and the community.

“By putting the money towards starting a lifeguard program to teach older local juniors to become lifeguards, there’ll be a continuing flow of training for local lifeguards.

“Young people in Cressy will get new skills, and it will help secure the pool’s longevity with backup lifeguards. It’s a win-win.

“It shows how a little support from outside can make a massive difference to small communities. Right now, the big Corteva cheque is proudly sitting in the Cressy pool canteen on the top shelf for everyone to see.”

Recovering from Cyclone Seroja with a chat and coffee

On the other side of the country in Western Australia, Tony Rosser, Principal Agronomist at CRT Great Northern Rural Services in Geraldton, also secured a grant for a dedicated organisation in his area.

He nominated the Mullewa Community Resource Centre (CRC) to assist them to refurbish their drop-in centre after it was damaged during ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

“When Seroja came through our region last year, there was so much damage and destruction,” Tony said.

“Our business always tries to help the farming communities that support us, so after the cyclone, we reached out to see what we could do. One terrific not-for-profit that called for assistance was the Mullewa CRC.

“Mullewa is about 100km inland from Geraldton with maybe 500 people in the district. The CRC is the central hub for residents and farmers.

“It’s a supportive space and brings the community together. People come in, have a coffee, talk about things, socialise, and get the services and information they need.”

Tony said the CRC was thrilled to receive the surprise funds to help repair the damaged social area and buy a new coffee machine. He also said that securing economic support from beyond the local community has a positive effect beyond the financial.

“The coffee machine and social area make people comfortable and encourage conversation. It’s a small thing, but it makes a huge difference,” he said.

“I also think that knowing the grant money came from outside their area really meant something.

“Rural people can sometimes feel isolated. So when businesses like Corteva, CRT, and Nutrien invest in their communities like this, it’s powerful.

“It says to them, you’re not on your own. We are taking notice, we do care, and we want to help.”

More information: To meet all the successful local not-for-profit grantees, visit: LINK

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