The Manitoba Agricultural Museum launched the Adopt an Acre campaign to raise money
This fall, the Manitoba Agricultural Museum planned to run its second annual Heritage Harvest. The event showcases machinery from the museum harvesting a cereal crop while attendees enjoy food and festival activities.
Organizers, however, cancelled the event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, with COVID-19, we can't do the Heritage Harvest. It's just too dangerous and, with social distancing, it's almost impossible,” said Helmut Neufeld. He is a long-time museum volunteer and chair of the Heritage Harvest committee.
The event raises money for the museum and for the Canada Foodgrains Bank. The two groups work together to grow a crop near Austin, Man. and share the proceeds. Since the organizations want to try to recoup their costs for next year’s crop, event organizers launched the Adopt an Acre campaign, said Neufeld.
“We were going to be short about $6,000 to $7,000 on our input costs (for next year), so we decided to ‘sell’ an acre for $100 to 67 willing donors. That would cover all our costs. That way, we can donate all the profits from the Heritage Harvest to the Canada Foodgrains Bank and the Manitoba Agricultural Museum,” this year, Neufeld told Farms.com. Each group would receive $10,000 in donations.
So far, about half of the acres available are “sold,” said Neufeld.
“I am extremely happy and quite proud of our donors. ... I suppose you could say those are the easy ones. The friends of the museum and the people who we know who are always willing to step in. So, now the latter half of the 67 acres are going to be a little tougher,” he said. “We hope that people will step forward and see the value of, number one, the Canada Foodgrains Bank and, number two, the Manitoba Agricultural Museum.”
People who are interested in “purchasing” an acre can visit the museum’s donation page, Facebook page or get in touch with the museum staff to learn more.
“We're not going to stop until we have the 67 acres sold,” said Neufeld.
This year’s crop will still be harvested by antique machinery and the museum won’t turn away volunteers. However, organizers stress harvest will not be a public event and they’ll follow proper COVID-19 precautions.
Photo credit: Manitoba Agricultural Museum photo