When Kyle Foster was a child, he spent most his time outdoors on his family’s farm. So when he first heard that the local elementary school wanted to build an outdoor classroom, he was curious as to why.
“I asked a friend of mine who’s a teacher at the school,” said Foster. “She said that she took her class for a walk by the river, and one of the kids had never seen a frog before.”
Now the classroom is built, thanks in large part to Foster’s family business, Foster Ag. Service. The local agri-retailer and 2017 #ThankARetailer winner for Manitoba donated a portion of its $15,000 prize to help build the classroom.
“It seems like electronics are taking over,” said Foster. “I think it’s good to get these kids outside more and more.”
Foster has run the agri-retail in Arborg with his father and brother for ten years. And although the town is home to less than 800 people, Foster Ag received thousands upon thousands of votes.
It’s great to be part of a small community,” said Foster. “To get that kind of support and to have everybody voting as many times as they could, it’s great to see.”
The rest of the prize money went towards the Arborg-Bifrost Parks & Recreation Commission, which is renovating the local community centre — a centerpiece of the community that Foster is proud to support.
“It’s for the youth,” said Foster. “When you have good facilities and recreation for kids, it brings more people into your town.”
Foster Ag Services supports the community in a variety of ways. Along with being an executive on KAP (Keystone Agriculture Producers) for the past 10 years, Foster Ag Services assists with the following: *donation of custom application for the Canadian Food Grains Bank for past 15 years *donation of custom application to the Arborg & Riverton Curling Clubs for the past 10 years which generates approximately $2,000 in revenue for the Clubs each yr Foster Ag Services has partnered with Reechka Urkrainian Dance Club in a unique corn fundraiser. The kids in the club (with parental help) pick, bag, promote, and sell the corn. They learn how corn is grown and the value of agriculture in our community. This has raised approximately $17,000 in the past 2 years. Foster Ag Services is vital to the success of the Curling Club, they are board members, organize leagues, coach, and instrumental over the years in numerous renovations, construction projects, and installation of artificial ice.
The community would benefit in numerous ways, as there are always projects that require funding and raising funds for projects is always a challenge in smaller agricultural communities. Two projects that would benefit immediately are: Arena Dressing Rooms: the Recreation Centre is building 2 new dressing rooms that will be used for skating and hockey during the winter and for the outdoor aquatic centre in the summer Outdoor Classroom: the Early Middle Years School is building an outdoor classroom which will bring a very unique learning experience to students. What a great way to provide a lasting legacy for the community.