They say it takes a community to raise a child. In Raymore, a community is raising a crop.
Each year, a crop is harvested on nearby land the town owns and is used to raise money for community improvements.
For almost a decade the local farmers and agriculture businesses have come together to donate their equipment, materials and time to turn a harvest into profit for the town.
The fundraiser in Raymore brings in anywhere from $25,000 to $55,000 per year, which goes back into funding recreational facilities and community improvements.
Mayor of Raymore, Malcolm Koncz, said the town has been able to accomplish a number of projects in the last few years.
“The money went into the swimming pool for four or five years and then after that the money went into the playground structure,’’ said Koncz.
“This year it’s going into our gazebo that we’re doing at the end of main street. And the next upcoming year it is going to go into a mini-golf that we’re going to be starting here shortly.”
The three farming equipment dealerships in town: Raymore New Holland, Young’s Equipment and South Country Equipment take turns donating machinery to tend the crop. Sometimes even the staff pitch in to lend a hand.
“Most of all the time is donated from local farmers and businesses,” said Koncz. “Some of the fertilizer and canola seed or wheat seed has been donated too in the past.”
Local farmer Aaron Millar said volunteers contribute in a variety of ways.
“We volunteer our work for seeding, rock picking, spraying, swathing, harvesting, whatever the crop all entails,” said Millar. “And then most local crop input suppliers such as Cargill or Nutrien donate chemical, fertilizer, or seed.”
Koncz also mentioned that the grain companies in town have been great for taking the crop as the town does not own its own bins. The grain has to go in off combine, so Pioneer Grain and Viterra have stepped up to help.
Raymore’s fundraiser is connecting the farming community one bushel at a time.
“It brings the community together,” said Millar. “To get people to come out and donate their machinery, their fuel and sometimes their fertilizer, chemical or seed.
“It just brings people together and it makes everyone aware of the different fundraising goals and projects in town. So, I think it is a fairly good success story, too.”
It is important to the team at Young’s Equipment that they are also involved in the project.
“Well, if you don’t support your community it will disappear,” said Dale Mantyka, a manager at the company. “So, as a small community, we always try and support as much as we can locally … if you don’t, then we don’t have functions and we don’t have a community and we don’t have a town.”
The money raised will continue to connect the community and create new facilities for years to come in the town of Raymore.
“It’s just a good opportunity to make money,” said Millar.
“There’re so many different causes in town for the money to go to. And if you don’t have to pay for any of the equipment and if you don’t have to pay for any of the inputs, farming can be very profitable.”