Lindsay Agricultural Society acknowledges grant funding from Farm Credit Canada

By Lindsay Advocate

Suzanne Barker, the Lindsay Agricultural Society's volunteer kitchen coordinator, poses with a new commercial dishwasher made possible by a Farm Credit Canada AgriSpirit grant.

In 2021, the Lindsay Agricultural Society was the recipient of $15,000 from Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) AgriSpirit Fund. The grant funded the installation of an on-demand gas hot water heater to service the Commonwell Exhibition Building, as well as the addition of a commercial dishwasher in the commercial kitchen.

The Commonwell Building is home to over 40 major community events each year, and sees attendance of over 100,000 people from the community and beyond. The LAS commercial kitchen is home to the Society’s own volunteer kitchen staff, as well as volunteer groups from the local Lions Clubs, 4-H clubs, schools, sports clubs, church groups, and more. The goal of the project was twofold: to provide better access to hot water for the entire building and to reduce the time volunteers spend handwashing dishes in the kitchen. Thanks to the generosity and support of FCC and the AgriSpirit Fund, the project was completed in late 2023 and both goals were achieved.

The Society’s volunteer kitchen staff, led by Kitchen Coordinator Suzanne Barker, put the new dishwasher to the test over the past two weekends for the CSRA FXR Kawartha Cup Snowcross events. “The dishwasher is an excellent addition to the kitchen team,” said Barker, commenting on how pleased she is with the new appliance. “It’s going to be a great time-saver for the volunteers, and we’ll all feel better knowing the dishes have been properly sanitized.”

“We truly appreciate each piece of grant funding that we receive,” said General Manager Shanice Sproule, in expressing her thanks to the FCC. “There is considerable misconception in the community that we receive subsidies or funding from the town or various government sources, but we do not. As a charitable organization, it falls to us to do our own fundraising and projects like these simply can’t happen without the support of organizations like FCC.”

The LAS events calendar is already filling up for 2024 and the volunteer kitchen staff will be putting the dishwasher to good use, but as Sproule says, “Those events will all be a warm-up. The true test will happen October 1st – 5, 2024, when visitors to the International Plowing Match will descend on the Lindsay Agricultural Society grounds in droves, but we’ll be ready!”

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