The overwhelming support for a Saskatchewan family devastated by farm accidents has led to 15 scholarships for young farmers this year.
The Arnal Boys Memorial Bursary for Young Farmers was established after Sean and Lyndon Arnal died last summer in a tractor accident near Ravenscrag. Their older brother, Blake, also died in an ATV accident on the farm in 2008.
Their parents and three siblings decided to honour them and their love of agriculture by helping other young people establish themselves as farmers. The farming community around the province showed its support by raising $152,000 for the fund in just a few months.
Chantal Henderson, the boys’ oldest sister, said 29 applications from young people aged eight to 18 in the Chinook School Division came in, and the large amount of money in the fund led the family to conclude they should help as many as they could.
The 15 successful applicants shared $45,181.
“The youngest was about eight,” Henderson said. “He wanted to buy a bred heifer to expand his herd of one.”
Two wanted help furthering their agricultural education. There were projects involving cattle, sheep, geese, embryos and eggs that a young farmer was selling to a local bakery.
“There was a problem with predators getting into his little coop, so he wanted a cement floor,” she said.
The scholarships went to kids from Climax, Kyle, Consul, Bracken, Eastend, Kincaid, Hazlet, Fox Valley, Ernfold and Maple Creek. Henderson said agriculture is in good hands in southwestern Saskatchewan.
The Arnal family also chose to honour others who had experienced tragedy. Blaine Sanford was just six when he died in an ATV accident near Frontier this spring. He had intended to apply to the fund for his own project involving chickens.
The fund gave the Blaine Sanford Memorial Award to Tash Armstrong of Eastend to buy two bred heifers. He intends to buy a heifer each year and have 18 cows by high school graduation.
Henderson said the fund will continue. Some of the money contributed has been invested to ensure that. The family is also holding fundraising events such as a skeet shoot earlier this month.
For updates, go to the Arnal Brothers memorial page on Facebook.