Christmas came early for the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association on Dec. 12, thanks to a partnership with Community Futures Thompson Country (CFTC), and the Farm Kids Scholarship Fund.
NTFFRA president Jill Hayward says the partnership came to be thanks to Farm Kids Fund founder Steven Puhallo, who initially approached CFTC in regards to a need for rodeo chutes and pens in the North Thompson Agriplex.
As a result of that discussion with CFTC executive director Brian Sims, and further meetings with Hayward and CFTC board member Bill Kershaw, an arrangement that was beneficial to the three parties involved was agreed upon, and ratified by the CFTC Board.
“In a nutshell, the Agriplex has just received a full set of brand new Two-W rodeo chutes and pens,” said Hayward, “We are really excited to be able to add this equipment to our building, and to be able to assist the Farm Kids group with their fundraising events, such as the New Year’s Eve Bullarama, and other future rodeo venues. Most importantly, we have a very special thank you to extend to Community Futures Thompson Country, they have provided the funding in its entirety to acquire this equipment.”
As the rodeo equipment arrived at the fairgrounds, Farm Kids reps, CFTC reps and NTFFRA Agriplex committee members and volunteers turned out to see it unloaded.
Farm Kids Fund founders Steven Puhallo, and Ed and Deanna Lebourdais were all smiles, knowing their upcoming Bullarama will be using the equipment for the first time.
“This makes year round indoor rough stock and rodeo events in Barriere a reality,” said Puhallo, “Partnerships that benefit the region and promote the western lifestyle while helping rural youth are a big part of what the Farm Kids Fund is all about.”
Ed Lebourdais (who co-owns S & E Bucking Bulls) said he was very happy with the quality of the chutes and pens, “Two-W makes some of the best arena systems in North America. That’s high quality steel and we can’t wait to buck some bulls in it. Its going to be a great show!”
Sims says Community Futures are happy to be able to invest in positive economic development in the North Thompson Valley by lending support to the Agriplex. “We had the funding earmarked for economic development in the area,” said Sims, “This is a good opportunity to put that money to work, and to benefit the whole region in doing so.”