After five years of planning and building, the United Farmers of Alberta is launching the Rural Communities Foundation.

The foundation has pledged $500,000 over the first five years to help the sustainability of rural communities across the province.

Harvey Hagman is the Chair of the RCF and a delegate on the UFA board.

He says UFA has had a long history with Alberta and the goal is to give back to the members and their communities that have made the co-operative successful.

“We give a lot of money on an annual basis, but this would be over and above that,” says Hagman.


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He says the foundation is possible because of the support it has received from members that have left their equity in the co-operative when they passed.

“We were looking at a way at doing something with that equity, so we passed a motion in 2014 to set-up a rural communities foundation by our delegate body.”

Hagman says the goal is to have this grow.

“It’ll be a larger amount over time and it will go into perpetuity and we’ll be doing the great work that United Farmers have been a part of for many generations.”

Applicants can apply for anything between $10,000 and $100,000 between July 2 and August 31.

The restrictions are that the projects must be completed in two-years and must reside in an area where UFA has a presence.

Groups that are eligible include charities under the Canada Revenue Agency, registered non-profits organizations with either their provincial or municipal government and community service co-operatives

The winner will be selected on October 16 during Co-operatives week.

For more information on the foundation and how to apply click here.