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Farmers show their support through the Cash for Communities programme

Farmers show their support through the Cash for Communities programme

Farmers show their support through the Cash for Communities programme

The Cash for Communities programme has been providing financial support to rural organisations throughout New Zealand for over 10 years. Initiated between PGG Wrightson and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, the success of this programme is thanks to farmers who nominate an organisation or charity vital to their community.

During spring 2022, $46,000 was raised by the Cash for Communities programme. Two recipients, North Canterbury Rural Support Trust and Rangitaiki School in the Bay of Plenty share how these donations benefit them.

Covering from Kaikoura to the Rakaia River, encompassing Banks Peninsula and the Chatham Islands, Chairperson of the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust (RST), Noel McGirr, says the RST could not operate without its 25 volunteers.

“We support farmers in need and communities that have been affected by an adverse weather or a climatic event. That may mean connecting people with counselling, financial, legal or farm advice. We also hold events as it is important to show we are present in the community,” says Noel.

Noel says while the RST receives some monies from the Ministry of Primary Industries, the organisation relies heavily on donations. “We are appreciative of the $1,615 Cash for Communities donation as contributions like this help us provide services to farmers.”

Receiving a Cash for Communities donation, Rangitaiki Primary School is the hub of the local community. A rural school with nine pupils, Principal/Teacher Andrea Haycock says each is from a local farming family. “It would be difficult for local farms to employ people if the school was not in the area.”

With a new entrant starting school this year who is deaf, everyone at the school is learning sign language. Along with in-class learning, the pupils have enjoyed swimming lessons this year and the students regularly meet with residents from St Johns Wood Aged Care Facility. “This is super cool as the kids love it and it gives meaning to their card writing when they send them to someone they know.”

Andrea says finding the money for additional expenses in the operational budget is difficult. The Cash for Communities donation will be used to purchase a sunshade to provide protection over the school’s sandpit. “We are grateful to all our farming community, who through the Cash for Communities programme, donated $860. Without these funds, we would not be able to replace the sunshade which was destroyed in a snowstorm a couple of years ago.”

There’s plenty coming up at the school in term three with camp, Matariki and a celebration of the pupils’ different cultures. With three of the nine children Filipino, Andrea says the school is planning a cultural day where each pupil will bring food from their culture that holds meaning for them to be enjoyed as a shared lunch with the families.

Donate through Cash for Communities by nominating a local organisation close to your heart. They will receive $1 for every tonne of participating Ballance Agri-Nutrients fertiliser purchased on your PGG Wrightson account this spring, or $1 per every 10 litres of qualifying agrichemicals purchased. For terms and conditions, visit

Image: From left, Hamish Black, PGG Wrightson Retail Sales Manager - Canterbury is with Noel McGirr from Rural Support Trust and Ollie Knowles, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Regional Sales Manager - South Island.