Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler attended the Community Foundation of Swan Valley Gala last Friday (9th) to present a $450-thousand dollar cheque.
It will be used to create the Cherban Endowment Fund, named after twin brothers Alexander and Marvin Cherban who farmed 480 acres of land 8-and-a-half miles northeast of Birch River for many years before renting out their land until the time of their deaths.
The brothers instructed the executor of their estate, Herb Bohnhardt, to sell their property and assets and give the proceeds to the Department of Agriculture.
Knowing the brothers’ love for the Swan Valley however, Bohnhardt negotiated with the province to have the funds returned to the area.
“After 3 years of negotiations, we have half of Cherban’s Estate for the Community Foundation of Swan Valley and for Bursaries for Students enrolled into some form of agriculture.” said Bohnhardt in a news release.
$75-thousand will be set aside to provide two $15-hundred dollar annual scholarships: “one for a graduating SVRSS student continuing their education in an area of study related to agriculture or ag business and one for a former SVRSS student enrolled in an agricultural related field of study at the post-secondary level”
And the remaining $325-thousand will be invested to provide grants to groups and projects related to Ag and/or community economic development and rural living in the Swan Valley.
“The Province of Manitoba has entered into an agreement with the Community Foundation of Swan Valley in order to incorporate funds and prioritize various agriculture initiatives.” said Minister Eichler, “Our department looks forward to working with the Foundation to ensure the endowment supports quality of change that will strengthen our sector, our farm families, but most of our our communities and your community.”
(Pictured: Hon. Ralph Eichler, Minister of Agriculture for the Province of Manitoba with Hon. Rick Wowchuk, MLA for Swan River, Community Foundation of Swan Valley Board Members and Herb and Bernice Bohnhardt.)