Chesterville Rotary Club annual crop project seeded for 2020

Above, Sawyer Vanden Bosch and girlfriend Marley Holmes, pictured before Vanden Bosch heads out on the planter to seed the Chesterville Rotary Club’s annual crop project.

CHESTERVILLE — The tradition continues.

With Sawyer Vanden Bosch at the wheel, a John Deere tractor and planter rolled May 13 to seed 17 acres in the Rotary Club of Chesterville’s annual fundraiser crop project.

Alternating between soybeans and corn from year to year — with seed donated by Fife Agricultural Services — the value of the harvest is the single largest source of revenue for Club initiatives.

The involved cropland on the eastern outskirts of Chesterville is similarly provided free each year by several supportive landowners — Frank Heerkens, Dawna Whitehead and April and Craig Wheeler. Taking care of the farming aspect — planting, spraying, harvesting and bringing to market — is the Vanden Bosch family, the multi-generational operators of Vanden Bosch Elevators Inc.

Below, the seeding begins.

While the effort usually yields about $10,000, last year’s exceptionally challenging crop year dropped the figure to $2,200, says Club secretary and matriarch of the Vanden Bosch clan, Betty Vanden Bosch, who watched with pride as her grandson fired up the planter and proceeded down the field off Water Street.

After 2019’s troubles, the 2020 crop season is forging ahead with a sense of renewed optimism. Sawyer Vanden Bosch observed that planting conditions have been good this spring; he had already sowed his family’s 800-plus acres before hitting the tractor throttle on behalf of the Rotary Club.

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