Sask. farmer's rain-based social media challenge sees money come pouring in for charities

·2 min read
Rob Stone started a social media challenge encouraging others to donate money to charity when it rained.  (Submitted by Rob Stone - image credit)
Rob Stone started a social media challenge encouraging others to donate money to charity when it rained. (Submitted by Rob Stone - image credit)

Rob Stone is making it rain, but not for the moisture-parched fields across Saskatchewan.

The Davidson farmer started a challenge on Twitter, pledging to donate $1,000 to charity if he saw a half-inch or more of rain by Tuesday. He sent out a challenge to other farmers to do the same, with the hashtag #AgTwitter.

"I think it's just that genuine Prairie nature. We're always a very giving province," he said. "I feel like it's important to give what you can, when you can."

Stone said he got the idea while driving the roads with $40,000 worth of seed a few weeks ago. The province was experiencing major drought conditions.

He threw it out on Twitter, thinking a few people might be interested. He said the challenge seemed to resonate with a lot more people than he expected.

"It was pretty amazing," he said.

With rain finally coming over the course of the past weekend, Stone and other producers started donating to various charities of their own choice. Stone donated $1,000 to 4-H, with others donating to causes such as Telemiracle and STARS Air Ambulance. One person pledged to donate $4,000 to $5,000 to a charity, Stone noted.

Stone said the rain was important for the crop. He said the seeds needed moisture to germinate.

The challenge came at a time when people needed a reason to feel good about something, he said.

"Things get pretty negative at times, with the past couple of years that have gone on, and all the stuff around us," he said.

He's setting a new challenge for himself, "to find the next positive thing to talk about, the next positive thing to get people involved."

Rainfall in millimetres as of May 24, via Environment Canada

  • Waseca 51.9

  • Rosetown 42.1

  • Scott 40.4

  • Moose Jaw 37.4

  • North Battleford 36.2

  • Spiritwood 35.4

  • Yellow Grass 33

  • Estevan 32.1

  • Saskatoon 30.6

  • Indian Head 30.5

  • Meadow Lake 30.3

  • Weyburn 30.2

  • Elbow 27.6

  • Regina 27.2

  • Northwest of Spiritwood (Birch) 54.6

  • Meadow Lake area (Divde) 36.1

These maps compare the fire weather index between May 18 (left) and May 25.  Fire weather index is considered a good indicator of overall fire danger. Blue is low, green is moderate, yellow is high and red is extreme.
These maps compare the fire weather index between May 18 (left) and May 25. Fire weather index is considered a good indicator of overall fire danger. Blue is low, green is moderate, yellow is high and red is extreme. (Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency)

The rain has also reduced fire danger in the province. Southern Saskatchewan moved to a low level of fire danger from an extreme fire danger the previous week.

Last week weather conditions contributed to wildfires near Prince Albert, leaving thousands of people without power and leading to evacuations.

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