The Broken Arrow Youth Ranch ministry continues to be a valuable resource for young people and families in Saskatchewan.
Former Estevan resident Todd Moroz is the director of ministry and outreach, and have been with the ministry since its inception more than a decade ago. Thanks to Todd Moroz’s Estevan roots, it has received significant support from people in the Estevan area over the years.
Located in the Wood Mountain area, Broken Arrow seeks to help out struggling families heal and grow, offering the children of those families an opportunity to live on the ranch for an extended period of time while staff members minister to the entire family, and network them with resources to help them grow towards healthy reunification with their children.
A working ranch, the organization has survived on fundraising and donations from churches and individuals.
For the second straight year, Broken Arrow partnered with Canterra for a harvest fundraiser. Todd Moroz has an aunt and uncle who are both crop scientists with Ag. Canada, and they told him about new seed varieties they had seen during a visit with them in 2016.
The following year, Canterra offered a new spring wheat seed variety called Cameron seed. Seven farms across Saskatchewan planted 40-acre plots of the seed.
“Then there were different companies that helped with inputs for some of those farms. The proceeds from the harvest of those crops were donated to Broken Arrow Youth Ranch,” Moroz said.
The Cameron seed name caught his attention, because Cameron was the name of Moroz’s son who died 14 years ago.
The Cameron project, as he called it, raised $86,000 for Broken Arrow’s efforts.
It’s a partnership that Canterra was committed to continuing.
The new seed for 2018 was called AAC Congress, which is a durum variety. Four farms throughout southern Saskatchewan planted that seed. Two were in southeast Saskatchewan: the MacKenzie farm near North Portal and the Lievaart farm near Outram.
The seed grower who distributed the seed, Nick Petruic of Avonlea, did a lot of extra work to get the seed out to the other farmers. They also planted 40 acres, and donated proceeds to Broken Arrow.
“It warms your heart to see the generosity of people,” said Moroz.
A farm near Limerick also participated.
“It was another successful season. The crops did well, and three out of the four farms have already sent their cheques in, and it’s been a big help to the ministry as well.”
Moroz marvelled at the generosity of the farmers, as many of them have been operating for three or four generations.
“Saskatchewan people are givers. I don’t know of any more generous people on the planet, and it’s a privilege to be part of that,” he said.
While they’re still waiting for the last cheque to come in, Bushels for Broken Arrow raised about $35,000. A couple of farms had to back out at the last minute in 2018.
Moroz said he knew the Lievaart family through some church connections, while he has known the MacKenzie family for only a couple of years. Lee MacKenzie married Moroz’s niece, Landra Schlamp.
“Now we’re a lot more closely connected,” said Moroz.
Lee MacKenzie said they thought it would be a good variety of crop to try, and they also wanted to help out Broken Arrow with its ministry.
“We wanted to support that, and we could do that through our business on the farm here, that’s even better,” said MacKenzie, whose father Perry operates the farm.
Lee MacKenzie said they were happy with the results.
“The yields were great and the quality was good, and we were happy with the variety that they chose to provide to us this year.”
This was the second year they have been part of it, and they said they would do it again.
“It gives us the opportunity to try out new varieties that we probably wouldn’t have tried in a normal year, so it provides us with some different variety in our crop schedule to try out what is a new variety as well,” said MacKenzie.
Lee MacKenzie has been out to visit the Broken Arrow Youth Ranch, and his parents, Perry and Monica, have participated in the ranch’s golf tournament fundraiser in south-central Saskatchewan. They have been close to the ranch, but not on the ranch itself.
MacKenzie was impressed with what he saw during his visit to the farm a couple of years ago.
“They have a lot of people that are very passionate about the work out there, and it’s been neat to see what’s actually been happening in the last year or two here since I’ve been involved. I think it’s a great opportunity, and one we can hopefully support and get behind.
The money raised through Bushels for Broken Arrow will be directed to the general operations of the ranch. They are now providing school on-site for children staying there, which has added some costs. Money will also be directed to purchase groceries and food supplies for the kids on the ranch, the care of the animals and the general operations of the ministry.
Moroz said they had a student graduate just before Christmas.
“His family was all gathered here, as well as numerous people who have been part of his life and growth while he’s been here, and also have worked with his family,” said Moroz. “So it was exciting to send a student back home in that kind of setting, especially right before Christmas.”
The family of the student who graduated is planning to visit the ranch, likely during the winter break in February.
They also have a couple of new students enrolled in classes at the ranch.