Colleen Crozier grew up on a multigenerational family dairy farm north of Edmonton. As a child, she helped in the fields, milked cows, and even drove tractors and trucks.
Although Colleen is no longer personally involved with the farm, it has stayed in the family. Colleen is in regular contact with her relatives who manage it. They’ve switched to growing crops and are now in their fifth generation of family farming.
Colleen wants to have the same kind of generational impact through her donations. She was initially drawn to Farm Radio International because of its focus on farming and its Canadian roots — including its connection to long-time Canadian broadcaster Lloyd Robertson (Farm Radio’s spokesperson).
Colleen liked the use of radio to provide agricultural information and teach about farming practices. She also knew that her money would be well-used because of Farm Radio’s recognition as a top international impact charity by Charity Intelligence.
After leaving the family farm at the age of 19, Colleen became a teacher. She taught students with special needs for many years. Colleen is also drawn to Farm Radio because of its focus on education and her belief in education’s long-lasting impact.
“One of the things I do say about Farm Radio is that adage, ‘Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life’ — and so will his family. And, to me, that’s the biggest deal for Farm Radio: it’s not just giving a handout, it’s giving education and information to support people in helping themselves,” Colleen says.
Though Colleen uses the internet and watches TV these days, she remembers her parents listening to radio programs when she was growing up on the farm. As a young adult, Colleen also listened to gardening programs, which talked about things like how to grow roses or deal with plant diseases. She was lucky enough to live near a large garden centre and could ask the staff her gardening questions.
“I understand the value of that information and the difference it can make,” she says.
Colleen knows that radio is a way to reach farmers with vital information, especially when they don’t have access to the internet or television. Given her background in farming, it’s the agricultural part of Farm Radio’s work that most appeals to Colleen. Good agricultural information can help farmers improve their crops, increasing yields and profits.
But Colleen is also impressed by Farm Radio’s use of radio to get information about the COVID-19 virus and vaccine to rural areas and to promote gender equality, for example by promoting girls’ right to education.
It’s this kind of lasting change that inspires Colleen to keep giving.
“The kind of gifts that are given through Farm Radio will last generations,” she says.