Gateway Gazette

Keystone Potato Producers Association Announces Annual Support of STARS

Winnipeg, MB – Keystone Potato Producers Association (KPPA) has made a bold investment in the safety of their members with the decision to provide annual financial support to STARS.

The move was made at their recent annual general meeting in Portage La Prairie where members unanimously agreed to donate $10,000, which constitutes roughly two per cent of KPPA’s yearly check-off total.

KPPA general manager Dan Sawatzky said the association’s membership recognizes the importance of STARS to the province’s agricultural community, and there was unanimous support of the motion.

“Many of our members live and work in areas where they don’t have immediate access to emergency care,” Sawatzky said. “Having STARS in Manitoba ensures that if an unfortunate event occurs our members will have access to world-class emergency care and transport to a major trauma centre.”

STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson said this is the first time an agricultural association has agreed to contribute a portion of their check-off dollars to the non-profit organization.

“We know these dollars are the lifeblood of agricultural commodity organizations,” Robertson said. “This is how they fund their operations and the work they do on behalf of members. For KPPA to entrust STARS with these funds speaks to their belief in our mission to provide rapid, highly-specialized critical care to sick and injured Manitobans.”

Robertson added that receiving annual support from KPPA is especially important to STARS’ operations in Manitoba.

“The provincial government provides 90 per cent of our yearly budget in Manitoba. However, for STARS to ensure our long-term sustainability in the province there is a need to increase the amount of money we raise each year. Having this reliable, sustained support from KPPA is invaluable as we work towards that goal.”

Sawatzky said KPPA encourages fellow commodity organizations, not only in Manitoba but also in Saskatchewan and Alberta, to consider supporting STARS.

“We only need to take a look at their mission locations in each province to see that STARS is vitally important to Western Canada’s rural population,” Sawatzky said. “KPPA members are proud to be the first association to take this step, and we hope others will join us in supporting STARS.”


Simply put, STARS fights for life. Since we embarked on our first mission in 1985, we’ve been driven by the goal of providing people the vital care they need when they need it the most. Whether it’s offering hands-on training to rural medical providers or providing rapid, emergency medical transportation for the critically ill and injured, we operate 24/7 from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, anticipating and acting when people need our help. Learn more at


The Keystone Potato Producers Association is the processing potato producer organization for Manitoba. It began as an informal group of producers known as the Carberry Growers Association in 1963 and later incorporated as Keystone Vegetable Producers Association Inc. in 1969. It became a board in 2006 and adopted the current name. Members supply processing potatoes to Simplot Canada II, McCain Foods Canada, and Cavendish Farms in Jamestown, North Dakota. The processing market makes up over 85 per cent of the potato production in Manitoba.

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