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LANDMARK | 13 November 2008

World record harvests donations of $75,000

Southern Queensland farmer John Coggan, handed over the funds raised for vital organ transplant research at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital on 11 November.

In June this year, the Coggan family set about raising extra research funds by racing the clock to set a Guinness world record for planting the largest paddock of wheat in the world, 905 hectares, in just 24 hours.

The feat on their property “Enarra”, between Westmar and Meandarra, captured the imagination of Australian mums and dads who joined corporate sponsors such as Landmark, John Deere and Chesterfield Australia, Rabobank, Simplicity Australia, Multi Farming Systems, and the Queensland Country Life to donate to the worthy cause.

Landmark was one of the key sponsors in the Coggan family’s world record. A team of four planted non-stop for 24 hours with commercially available equipment, covering more than 905.48 hectares of wheat and smashing the previous world record of 579 hectares.

On Tuesday, exactly five months since the Coggan family planted the first seed, John Coggan handed over the fundraising cheque for $75,000 to The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation for the Critical Care Research Group.
“This really is a case of reaping what you sow,” John said as he thanked people for the amazingly generous support the family received.

Director of the Critical Care Research Group, Dr John Fraser, says the $75,000 is a major injection for their research program that is developing a totally implantable artificial heart (BiVACOR) and working towards improving the lives of heart and lung transplant recipients across Australia and the rest of the world.

Chief Executive Officer of The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation, Kate Ashton, is thrilled with the way the Coggan family has raised the profile of organ donation and medical research.

“As the Coggans know, donor organs are in short supply and the money raised through their world record achievement will help to continue funding for this amazing device which may one day replace the need for heart transplants.”

“This partnership has the potential to make a huge difference to the quality of life for people who might otherwise have been stuck in a hospital bed waiting for a transplant,” said Kate.

Wheat field on the Coggan farm

While the fundraising cheque has been handed over the hard work is far from complete for the Coggan family. As one of Queensland’s largest grain producers they have a total of 10,900 hectares (27,000 acres) to harvest.

Climbing back into the header to get on with the job John is all smiles. “This is the best crop we’ve had in 30 years. It sure feels good to be alive.”

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