Canadian farmers use world class agricultural practices and sustainable farming techniques to produce high quality products for health conscious consumers.
"I am proud of the farm our family has built over three generations and love being able to work with my kids."
“What I like most about farming is watching our operation grow. Being involved in a family farm means that everyone is in it for each other and everyone wants to succeed. There have also been many advancements in technology and to see what will be coming next is exciting for me. In all, after you look back at what you accomplish in a day, it can be very rewarding.”
Darren's opa immigrated to Canada from Germany and began farming near St. Gregor, Saskatchewan in the late 1920's. Darren is the third of four generations to work the family land; his dad still participates in seeding and harvest and his three young adult children also contribute to the operation. "It's pretty cool when three generations are working together to take off the crop!"
Darren has grown Canary seed for most of his farming career and, though it is often a challenge to harvest, it compares with other crops in profitability. He also grows canola and barley, and has also included oats, wheat, peas and flax in his crop rotation over the years.
In addition to farming and being the chair of the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, Darren is active in his community, participating on many sports, school, recreation, church and business boards. He is actively involved in one of Saskatchewan's longest running marketing clubs. Living with a "work hard, play hard" attitude, Darren supports his kids' sporting ventures and somehow has found time to be a mobile disc jockey for more than thirty years.
"It's kind of cool that Saskatchewan has global dominance in Canary seed production. It has been exciting to be part of the process as Canary seed works its way into the food supply. I can hardly wait to incorporate alpiste into my favourite recipes!"
Justin and his wife, Alison, are the fourth generation to join their family farm near Meunster, Saskatchewan.
In addition to Canary seed, they grow wheat, barley, canola and peas. Crop rotation is an important aspect of their farming practice and they also find that Canary seed helps with different herbicide applications for wild oat control.
Justin is very involved with his community and serves as a volunteer fire fighter with the Muenster Volunteer Fire Department as well as councillor for the R.M. of St. Peter. He is the vice chair of the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan and a board member of the SHL Rural Water Pipeline Association, that distributes potable water to rural residents.
“I think that Canary seed opens up another avenue for high protein, gluten-free flour for alternatives that much of the population is looking for as well as more marketing strategies. I am also excited about research and the Canary seed breeding program which is improving yield averages and standability in the glabrous (hairless) Canary seed varieties.”
“When I started farming in 1989, our farm was already well established as a zero till operation committed to conserving our soil resources. I was an early adopter of precision ag and have been using GPS technology on our farm since 1996. Our grain farm continues to use technology to make data-based decisions to reduce costs and environmental impact.”
“Farming has been my life and hobby; although, I am looking forward to having the time to add a hobby to take me into retirement.”
Stuart Lawrence farms with his wife and son on the original 1907 homestead of his great grandfather. They represent the fourth and fifth generations to work the land near Rosetown, Saskatchewan.
Stuart attended the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology and the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where he earned diplomas in Agricultural Machinery Technician and Vocational Agriculture.
During his career, Stuart has held off-farm positions as a mechanic and in broadcasting and print media. Now, he is focused solely on their 2700-acre farming operation and learning new soil health management techniques such as intercropping and companion cropping while continuing to have a diverse rotation including barley, peas, lentils, Canary seed, flax and canola. Every year, Stuart grows 160-320 acres of Canary seed/alpiste as he values the role it plays in his crop rotation and the choices for weed control it opens up.
In addition to serving as a director with the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, Stuart contributes his time and expertise to the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews and the Western Applied Research Corporation.
When he isn’t busy farming or serving on boards and committees, Stuart enjoys restoring vintage vehicles and watching his son play elite level hockey.
For over one hundred years, Rick’s family has been farming their land near Arborfield in northeastern Saskatchewan. He represents the third generation and has been a producer for close to 50 years himself.
Over that time, he has produced a notable amount of food for local, national and international markets. He still enjoys watching the different varieties of crops grow and mature. "There’s no place like a farm to experience open spaces and changing of the seasons."
In addition to Canary seed, the Lindsay farm grows wheat, barley, canola and oats. It is also home to a leafcutter bee operation.
Rick appreciates Canary seed as a cash crop that grows well in his region and stores well. It also enables him to have longer crop rotations.
In addition to serving on the board of the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, Rick has served on the boards of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, Agri-Food Council and the Diamond North Credit Union. He was even a founding member of Thunder Rail, a short line railway.
"There are new and exciting uses for Canary seed coming down the pipe and it is interesting to be a part of the future."
Jim and his wife farm near Lancer, just north of the Great Sandhills and south of the South Saskachewan River. Their family has been farming in the area for four generations and Jim is the third generation to farm on his current land. Their young daughter and son are growing up in the Land of Living Skies where the crops are often taller than them.
One of the things Jim enjoys most about farming is watching things grow. It is gratifying to know that the food he produces on his farm will feed people and animals in Canada and around the world. In addition to Canary seed, the Hales grow barley, durum, canola, green lentils, and green peas. As a crop, Canary seed provides marketing diversity and contributes to vital crop rotation. It also helps spread out harvest operations.
Jim serves on the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan board of directors and the executive of the Cabri Bulldogs Hockey Club. In addition to playing hockey, he enjoys target shooting and hunting. He also does some oilfield work over the winter.