LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, CANADA — Viterra and Canadian Foodgrains Bank celebrated the second year of their partnership, which saw over 300 acres seeded earlier this year to benefit hungry people around the world.

Speakers included Davin Lockwood, Viterra’s market centre manager for Lethbridge, an area local farmer Leslie Bolstad from Mercer Seeds, and Ken Kim, board chair at Foodgrains Bank.

The project builds on last year’s pilot project that saw Viterra provide the Foodgrains Bank with access to 42 acres of land to farm around its terminals in Balgonie, Saskatchewan, and Stettler, Alberta.

This year, a total of 326 acres from Viterra terminals in the Albertan towns of Lethbridge and Trochu, as well as terminals in the Saskatchewan towns of Raymore and Grenfell, was also made available.

Local farmers, supported by their communities, volunteered their time, equipment and resources to farm the land.

Ryan Mercer farmed the land in Lethbridge on behalf of the Foodgrains Bank. His business, which he runs alongside extended family, is a full crop production and cleaning operation.

The family has contributed to the work of ending global hunger through the Foodgrains Bank for several years through its own growing project.

“We’re richly blessed here in Canada, and it’s a way of giving back,” he said. “It is something we can do both at the local level as well as an agricultural community to help end hunger. Larger corporations such as Viterra can be involved, as well as small family farms.”

Kim said he is grateful for the impact the partnership will have on people facing hunger in the developing world.

 “One of the biggest challenges faced by many farmers who want to get involved in the fight against global hunger through a growing project is that of obtaining land,” Kim said. “This donation of land from Viterra, combined with the time and resources of some very dedicated farmers, will touch the lives of many people around the world who do not get enough to eat.” 

Kyle Jeworski, president and chief executive officer of Viterra, added, “We’re pleased to support the substantial growth of our partnership with the Foodgrains Bank this year by providing additional land to local farmers, who have been very generous in donating their expertise, time and equipment.  This is a great example of a team effort to directly help those in need while raising important awareness about global hunger.”

In addition to providing the land, Viterra will provide the Foodgrains Bank with a donation of $5 for each tonne of crops donated to the organization through one of its 68 grain elevators in Western Canada.