TROCHU, ALBERTA, CANADA – Viterra and Canadian Foodgrains Bank celebrated their annual partnership on Nov. 5, which saw over 250 acres seeded earlier this year to benefit hungry people around the world.
Speakers included Terence Koshman, manager Grain Marketing for Viterra, local farmer Mikaela Lemay and Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius.
This is the third year that Viterra and the Foodgrains Bank have partnered to work with the western Canadian agriculture community to respond to world hunger.
This year, a total of 254 acres from Viterra terminals in the Albertan towns of Trochu, Lethbridge and Stettler, as well as terminals in the Saskatchewan towns of Raymore and Grenfell, were made available.
Local farmers, supported by their communities, volunteered their time, equipment and resources to farm the land. In Trochu, the project is led by agronomist Mikaela Lemay, who gathered a group of other young farmers in the area to get involved in these efforts to end hunger.
“In agriculture we are so fortunate, so blessed to actually know where our food comes from,” she said. “And we struggle, we work hard, but we also reap all the benefits. I’ve just felt so compelled to give back to people who are less fortunate, and what’s a better way to do it?”
“Nowadays, a lot of young farmers have a passion for sharing about their livelihoods and farming with people who might not know a lot about what we do,” Lemay said. “So I thought this project would be a great way to help hungry people overseas while starting conversations about Canadian agriculture.”
For Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius, the partnership is an example of the way Canadian communities and businesses can work together to make meaningful impacts on the lives of hungry people overseas.
“It takes everyone doing their part to make a growing project a success,” Cornelius said. “With Viterra’s contribution of land, the project is set up for success from the beginning. Securing land is often the biggest challenge our supporting farmers face.”
In addition to providing the land, Viterra will also provide the Foodgrains Bank with a donation of C$5 for each tonne of crops donated to the organization through one of its 69 grain elevators in Western Canada.
“Our partnership with the Foodgrains Bank provides Viterra and our farmers with a great opportunity to give back to those in need and raise awareness about a very important issue,” said Kyle Jeworski, Viterra’s president and chief executive officer for North America. “Even during a difficult harvest such as this one, the uptake has been great and really exemplifies the giving spirit of our farmers.”