Viterra, Canadian Foodgrains Bank celebrate partnership

Viterra Foodgrains 2019

An expanding network of farmers in the Kneehill area have been involved in producing crops from which the cash income can be converted and then directed to the relief of world hunger. This has been channelled through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Locally, a partnership with Viterra Inc. has seen 36 acres of barley harvested under the name of “Young Guns growing project”.

This undertaking has been spearheaded by Mikaela Lemay, of Trochu.

A gathering at the Viterra Trochu Terminal on Tuesday November 5 was a celebration of the harvest and cooperation of all team members involved. Speakers included Terence Koshman, Manager Grain Marketing for Viterra, local farmer Mikaela Lemay and Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius. Southern Alberta Regional Director for the Foodgrains Bank, Andre Visscher acted as MC.

The following excerpts from a press release gives something of an overview of the Viterra/Foodgrains partnership:

“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.

Mikaela Lemay, who gathered a group of other young farmers in the Trochu area to get involved in these efforts to end hunger says:

“In agriculture we are so fortunate, so blessed to actually know where our food comes from,” she says. “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,” she adds. “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,” says Cornelius. “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 his brief remarks Cornelius told specifically of his recent trips to visit some of these recipients and the impact the aid- both in product and training- is having on these people.

In addition to providing the land, Viterra will also provide the Foodgrains Bank with a donation of $5 for each tonne of crops donated to the organization through one of its 69 grain elevators in Western Canada.

It is significant to note the support of the Canadian Government in this effort to come to the aid of world hunger. We read this on the Canadian Foodgrains web page:

“Canadian Foodgrains Bank is grateful to partner with the Canadian Government to provide food assistance to people in the developing world. The Government of Canada has supported the Foodgrains Bank since it began in 1983. Today, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is one of two primary channels for the Government of Canada’s funding for food assistance. Through the Government of Canada’s support, the Foodgrains Bank’s 15 members are able to leverage donations on a four-to-one basis for food assistance in the developing world up to $25 million.