Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 has been named the International Year of Family Farming

Bruce of WRC sent me a note about 2014 !    Pretty Special !



The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
The goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development.  The 2014 IYFF will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.


Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities, and it is linked to several areas of the rural development. Family farming is a means of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s.

Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector.

At national level, there are a number of factors that are key for a successful development of family farming, such as: agro-ecological conditions and territorial characteristics; policy environment; access to markets; access to land and natural resources; access to technology and extension services; access to finance; demographic, economic and socio-cultural conditions; availability of specialized education among others.

Family farming has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.


  • Family and small-scale farming are inextricably linked to world food security.
  • Family farming preserves traditional food products, while contributing to a balanced diet and safeguarding the world’s agro-biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Family farming represents an opportunity to boost local economies, especially when combined with specific policies aimed at social protection and well-being of communities.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 A Year to Remember !

   Agriculture is a long word for taking chances !   Agriculture almost anywhere makes the farmer make decisions based on relatively unknown upcoming circumstances...  Weather and markets,  labour and input costs are all often unpredictable.  Around the world people continue to take those chances every year.  Without those risk takers we would be a very hungry world !
   Much of the Canadian Prairies this year went through spring with crops with slow and spotty germination...  Everyone was holding their breath hoping for improvements...  The prices were high but how much yield would we get ?  As early summer hit we found that the crops got better and better !   By the harvest time many farmers often found the biggest bushels of their lives flowing into the combines !  Story after story of humungous yields were told !  Many of our crops were fantastic in yield and low in disease !   The normal process for our Kernels of Hope fields is to price and deliver the grain as soon as it is harvested.  That happened again and that was also a blessing for the project.  People that waited to deliver or to price saw one of the biggest price slides ever in the grain markets at the same time as many of the grain elevators began to max out on the number of bushels they could even buy !  Things worked out for us this year !   The project that we are raising crops and funds for in North Kivu in the Congo will get approximately $447,000 of through our partnerships with World Relief Canada and the Canadian Food Grains Bank and the Canadian Government.  Wow !  Thankyou so much to the real farmers that make this all possible,  The Marvin's, the Van Heyst's, the Penner's The Arndt's, the VanBurgsteden's, the Nelson's, the Olson's, and others  and to the producers helping through Hudye's "Helping Feed the World" initiative and thanks to the Virtual Farmers like you for supporting Kernels of Hope paying for the expenses !  We also pass on thanks from the people benefiting in the Congo...  Helping others feed themselves... one kernel at a time.         Just for one minute trade shoes with those you are helping and you may get a glimpse of the magnitude of the effects of your help !  We have been blessed so that we can bless others.   
      A year to remember...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Kernels crops are coming in !  Here are pictures of the Olsons in Norquay  ( the green combines )
and the VanBurgstedens in Kinistino near Melfort !   The Olson's wheat ran great and the VanBursteden's survived near flood conditions in spring to come up with a decent yield too !  There are 2 fields around Brandon,  the Marvin's wheat and the VanHeyst canola that has got stalled with the wet weather...hopefully the sun comes out and the bushels come in this week !

Ray the Grain Guy

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest is Progressing !

     Harvest is in full blast in Manitoba  !  ( Or was )   We had a little rain which slowed things down and now are getting frost in the morning at times which isn't likely going to hurt quality but it does delay the crop from being dry enough to combine for a few more hours each day.
  Tim Penner has the barley harvested,  It ran about 95 bu / acre and he grabbed the good price of $ 4 / bu before the prices started to slide !... Most farmers are telling me they have never had this big of  a crop in their lives !   That abundance has been matched by quality so far also !  Even the VanBurgstedens at Kinistino got a decent yield from the crop of wheat that practically needed swimming lessons in it's early life,,,  more to come .....stay tuned !

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Combines are rolling !

Starting ....

Harvest started coming in last week !  Winter wheat and peas and rye have been taken off in some areas...the cool weather earlier seems like it is paying off in big yields now !  The Marvin's of Brandon started harvesting spring wheat on Friday also !   Wonderful quality and running about 65 bushels per acre of very good bushel weight wheat !  No visible disease like ergot or fusarium...  The heat that we have now is bringing in many crops sooner than people were thinking... Even with this heat the most frequent comment is that they hope the crop matures before Jack Frost comes !

Till next time,
Ray the Grain Guy

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lemon Pie for the Hungry ?

I have been waiting to tell you this story till I had a picture but so far none have turned up !  It's not a hard one to imagine though... The Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada had their annual meeting in Melfort, Saskatchewan in May... When I arrived it wasn't long before I was in the kitchen at the church seeing if there was any lemon pie in the plans... It is a good way to meet people !  Try it sometime ...  |Anyway there were no plans but I was told of a Sunday School teacher that was the recipient of a shaving cream pie in the face earlier in the year.  The kids raised $400 for the right to Pie him!  I mentioned that I had received at least one hundred lemon pies in the past 20 years and had never had one in the face !  Hmmm ,  that got things going...  I said if they got at least $500 for Kernels of Hope and if it was a lemon pie that I would let them Pie me !.... They got over $600 !  then they auctioned the right for a person to actually apply the pie in my face at the banquet.  Gary Gilkinson paid for that !   Theeeeeen Dave Augustson the auctioneer suggested that people who had bid were planning to part with that money anyway so they should also donate it !   Well the pie got applied and locked onto my face... I had to hold onto the chair so I wouldn't react (too much hockey )  The silly pie raised $1573.10 and if you took the matching funds from CIDA at 4 to 1 this pie raised $7,865.50 for people in the Congo !   I also found pie in my eyelids the next morning !   So ... visit a church kitchen... if you dare....