“It’s looking fabulous. I’m excited to see the yield.”
Those are the words of Mikaela Lemay, an agronomist and leader of the Young Guns growing project near Trochu. The group of young farmers started their growing project last year when the local Viterra terminal donated the use of surrounding land to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This year, the group seeded 40 acres of barley.
The 23-year-old Lemay is one of the youngest growing project leaders in the country and one of the few women to lead a project. Along with support of Viterra, the project attracted donations of seed, fertilizer, and herbicide from the local Trochu agribusiness community, as well as support from friends, family and neighbours.
“People don’t hesitate to donate — they’re really generous,” said Lemay, noting her neighbour seeded the field and her brother did the spraying.
Viterra provided a total of 284 acres this year for growing projects at its terminals at Trochu, Lethbridge and Stettler as well as two Saskatchewan locations.
“One of their main challenges in getting these growing projects off the ground is securing land,” said Dryden Frere, the facility operations manager of the Trochu terminal. “By providing them with access to land around our elevators, we’re helping to give these volunteers an outlet for generously donating their time to plant and harvest the crops each year.”