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Old 19-04-2018, 06:36 PM   #563
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Canadian farmer converts his 40,000-acre farm to all-organic
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by: Isabelle Z.

Consumers have been voting with their wallets in recent years, shying away from toxin-laced conventional produce and shelling out for organic varieties instead. Some observers might have initially dismissed this as a trend that would eventually fade, but it’s clear that a desire for good health and environmental friendliness is not going out of fashion any time soon, and more and more farmers are stepping up to meet this demand.

In fact, one 40,000-acre Canadian farm is currently in the process of becoming entirely organic, and it will take the honor of being the country’s biggest organic farm once it makes the full transition. The farm is big enough to make 2.2 million bushels of wheat every year. Owner Travis Heide says he plans to also start producing organic lentils, hemp, oats and peas.

Right now, the farm is only half organic, but the full transition is expected to be completed within two years. It’s an ambitious project when you consider the fact that Heide only started farming on a full-time basis four years ago. However, he grew up working on his parents’ Saskatchewan farm with his four brothers. He earned a business degree and worked as a commodity trader before starting up his own grain trading company. When his father asked him and his brothers to take over the family farm when he retired, they declined.

However, his interest in agriculture never waned, and he moved to Africa and helped to start up a farm in South Sudan. After returning home, he eventually decided to buy a Canadian farm of his own. When he found out the land he bought had not been poisoned by pesticides and other chemicals in the past, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to create an organic farm.
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