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Nexera Canola

January 27, 2016 | News

Farmer and blogger Jake Leguee on why he tells the story of his Saskatchewan farm

Jake Leguee farms in southeastern Saskatchewan with his family, growing canola, wheat, peas, soybeans, flax and lentils. In 2013, he started his blog, “A Year in the Life of a Farmer,” after facing several seasons of challenging weather conditions.

“It started out as a way for me to vent a little bit,” Jake says. Since then, it has grown into a powerful advocacy tool and connected Jake with consumers eager to learn about the “joys, trials and tribulations of farming in the best place in the world,” described by his blog.

“I started to realize that there were some opportunities there to connect with consumers,” he says. “We’re kind of bad at that. I thought a blog would be a small way to reach out and go through the day to day life of a farmer and help people understand why we make the decisions we make.”

The number one thing he hopes to communicate?

“I want consumers to know that farmers have choices,” Jake says. “We use the products that we do to try and ensure long-term sustainability for our farms, whether that’s environmental or economic or some combination thereof. We want our children to be able to inherit soil that is in better shape than it was when we started.”

Some of Jake’s most popular posts include “Do farmers actually work during the winter?” “Why I’m not an organic farmer,” and recently, “Why GMO labeling will never work.” He says that although he has encountered a wide range of feedback, he is conscious that the most vocal opponents of some of his posts are not his target audience.

“You’re never going to convince the people who are really hardline against GMOs and pesticides that they’re OK,” Jake says. “But if I’m getting to the people who are really against it, surely some people in the middle are getting the message too.”

Jake, who has a degree in Agronomy from the University of Saskatchewan and spent 5 years as an agronomist before transitioning to full-time farmer, is passionate about the subject of GMO education.

“I’d like consumers to understand the benefits of GMOs,” he says. “I choose to grow them because we don’t need to use as many pesticides, we get greater yields, and it gives us more cropping options. It’s made it possible and profitable to grow many crops we might not otherwise be able to, like canola. We have weed spectrum challenges here that require different herbicide platforms to be able to look after the weeds, and it helps to have hybrids suited to our season and geography.”

You can find Jake’s blog at www.southsaskfarmer.com.

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