Your name and your farm

Reg, Jeri, Jason, and Carla Saunders

Saunders Farms Ltd.

Location of your farm

Our farm is located southeast of Taber, Alberta, Canada.

History of your farm

My grandfather Joseph Gordon Saunders started our farm in the early 1930's. It was a traditional mixed farm with both crops and livestock. My parents Reg and Jeri took over day to day operations in the 1960s. They concentrated more on crops and slowly gave up the livestock operation. The farm diversified its cropping rotation in the 1960s and started growing rapeseed along with wheat and barley. The farm moved into continuous cropping and direct seeding in the early 1980s when the wind started to blow and the soil was in the air. We did it out of need and discovered the benefits later. We put pulse crops into the continuous cropping rotation in the early 1990s and that is really when we noticed the improvement in our cropping system and the improvement in our soil health.

I came back to the farm in 1997 after graduating university. Carla and I took over the day to day operations of the farm in the early 2000s. We have found it is very important to watch our cropping rotation and have a diverse variety of crops in our system. Diversity in our system keeps our crops and soils healthier so we don't have to rely on chemicals. Keeping our soil active and growing a diverse system of crops it is best for the future of our family farm and environment. We are doing our best to improve our environment not only for ourselves but the wildlife that inhabit our land.

Why are you involved with Shepherd's Grain?

People want to know where there food comes from now. They would prefer to put a name and a face to it. That leads to trust and acceptance that it is raised with care. Shepherds grain markets the flour it sells that way: showing the consumer how the grain is produced and where it comes from. It highlights the environmental stewardship we use in producing the grains we grow. This creates an open and honest relationship with the consumers which will give us a long lasting relationship.