Sunday, December 4, 2016

All in

     It's all delivered and sold !|   The grain is all making a difference as the value of it gets moved to World Relief Canada and the CFGB.   Multiplying all the way on its journey to helping so many... stay tuned for updates...
    If you want a card that you can fill in to provide if you are buying a gift acre for someone who doesn't need anything let me know.   We wrote down the Kernels story that shows the how and why of what we do!

Ray the Grain Guy

Thursday, November 10, 2016


About 6 weeks ago we had the closest thing to a monsoon that happens in the Prairies... all of harvest was stopped for so long...many many acres were put on pause...   this week the sun came out and brought along the wind.  Record high November temperatures are now allowing the crops and the ground to dry up .  Harvest now continues and is progressing with a lot of stuck in the mud equipment... Better than parking in the yard though !  Our Kernels fields are harvested !  stay tuned for some updates on the yields and the Rest of the Story !

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Van B Farms at Kinistino sent us pictures of the Kernels canola harvest from the weekend...  today ,  just a few days later the ground is white with a heavy snow fall ....   whew !  This canola is already in the Melfort elevator    2360 bu     47 bushels per acre    Niiiiice !   $9.75 per bu     now add the Govt matching funds...  Phenomonal  !

The Minnedosa Church Garden Field 2016

     This fall the wheat in the garden ripened and was cut by Don Wilkinson with a scythe that his dad built !   The wheat was gathered into piles by our pastors Jeff and Sean and then hauled home to get under a roof awaiting combining... The combine was a mini  !   It's meant for going to a field and taking a sample with out taking a full size combine...   it still seperates the proverbial and in this case literal     "wheat from the chaff" 
Enough wheat kernels were harvested this past weekend to make a good loaf of Communion Bread which will be shared and help to connect the dots on World Relief Sunday

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Borley Canola

     Here are some shots of some huge canola swaths...The Borleys of Rapid City are real Kernels farmers this year and are looking forward to harvesting this great looking crop... see the size of the seeds ?  They sure add up tho !

Monday, August 29, 2016

6 acres that Punch above their weight class

... Ron's little field makes such a large difference !   all those plants working together producing all those seeds !  Providing sustenance and ultimately life to so many of those in need...

What some days look like on the Menu

Below is what some days must look like for people in countries where food is never to be take for granted...


Gerald's canola is in the swath !

Thats a Large swath laid down by a Large swather... we know it will make a Large difference to the people in the Congo... so many plants containing so many pods containing so many seeds... Every seed is important... as is every person...  the number varies but there can be up to 400,000 seeds of a canola in a bushel.  If we get $10 per bushel this year we will be happy !
     Go Gerald Go !  Get that canola into the bin !

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 11 / 16 The Wheat Field at the Minnedosa Church

The first sign of color change on the wheat at the church...
 Lots of heads... lots of Kernels   Lots of Potential to help others....

Monday, August 8, 2016


Ray The Grain Guy   Outstanding in his field,,,,  wrong   Outstanding in OUR field   <  That's how Kernels works..they are all OUR fields !

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Prairies are yellow this year...

  If you drove anywhere outside the city in the prairies in July you will have seen how we have decorated for you !   Miles and Miles of bright yellow canola...  

The Borleys

The Borley's of Rapid City have been Virtual Farmers with Kernels before but this year they generously took the next step and became one our Kernels real farmers !   They have canola growing and it is looking great !

The Church Field in Minnedosa

Here is what the Wheat field looked like after planting and up till Aug 5  by the church in Minnedosa   Its coming along great ...  I got rid of the weeds !

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Putting canola in a truck and then an elevator and then a rail car seems to be a lot of work...  maybe this idea can save a lot of time.  This rail car was spotted in the field  between Darlingford and Manitou...     really its just an out of service car that the producer uses as grain storage.  It has 4 hoppered compartments !

The Tomoniko's of Franklin, Mb

Aleki Tomoniko and his family are first time real Kernels farmers this year... Welcome aboard !   Grow with us...
...Here's a story ! This is how many stories start !   Once upon a time ... there was a small house...the small house got old and was given by the church to the Museum site in Minnedosa.  The basement of the house got filled in with black dirt and for awhile it was used as a garden for different people.   This year no one was seeding the garden and so on May 30 that garden became a field !    Its now a field of Hard Red Spring Wheat !.   It got 9 / 10th of an inch of rain on it the night it was seeded...  perfect start...  I will keep you up to date on this field !  It is 15 feet by 40 feet ...   the aim is to get enough wheat to make enough flour to get a loaf of bread to use for Communion on World Relief Sunday...  Stay tuned !    Ray the Grain Guy

July Potential

   Word on the street is that the crop in the Prairies is doing great right now !... I saw a lot of it last week as we journeyed across the west ...  The Saskatchewan crop is lush and more advanced than Manitoba...  July shows great potential.  Now we have to worry about disease...wetter weather that is happening in many areas now lends itself to disease ... which can reduce that yield potential... Stay tuned !

Ray the Grain Guy

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Million $ Rain

The rain on May 30 was soft and gentle and added up to about 1 inch.   When you need rain ... you need rain...  Its often said that a timely rain like that is a Million $ Rain...  ( that number seems to be low these days ! )    Anyway the money in the picture helps to show how high the wheat is but also to show what we are doing when we are farming!  

I  went one step further in putting 2000 Kip from Laos on the field too...  the crop is multiplied by taking a seed and growing it into many seeds then the $ raised are multiplied by 5 by the Government which then provides tools and seeds and know how to people in the Congo to raise more crops !  Farm on my friends !

Sunday, May 29, 2016

VanHeyst's Wheat

     This wheat variety is a strong new one.  It is CWRS   Hard Red Spring Wheat and the variety is Brandon.  Ron and Earl are raising 6 acres of it for us on Highway !0 just north of Brandon.  It was seeded in the fiest week of May and was thirsty !  Last week we got a slow gentle rain of 1 and 1/2 inches over a 3 day period.  Perfect for soaking and and not running off !   Rain Make Grain !  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Here's an Article on the CFGB trip I took in March

10 RIVERS BANNER May 13, 2016
By Sheila Runions
Banner Staff
Ray Baloun began working in grain elevators
in Winnipeg three decades ago and for the last
10 years has been a grain buyer at Viterra north of Forrest. Since 2008 he has been represented World Relief Canada on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) Board.  He has been fundraising for CFGB since his capital city days in the 1980s but says he, “Really ramped up the fundraising when we developed Kernels of Hope through the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada in 2005. I call myself the connector — I get real farmers across the Prairies to grow small fi elds from fi ve to 50 acres and I get donors from across the country to provide funds to pay for the crop expenses of the real farmers. The funds all go through World Relief Canada to CFGB and are all eligible for the federal government matching grants. These are often at a rate of 4:1. Farm-ing is very profi table when you have no expenses and your crop value is multiplied by fi ve! ”
When Ray was approached by World Relief Canada to travel to parts of India and Laos to see fi rst-hand the impact of their efforts, he gladly accepted. They thought personal experience from board members and staff would help them make “more informed decisions as policies and procedures are developed.”
Ray was one in a group of six World Relief Canada personnel who travelled to Laos and India the last 17 days of March. They visited CFGB projects and partners to learn how their work contributes to ending global hun-ger. He spent 51 hours in the air and fl ew west through every time zone. Once landed, travel was by car, truck, van, train and foot.
“We saw many tuk-tuks and amazing homemade vehicles in Laos; many travel by small motorbike there. In India the sky was the limit for all the different types of vehicles we saw. Traffic mostly seemed like a sport in India! Often goats and cows would share the road but no one got hurt; the most used part of the vehicle was the horn,” he chuckles. “Most roads in the rural areas in both countries were dirt and the villages we visited were at the tops of steep hills. Roads were rough, steep and curvy in Laos, rough and brand new in India. One of the Malto villages in India had no road to it so we walked across a plain for a half-mile then up a steep path to the village.
“At each village we got to meet with the whole village and see what they are doing for water supply, schools and producing food through livestock, fruit, gardens and crops. Most of the fi elds we saw were carved out of the bush on the sides of extremely steep hills. Soil quality is never as good there and erosion is a constant problem; they will often farm a fi eld for three to four years and let it go back to bush for awhile. We could ask them what their challenges were; I also asked questions like we often hear in Canada: would there be enough land for everyone to farm once the children present were old enough to farm? (They thought not.) Will the future be better for your children than for you presently? (They thought yes!) I know part of that hope has been instilled
Photo submitted Ray Baloun (L), a World Relief Canada staff person (R) a village leader and village onlooker. Ray bought rubber ball globes to present to each village leader. He would mark the Canadian Prairies and their part of India and say,
“Our worlds have come together a little bit today.”
Seeing the difference fi rst-hand
through agencies like CFGB and by people in Canada who support those agencies. Hope is a really big word that Canadians, through CFGB and its partners, have given these people. They passed their thanks to the people and companies that are helping them feed themselves and their families better than they could on their own.”
The group visited four different villages and at each one, Ray says they met the entire population and “we were treated like royalty! The whole village would welcome us and individually greet us. The people welcomed and honoured us so much more that I thought we deserved.” Yet, there was concern at one point that the tour may be shortened because of politics.
“Laos is a communist country so many more approvals are needed for travelling to and within the country. When we arrived in Phonsovan we were told that because of a country-wide federal election we would not be allowed to visit the villages. After much negotiating, we eventually got clearance to go; they sent escort government people. An hour after we left the next morning with supplies, equipment and intentions to stay in a village home, we were told we were no longer able to stay overnight. That changed our plans big time! We did get to visit all the villages still and share food we had brought.”
Ray and wife Gail live in Minnedosa; he returned home with a greater appreciation for our country.
“I was very happy to be home to Manitoba. The whole trip was such a reminder of how good we have things in this country in so many ways. A farmer in the hills showed us corn they are saving to seed when the rainy season comes. They hang the cobs in the ceilings in their houses (to protect from rodents) and they smoke from the indoor cooking fi res (keeps insects out of the seed). When food is running low, they also have to pro-tect the seed from being eaten. That’s quite a difference from Canadian seed protection processes!”
Six weeks after his overseas trip, Ray is planning yet another Kernels of Hope season and continued work with CFGB.
“There is very good work being done in both coun-tries on behalf of Canadians that are supporting CFGB projects and fundraising events. Kernels is similar to the the work that is done by local CFGB projects except that it touches supporters in more urban areas where CFGB is not nearly as well-known as in an area like Rivers. Counting the matching funds, Kernels now cre-ates about $300,000 a year for projects in countries of need. I am often asked by CFGB donors and supporters whether or not the resources they provide are getting to the people who need them and are making a difference. The answer is that supporting people in their efforts to feed themselves are appreciated more than we will ever know on this earth. We are making a difference.
“I’ve often said farming is the most important job in the world; that was brought home to me as I met with farmers and in particular, the Malto people. They are an indigenous tribe of India that has been marginalized and pushed out of cities and towns into the surrounding rocky hills, where they struggle to eke out a living on degraded land. With support from CFGB member World Relief Canada, the Maltos are learning to sustainably increase their rice production, grow nutritious vegetables for their families and organize themselves into village savings and loan groups.”
CFGB is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. In the 2015-16 year, they provided more than $43 million of assistance to more than one million people in 40 coun-tries. CFGB plans trips each year for youth (typically to Central America), educators (professors or pastors) or interested citizens. More information about these tours can be found at If you are interested in partnering with Ray in his Kernels project, visit to learn more or contact him to be a speaker at your meeting.
For information about the local CFGB growing projects in Rivers and Oak River, please contact Acres of Hope chairman Ron Krahn at 204-328-7016.

Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Registration Information Forms

Malio Area of North Kivu, DR Congo

 Conservation Agriculture; Training;
Improved Crop Varieties
A cooperative project involving:
The Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada,
World Relief Canada, the Canadian Food Grains Bank & YOU!
Please make cheques payable to ECCC.
Write “Kernels” on the memo line.
Mail to: PO Box 23117, RPO McGillivray
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5S3
On-line donations can be made at:
Tax receipts will be issued

For continuous updates check out the Kernels of Hope website:
Name: ______________________________________________
(please print)
Mailing Address: ___________________________________
Email contact address if you’d like field updates:
Suggested donation based on input cost : $200.00/acre
Amount Paid: $ ________________ or Pledged: $ _________________

On your mark, Get set, Grow !


   2016 Crops have been planned and are going in at a fast rate.  Many producers in the Prairies have seeded their wheat already.  Wheat can be seeded deeper to get to the moisture and it doesn't mind a little cold weather when it breaks through the soil and starts reaching for the sky !  Canola is slowly being seeded...  its such a small seed it only wants to be seeded 1/2 an inch deep and a timely rain is the best thing ever for it to get it started.  It doesn't like frost though and last spring many acres has to be seeded again when the frost killed the first canola plants. 
    You can once again help us farm to help people in DR Congo to help feed themselves.  I will put the project details up soon.    We are still suggesting Virtual Farmers can pay the expenses of raising an acre of crop by donating about $200    Cheques can be made to ECCC with Kernels in the note line and mailed to the ECCC office.   You can also go to the ECCC website and donate online. 
    This whole project doesnt happen without our real farmers who have the land and equipment and heart to help others !   2 new farms this year are Jim and Sandy Borley of Rapid City, Manitoba and The Tomonikos of Neepawa, Mb,  Welcome !    We also know for sure that Ron Vanheyst and Earl of VR Farms are growing again right by # 10 highway near my elevator at Brandon,  Tim and Heidi Penner of Justice are putting 10 acres of Invigor canola in for Kernels and Gerald and Darla VanBurgsten of Kinistino, Saskatchewan are in with 50 acres of canola !   I'm waiting for confirmation on some other real farmers... it seems they are very busy this time of year... It's all coming together again... Once it does come together we will again have the proceeds multiplied by the Federal Government branch Global Affairs...    Partnerships and Connections that add up to one word,   Hope.  Thankyou for providing that word to so many !
Gotta run !
Ray the Grain Guy 


In March I was able to help out by representing the CFGB on a trip to Laos and India to visit some of the staff and projects that we are helping with through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  I am one of 2 representatives of World Relief Canada on the CFGB Board.  This trip in part was to see how some of the other 14 partners do projects and to get and share some Best Practices to be more effective than ever.  We found wonderful caring staff in both countries that are striving to help stop hunger in so many ways.   I'll just put a few pictures below.  In talking with the people we are helping we found that they are so thankful that people in North America care and are taking action to help them, We asked about their challenges and their future... They fell things will be better for their kids in the future than things are for them now... They truly have Hope because of people like you !

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mathematics for 2015

Adding & Subtracting & Multiplying 2 ways really Equals more than we may ever really know !

I had a chance today to go through all the numbers for the Kernels of Hope for the 2015 Crop we raised...

The We counts all the virtual farmers and the real farmers...

I can't name all the Virtual Farmers ( people out there who paid for the cost of production for this years crop,,, )   The Real Farmers that I can mention were West Elton, Tim Penner, Ron VanHeyst and Earl V,  of the Brandon area and the Johnson's of Tween Lakes Farms of Hyas / Norquay and the VanBurgsteden's also of Saskatchewan.... what a great group doing our real work for us....  

Back to the math... When you add all the donations to the crop that was grown  ( the seed also multiplies so much through Gods plan of multiplication...)  then we sell the crop and the Government multiplies the money again 4 to 1 or by five...( Now they are called DFATD)  . wow... This year we cleared $225,000 ... Congrats and Thankyou... The funds will help World Relief Canada and the CFGB help so many people in Malio of the Beni Territry in the The Democratic Republic of Congo...   Again we know the end result is bigger than any math we can do on our own...

Thanks so much
Ray the Grain Guy