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 !