Each week, Great Taste of Manitoba profiles a Manitoba farmer in Before the Plate, a video series introducing the farm families and agricultural communities that work tirelessly to produce the local ingredients featured in the Great Taste of Manitoba cooking show.
MARK AND DAWNA both studied agriculture at the University of Manitoba and worked in the agribusiness sector before deciding to return to their farming roots. Their passion for agriculture has rubbed off on their three boys, Kyle, Todd, and Brad, who are all actively involved in farm work. They grow cereals, oilseeds, and soybeans on their fourth-generation family farm. They are passionate about growing soybeans because they believe in the environmental benefit of having a diverse crop rotation. Never growing the same crop on the same field more than once every four years reduces weed and pest pressures, which in turn reduces their reliance on crop protection products. Soybeans are also in a class of plants called legumes. Legumes turn nitrogen from the air into fertilizer, therefore educing the amount of fertilizer that needs to be added to the soil.
Mark and Dawna enjoy sharing their agronomy knowledge with others through their seed and input business. They believe in the value of science-based research, and they share the results of their field scale research with their customers. This ensures they match the right crop with the right acre so that what’s planted can be harvested with as much success as possible. They are a part of a community of passionate growers who aim to make responsible choices when it comes to producing crops, and they are proud to feed those locally produced crops to their own family.