When farming is in your blood – when your great-grandparents were farmers, your grandparents and your parents were farmers, and you’ve now passed on the tradition to your own children and grandchildren, how next can you share your story? For Dave Lantz it is through volunteerism.
“I’ve always been interested in volunteering, in helping to inform our urban cousins about what we do on the farm,” says the Calgary area farmer. “I started out volunteering at Aggie Days and after seeing the need to educate the public, the “Farmer Dave” program evolved. In 2017, I was elected to the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors and in 2018 I joined the 4-H Foundation Board. We’ve also been bringing kids to the farm through Ag for Life for ten years.”
Lantz Farms was founded in 1905 by Lantz’s great-grandfather on 500 acres east of the city. Together with his wife, three daughters and their families, he now farms more than 9000 acres around the original site, and also has a hog and cattle ranch, vegetable operation and irrigated hay business based in British Columbia.
“A lot of people don’t have a direct connection to the farm anymore,” says Lantz. “I think it is our duty as farmers to be as transparent and open and help keep the public informed about what we do. It is always interesting to hear what the kids ask and what teachers are thinking and there is never a question I won’t answer.”
This year Ag for Life will be bringing students and teachers on tours at the end of September right in the thick of Lantz’s harvest activities. They will be hosting a harvest lunch, the combines will be running and he’s looking forward to showcasing the technology and equipment that they use to bring in the harvest.
“Ag for Life does an excellent job of informing the public about what farmers do and where their food comes from,” he says. “People have a right to know that their food is safe, and I think it’s great if we can show them first-hand what we do.”