Former National Farmers Union president to speak at next MIFI meeting

Next Mid Island Farmers Institute is Wednesday, Feb. 20

The Mid Island Farmers Institute will be hosting former National Farmers Union president Jan Slomp.

He will discuss how to repair and regenerate soils with animals and create natural capital on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Merville Hall.

The meeting is free for members with a $5 charge for non-members. Tea and snacks will be served.

“Soil fertility is a complex issue that requires the utmost respect for the unknown natural world”, said Slomp. “We must learn to understand what ancient West Coast First Nation practised; In order to preserve the ability, one can only harvest from abundance.”

Jan Slomp grew up in a farming community in the Netherlands when agriculture was still exclusively relying on horse and human muscle. He saw first-hand the rapid changes of the green revolution in the 1960s. As he was mesmerized by growth in productivity, he also witnessed the decimation of the farm population and the associated human stress it placed on especially the middle-aged farmers.

In the ’70s he saw that productivity increase and intensity of green revolution agriculture placed a toll on the natural world and its resources. Although knowing that something was amiss, he applied all possible knowledge associated with production-oriented agriculture in his own farming years from the mid-’70s going forward. Despite high debt loads, he managed to create the initial room for more sustainable practices. In 1989 he moved with his family to a dairy farm in Alberta, where he discovered that the constant higher production per acre and per cow were “not” in the interest of the cow, the land “or” the farmer, let alone of the surrounding natural world.

A holistic resource management course in the early ’90s helped him understand more of the intricate workings of natural processes and the opportunities provided if people started to work with nature instead of against it.

For more information, please contact Arzeena Hamir at Midislandfarmersinstitute@gmail.com or call/text 250-702-5657.

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