Photo caption: Jeff Burke and Kendal Donahue, Agriculture Development Officer, OMAFRA
Brule Creek Farms, based in Thunder Bay District, have been awarded for their canola which turns their fields golden each year. This innovation has also proved to be a golden business opportunity for owner Jeff Burke. Since 2008, Burke has been growing grains and milling them into flour right on the farm. Including canola in his rotation helps to ensure soil health and sustainability. Now, the addition of an oil press has allowed Burke to create his own line of cold-pressed, extra virgin canola oil. New sales of the oil now account for 24 per cent of farm’s total revenue. Burke sells the high-protein canola meal left after the pressing as livestock feed. The excess oil is then used to power tractors, providing an environmental impact; by reducing the farm’s fuel use by 25 per cent.
The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence was presented to Jeff by Kendal Donahue, local Agriculture Development Officer with OMAFRA, at the Thunder Bay Soil and Crop Improvement Association Annual General Meeting, held on Monday, December 11.