Ontario farmer giving of ‘First Fruits’ of each harvest

Tuesday, July 11, 2023
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Ian and his wife, Caroline, (centre) with sons Travis (left) and Adrien (right) at their farm.

The Lord has blessed us more and we can give more.

Ian Greydanus, Canadian Foodgrains Bank supporter

Ian Greydanus loves to farm.

“I love to see stuff grow. I love the new beginnings, outdoor life, being my own boss. I love the challenge of farming—the challenge of getting good yields, doing it right,” says the 60-year-old, who farms 3,400 acres with his two sons on Greydafton Farms, close to Lake Ontario.

That love of farming also shapes how he chooses to live out his Christian faith.

It started almost 40 years ago with bagging grain for the Foodgrains Bank, back when Canadian grain was still sent directly to people overseas experiencing severe hunger.

Over the years, Greydafton Farms changed hands, going from a dairy farm started after the Second World War by Ian’s grandparents, to splintering off to include a full-fledged cash crop operation, growing things like wheat, corn and soybeans.

As his farming operation grew, so did Ian’s commitment to giving back, by taking literally the biblical call in Proverbs to ‘honour the Lord… with the first fruit of all your crops.’

“I give my first truckload of corn, first truckload of wheat and first truckload of soybeans,” he says. Sometimes he also gives his last load of corn.

“The Lord has blessed us more and we can give more.”

“But even back when I started, when I couldn’t give a truckload, I gave a partial truckload,” he says.

And why the Foodgrains Bank?

“There are so many good causes out there. How do you choose which one to support?” he asks. For him, his uncle once told him to choose one local, one national, and one international charity, to get involved, and if he liked what they were doing, to stick with them.

And that’s what Ian has done.

In 2017, along with his wife Caroline, he travelled to Lebanon as part of a Foodgrains Bank learning tour to see firsthand how his support was making a difference for people living with hunger.

Ian recalls one woman, a Syrian refugee, who told him that before her family began receiving vouchers, she was boiling grass to feed her children and stop their stomachs from hurting.

It was stories like that, he says, that show the impact that efforts from Canadians and people of faith can have when they seek to help.

Overall, when everything comes together, “It works. It works very well.”

This story was originally published in the 2023 Spring edition of Breaking Bread. Download or order your copy here

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