“I’m proud of the next generation, I’m proud of Viterra’s involvement in this partnership, and I’m proud of what the Foodgrains Bank has been doing. I don’t know if you could find any better things that are happening in agriculture.”
Those are the words of Terence Koshman, Manager, Country Grain marketing for the west territory of Viterra, and avid supporter of the Foodgrains Bank mission to end global hunger. He’s referring to a partnership between Viterra, the Foodgrains Bank, and local farmers where farmers donate their time and resources to farm land around Viterra terminals provided by Viterra in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Proceeds from the sale of these crops are donated to the Foodgrains Bank to support hunger response initiatives around the world.
Born and raised on the family grain farm in Saskatchewan, and now working for Viterra, Koshman says although the farming industry has grown, at the grassroots level it’s still about producing a product that ends up on the family plate.
From working at a small elevator in Manitoba to a bigger elevator, and then being transferred within the agricultural industry into different areas, Koshman says experience has been his greatest teacher.
“Right from the time I was born, I was on a farm and involved in farming – right through my lifetime, I guess. I’ve been involved in the ag industry for close to 30 years now. When somebody asks me, how do I know? I could say, because I’ve done it. If there’s something happening in the ag industry, I’ve probably been involved in it at one point in my career.”
Koshman is currently based in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he and his family have lived for the past 20 years. He was a part of the independent producer group who built the terminal now owned by Viterra, and joined the team when Viterra acquired that asset in 2012.
He believes the role producers have in feeding not just the local marketplace, but the global marketplace, is highlighted in a special way through Viterra’s partnership with Foodgrains Bank.
“For myself what I’ve enjoyed most of all, not just in my career with Viterra but in the ag industry, is really being involved with producers. They’ve been the backbone of the food industry for many years, and I think recently they’ve been acknowledged as to their importance in that role.
“You tend to look at what other people have and you don’t, but when we really sit down and look at how fortunate we are to have the things that we do have, we have that openness to share with those who don’t. That’s how this relationship with the Foodgrains Bank has really been of benefit, because we’re able to provide and give to those who don’t have what we do.”
It’s the collaboration of efforts between Viterra, the Foodgrains Bank and the producers that make this partnership as successful as it is, says Koshman.
He’s encouraged to see increasing involvement from younger producers at various Foodgrains Bank growing projects and applauds those in the younger age group who are continuing the generations-old tradition of making sure food products are available, locally and globally.
If there’s one thing Koshman wants to achieve in his career, it’s developing the talent pool of the next generation, inspired by the hard work of generations who brought us to where we are today.
“From my standpoint I’ve really been inspired by my family members – right back to my grandparents, to my parents, and the level of respect that you have to have in this industry. People work hard, they want to be successful, they take great pride in what they’re doing, and I try to emulate that in what I’m doing, because western Canada was built by producers.
“It drives me to want to build this industry and leave it in good hands going forward.”