Episode 57 – Sunrise Farm

KevinBeef, Eggs, From Local Farms, Pork, Poultry18 Comments

A couple decades ago, some forward thinking individual(s) decided to put on a holistic management course within the agriculture community, and whoever you are/were, I thank you. The output of that re-think of industrialized ag can be seen in the successes and influence of Ron Hamilton (Ep. 4), Peter Lundgard (Ep. 47), and featured in this one [and long overdue at that], Don Ruzicka of Sunrise Farm.

I find myself lacking the adequate supply of positive adjectives to adequately describe Don and his approach to sharing his experience in the world of food production – but I’ll try a few: he’s passionate, gentle, kind, generous, and vastly underrated in terms of his profile in the broader food community. The foods folks like this produce should be the brands that matter in the food industry – in this case not just because of animal handling practices, but because of philosophy and approach to land stewardship in general. We’re partly on the way down that road of producer becoming rock star in Alberta, but I think there’s some consumer flushing out to do of what’s good marketing, and where best practices are being reinvented – a motivator for me personally to keep visiting farms and asking questions with a camera rolling. Don’s the real deal.

18 Comments on “Episode 57 – Sunrise Farm”

  1. DebTheLocavore

    Seeing others living the dream sure keeps me going… :)

    Zac and I are looking at a couple pieces of land. Both are 160 acres. One is mostly grain farming with a home and outbuildings (the original homestead of my grandfather’s family) – the other is a mix of mature bush, old hay field and wetland, no house or utilities. The grain farm is over double the cost of the other… Quite frankly we can’t afford either right now.
    There’s a couple of things on our side though… one is that land in our area is sometimes on the market for 2+years. The other is that there’s grants and low interest gov. loans out there for new farmers (especially “young” female rural farmers), it’s all just a matter of paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork….

    Stories like Don’s really give me hope as I’m in the middle of doing a business plan that uses a sustainable farming model.
    It’s always great to find success stories, even better when they’re from Alberta :) It shows that it not only can be done but that it IS being done!

  2. Slav

    How nice to see you both doing such a good job. Don, I am glad that I must your autographs somewhere since you will be a star. Or, maybe already are. :)

  3. ChadFMoss

    I can sure see where Danny got his inspiration and work ethic. Seems like this family has a great chance of leading the way to a healthier and happier food community.

  4. Matthew Pyper

    Wonderful piece Kevin. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Don and like you say- he’s the real deal. What an inspiration for us!

  5. rob avis

    We met at and ARSAN event and we have a lot of mutual friends. Rene, Carissa and Greg Dejong and I am sure many more. I love what you are doing and look forward to sitting down over a coffee or beer to hear more about your story! Thanks for everything that you do, it is truely inspiring!

    Rob Avis

  6. A Canadian Foodie

    You have such an incredible ability to listen, capture the essence of the person and present it so artistically. I anticipate each of your pieces of work and make time to let them in. This force and ethic that has motivated you to do this work is making a difference in real people’s lives every day. What a beautiful man.

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