Kyle Friesen
MCC photo/Rachel Bergen

Kyle Friesen co-owns and operates H & M farms in Altona, Manitoba. He’s one of MCC’s newest Grow Hope partners. 

H & M Farms is the newest farm to become part of MCC’s Grow Hope campaign this summer.

The family-run business in Altona, Manitoba grows various crops, including corn, beans, wheat and oats and is dedicating 40 acres of the 27,000 they farm to the MCC campaign which supports food projects around the world.

Kyle Friesen heard about Grow Hope through Grant and Colleen Dyck, who launched the project with MCC in 2015 as the first Grow Hope farmers.

After three years of helping the Dycks harvest, Friesen decided it was time to participate in Grow Hope himself.

Kyle Friesen inspects pinto bean plants on land that was donated to MCC’s Grow Hope campaign. MCC photo/Rachel Bergen

"Part of our objective as a farm is to contribute back to the community and to help those who are less fortunate,” he says. “We’ve been blessed with a lot of ability and a lot of prosperity, and to help give back to those who don’t have the same fortune is an extension of our mission.”

Through Grow Hope, donors can sponsor partial or full acres of land at H & M Farms and other farms. During the growing season Friesen will farm the land and donate the proceeds after harvest to MCC’s account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. From there, the proceeds will be matched by the Canadian government.

One acre costs $300, but that can translate to more than $2,500 for food projects around the world. If all the acres H & M farms have donated are sponsored, that could translate to $100,000.

“The way Canadian Foodgrains Bank is able to leverage our contribution with the community’s contribution with government contribution allows what we do to have a greater impact. It’s such a good idea,” says Friesen.

Friesen sees Grow Hope as an extension of his livelihood as well as a calling from God.

Forty acres of pinto beans are available to be sponsored this year thanks to H & M Farms in Altona. Once they’re matched by the Canadian government, it could mean $100,000 for MCC’s food projects around the world. MCC photo/Rachel Bergen

“It comes down to, as farmers, what we’re doing is providing food for our neighbours, for the country, for the world, so this naturally fits in with what we have a passion for – providing food for those who need it,” he says.

He’s also excited about engaging donors who aren’t farmers.

As farmers, what we're doing is providing food for our neighbours, for the country, for the world, so naturally this fits in with what we have a passion for - providing food for those who need it." - Kyle Friesen, H & M farms

“I think this type of project is a great way for non-farmers to get involved with a Canadian Foodgrains Bank and MCC program. It increases that access and exposure,” Friesen says.

Darryl Loewen, MCC Manitoba’s executive director, says MCC wouldn’t be able to do its work without the generosity of donors like Friesen and other Grow Hope farmers.

“We’re grateful for farmers like Kyle and the folks at H & M Farms and for others like Grant Dyck who pass on the word about this innovative project, Grow Hope. Together we can make a big impact in the world,” he says.

Friesen hopes to continue to partner with MCC in the future.

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