The Pillars of Do More Ag
We are champions for the mental wellbeing of all Canadian producers and are changing the culture of Agriculture to one where all producers are encouraged, supported and empowered to take care of their mental wellbeing.
Agriculture is an industry with a foundation of deep rural roots, hard work, resilience, strength and community. In order to uphold that image, those traits can also be the industry’s weakness as they become barriers for speaking up and seeking help. Producers are among the most vulnerable when it comes to mental health issues. Stress, anxiety, depression, emotional exhaustion and burnout are all high among producers. By collaborating with the entire industry and those working to address the state of mental health in Agriculture, we can and will make a substantial impact!
Do More Ag operates under 3 pillars. As a Canada wide not-for-profit organization, these pillars drive our focus and efforts across the Ag industry.
Awareness, education and breaking the stigma. These are the first steps to making a real and lasting impact for our industry. We strive for an industry where producers understand what it means for them to be truly healthy.
Community is more than just a physical place, community is also a sense of belonging and being a part of something more. We aim to create a community where people can connect and also find resources that are relevant and accessible to them.
Research is the backbone to creating further resources and ensuring they serve our Industry. We want to ensure that more research can be completed in this field by supporting, sharing and funding present and future research projects.
All funds go towards educating the Ag industry on mental health, breaking the stigma that currently exists, creating a community of belonging, support and resources, as well as ensuring research in this field can continue.
Take a moment and get to know our four founders!
Kim farms with her parents and brother in Northeast SK. Despite having growing up on the farm, she did not have any interest in farming or the Ag industry and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelors of Arts with Honours. Even though having been away from the farm pursuing her education and career in insurance, in 2011 she realized that as much as she had fought it, farming and helping shape the industry was in her blood. So shortly after, in 2012, she, along with two friends cofounded SK Women In Ag. Her passion for the industry didn’t stop there. She also co-founded an Ag Tech company called Farm At Hand. In 2015, she began raising awareness about Mental Health in Ag with the launch of t-shirt campaign. Following the acquisition of the company in 2016, she returned to the farm full time to follow her passion for both farming and helping her fellow farmers. Her work in mental health awareness in Ag continues today as she is helping to launch The Do More Agriculture Foundation that promotes a focus on supporting resources for farmers and breaking the stigma.
Lesley is the head and heart behind the blog, High Heels & Canola Fields. She grew up on her family’s grain farm at Watrous, Saskatchewan where her and husband currently operate with her brother and dad. After gaining an education in marketing and accounting, went on to work in various marketing and branding positions in the ag sector, such as Cargill, ATB Financial, Farm Credit Canada and is currently the Brand Manager at WorkHorse Hub. Over the years, Lesley and her family have come to realize that a successful operation hinges on the general well-being of the farmer. They now make mental health a priority. Talking about it has become part of their day-to-day life and they openly discuss the challenges they face, both large and small. They don’t shy away from these topics, which takes the stigma out of them. Lesley has even addressed some in her blog and videos. Her goal is to help make the industry stronger and one way is to help break down the culture of “toughness” encouraged among farmers so that they, too, can talk openly about mental health.
Himanshu’s first exposure to Agriculture came when he co-founded an AgTech company called Farm At Hand. It was there that he learnt the ins and outs of the Agriculture Industry and all its complexities. More importantly, it was there that he gained an appreciation for the people behind the industry. Despite all of the technology and innovations designed to make the industry more efficient and productive, it is the farmers that are instrumental in driving the industry forward. A farmer’s well being is just as important to the success of the farm as it is to their families, community, and industry as a whole. It is because of this that Himanshu helped launch the #HereForFarmers t-shirt campaign to raise awareness about mental health in Ag. It was the most important initiative launched during his time at Farm At Hand. He now hopes to continue on with that work and help with the launch of The Do More Agriculture Foundation. Through the foundation, he hopes to not only continue to raise awareness but also provide support and resources for the farmers that are the backbone of the industry.
Kirk grew up in St. Gregor, Saskatchewan on a grain farm of about 2,500 acres. After graduation he was closely involved in the ag industry through work and friends. His professional Curling career flourished in the past 6 years due to his skills acquired on the farm growing up, through his professional career in Ag and through the numerous Agriculture organizations that supported his team.
When he was presented with an opportunity to support a community organization through a fundraising campaign with the Men of Curling Calendar, he knew he wanted it to be centred around helping Farmers! After watching Lesley and her husband discuss Mental Health in Agriculture online, it hit home. From that moment on, he knew this was something he wanted to be a part of, so he made a call to Kim and the ball was rolling!
Are you looking for more information about The Do More Ag Foundation? Please send us a message below and we will do our very best!