Hi, my name is Lesley Kelly and I am passionate about agriculture. I am a wife, boy mom, entrepreneur, marketer, brander, sunset lover, wannabe wine enthusiast, and picture taker. My marketing job enables my family and I to live in Regina, a small city in Saskatchewan but we also farm in the heart of the prairies with my family on a medium size grain farm. We get the best of both worlds.
Having grown up on a farm and obtaining a degree in commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and an Accelerated Accounting Diploma from NAIT, my heart led me to the branding side in the ag sector — through various sales and branding positions at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, Cargill AgHorizons, Alberta Treasury Branch, and most recently as a Brand Manager at a national agriculture lending institution. Using my entrepreneurial spirit and the skills developed through my agribusiness career, in my spare time I created a snack food business using the barley grown on our farm and turned Martin Munchies from an idea into a reality. Since its inception in 2009, Martin Munchies has been featured in many popular business and agriculture publications. In 2012, Food in Canada magazine nominated Martin Munchies as one of its top 10 most innovative businesses.
I fell heart over heels for a small town boy, Matt who shares the same passions and values as me - agriculture, hard work, sarcasm and laughter, integrity, kindness and honesty. He is my most favourite person in the whole universe and makes me a better person. We got married in 2006 and moved out to Alberta shortly after as we both accepted positions around the Edmonton area. Matt, a journeyman mechanic by trade but farmer by heart, worked in the oil patch while I was an agriculture marketing manager for a provincial bank. We lived out there for five years when the opportunity arose for us to be more involved on my family farm back in Saskatchewan. The stars were aligned as I had also accepted a branding position based out of Regina. We moved back to Saskatchewan in 2011.
Matt and I have two boys, Jennings and Copeland. Jennings, born in 2012, has farming in his blood. That is all he does. He is like his dad; he farms in his sleep. He also is kind, energetic, loyal, funny, yet serious. Copeland, born in 2015 is quiet, curious and laid back. It has been such a pleasure and gift to watch our boys grow up on a farm and learn the responsibility of caring for the land and the pride that comes with feeding other families. Our children and farm are everything to us. Our lives are completely devoted to living this life to the utmost fullest.
Our farm is a family farm, where both my parents, my brother, his family and Matt and I farm together. Located near Watrous, our farm is medium size in Saskatchewan terms, about 4500 seeded acres. We are a conventional farm and grow both GMO (canola) and non-GMO (wheat, barley, flax, oats and lentil) varieties. I am not involved in the day-to-day decision making and activities but provide my help and expertise in marketing, business strategy, human resources and accounting. I'm not afraid to get dirty and jump in the combine or drive truck when help is needed.
In my spare time, I like to run after my kids, talk long walks on country roads, attempt DIY projects, take pictures, try new recipes, have girl nights in and cuddle up on the couch, drink wine, occasionally run if I've ate too many cupcakes and chips and watch movies.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Through photos and words, I am able to bring you my heart, passion and livelihood. My hope is by telling my farm story, I can help bridge the gap between those involved and not involved in agriculture as we both can learn from one another. I feel that the ag industry is slowly losing our social licence and I can't sit back and watch it happen because of misinformation and fear marketing. I am pro-ag (or pro-choice), whether it raised or grown local, organic, conventional, antibiotic free, etc, I feel that farmers have a choice on how we farm, consumers in our country have a choice to what they buy and companies can choose how to market their product. There is room for all of us to feed the world. What I don't condone are campaigns and misinformation about production practices that fuel distrust within our industry and use fear to gain a competitive advantage. I know consumer choice isn't a luxury in parts of the world so I hope that as an industry, we keep standing up for each other, learn from one another, and keep producing safe, high quality food.
All the comments from High Heels and Canola Fields are my own and not anyone elses (not of my employer, the partners on my farm, colleagues, friends, etc), unless stated. Please refer to the policies page for further information. I am not an expert, nor do I call myself a "farmer" (I would love to and hope to one day!) because I do not take a wage from the farm. I research topics that are of interest to me and state my opinions on what I have found to help educate others that want to learn more about agriculture and our farm.
I am pro-ag, whether your production practices focus on local, organic, conventional, antibiotic free, etc. My hope is to bridge the gap between those involved and not involved in agriculture as we both can learn from one another while feeding the world.