Meet Jonah Langlotz: Farmer Donor

June 20, 2022
Jonah Langelotz on his farm in Manitoba (Photo by Jonah Langelotz)

As a farmer I like to support the work of other farmers, especially globally and those that don’t have the means we do here. It felt like a natural move to become a donor.

A young farmer’s commitment to global solidarity

Jonah Langelotz first started farming in 2014 while pursuing his undergraduate degree in International Development at the Canadian Menonite University. At the time, one of his instructors was Kenton Lobe, a former Chair of SeedChange’s Board of Directors. “Kenton was a huge influence in my life at this time. He encouraged students to think about food and where it comes from.” 

As a practicum during his degree, Jonah worked at a small farm with a greenhouse and market garden. After graduating he set out to gain more growing experience by joining a farm workers’ coop growing vegetables through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. 

In the spring of 2018, he discovered a participatory plant breeding project for wheat that was run by SeedChange’s Canadian program, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. 

Jonah already believed it was essential for Canadian farmers to regain some of the seed saving and plant breeding skills they lost in the last century, so he enthusiastically enrolled. It wasn’t long until he decided to make a generous first donation to SeedChange – a very significant gift for a young farmer like him, reflecting his passionate commitment to this unique work.  

I decided to become a donor because I just really appreciated the program. I have seen how other programs or research led by industry or private organizations don’t always take farmers into account. I really liked how the program put trust in farmers, and affirmed that they had knowledge and skills that are equal to other professionals.

Jonah now lives and works in rural Manitoba, on his father in law’s farm. He’s working hard to increase crop and livestock diversity and use better rotation and cover crop techniques to improve his soil’s health. He’s also planting more perennial crops, and finding ways to rely less on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

While he spends his days focussed on what he can do here, the struggles of other farmers’ around the world are never far from his mind. 

Farmers in Canada are not that different from farmers in other countries. We are still trying to grow food for people. We are all global citizens and we share many of the same struggles in farming.

But while farmers share the same goal, Jonah knows that his colleagues in the Global South are at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with climate change and the increasing privatization of seed – the two biggest challenges he sees for farmers today. 

I know that by virtue of colonialism and privilege, we are set up better in Canada. But for many of the farmers around the world, they’re just not in the best place.

That’s why Jonah decided to renew his donation to SeedChange again in 2021. He says he’s proud to do his part to support quality programs for farmers around the world, helping them keep seeds in the public domain and expand their knowledge of ecological farming practices.

As a donor to SeedChange, your support made it possible for Jonah to participate in our Canadian seed breeding projects. 

Now, he’s making it possible for other farmers around the world to get the same kind of support. That’s the ripple effect of solidarity, in action. That’s the ripple effect of soliarity, in action!