b"SEED GROWER PROFILEExpanding OfferingsWill Van Roessel is always up for trying out a new crop as a seed grower.WILL VAN ROESSEL has always been a farmer that looks for opportunities. When he started farming on his own in 1980, he didnt have a lot of land and needed a way to make the most money he could off the land he had. There was a pretty good market here for soft white spring wheat production on irrigation. And so, I usually just sewed one or two seed fields a year until we started into hybrid canola in the early 90s. And then we found that it was probably just as easy to have all our acres in seed production, Van Roessel explains in a phone interview.Since then, the Bow Island, Alta.-based seed grower has become recognized in southern Alberta for being willing to try growing most any new seed crop. Hes experimented with growing seeds such as hybrid sunflowers and hemp.(Wills) been really instrumental in introducing (hemp) to southern Alberta, to the irrigation district, between Bow Island and Lethbridge, Kevin Friesen says in a phone interview. He provides a lot of advice for growers who are trying out the varieties he is growing. (L-R) Brandon Lysholm, Jessie Lysholm, Naomi Van Roessel, Rowan Van Roessel, Jean Van Roessel and Van Roessel is known for hosting fieldWill Van Roessel.PHOTO: WILL VAN ROESSELdays at his farm during the growing season and being willing to answer anyway to get a higher value crop on smallthe growing season when theyre not in questions his customers (or fellow seedacres of land, he says. high school or university. The daughters growers) may have.Over the years the amount of seedmainly assist with rouging as theyre production on Van Roessels farm,not around during seeding and are only Growing Seed Specialty Seeds Ltd., grew to the pointthere for part of the harvest due to their For Van Roessel, seed growing startedwhere it was all they were growing withschool schedules.out as a way to make his farm moreno cash crops left in the rotation. Today,Over the years, Van Roessel has profitable. When he started farming, heVan Roessel farms 1,500 acres of irrigatedalways been up for trying out new crops didnt have a lot of land, he was rentingland planting hybrid canola, springand seeds, whether theyre new to him equipment, and he needed a way towheat, durum, yellow peas, hemp, andor to his region. make the land he was farming morehybrid rye seed. I'm always interested in trying profitable, which is where the idea forVan Roessels wife Jean works withsomething new. We were the first ones seed growing came from. him on the farm, and his daughters,in Alberta to do any hybrid canola seed At that time, I didn't have much land. IJessie Lysholm, Rowan Van Roessel, andproduction on our own. We actually was just starting out and it looked like aNaomi Van Roessel, have assisted duringstarted with an Ag Canada variety that 24seed.ab.ca"