Honoured at Organic Connections 2014
Rob Stafford comes from a long line of farmers. In 1909, his great grandfather homesteaded the Stafford farm. Rob’s father, Earle, began farming with his father and in 1964, purchased a farmstead 4 miles from the original homestead. Rob began farming with his father at the very young age of 12, raising hogs and helping with the various aspects of the farm. After graduating from high school Rob began his own farming career. In 1974, Rob and Debbie were married and made their home on the family farm. Rob was actively involved in the community, helping out with community events and serving on numerous committees and local boards, as well as farming full time. In 1975, Rob and Deb had their first child Jodie, followed by Kurtis, Christie and Rick. Community was always important to Rob, so when he made the transition to organic farmer in 1998, it was no surprise that Rob got involved with the organic community as well. He was certified with OCIA in 1998 and then in 2001 became certified with SOCA. Rob volunteered to be on the SOCA board, as well as a representative on the SOD board. He was very involved with the organic sector, you could always count on him to attend a meeting and help out when needed. Rob was an excellent organic farmer, he knew how to manage his land and what would grow well on his farm. In 2005, Rob decided to try his hand at growing hemp. It was a new crop in Saskatchewan but Rob was able to grow it with great success. He managed to find a way to grow hemp every year by making it part of his rotation. Buckwheat was also becoming part of the rotation and of much interest to Rob. Rob and Debbie started their own organic company called Stafford Organics Inc. in 2008. By 2011, their family had grown to include 11 precious grandchildren.
Rob Stafford passed away unexpectedly while working on a community project at Lower Fishing Lake in February of 2013. At his funeral it was said, "Rob's proudest farming accomplishment was when he became a certified organic farmer." Today Rob's farm land continues to be farmed organically. Rob is greatly missed by many people. He was a wonderful person, and always supportive of his community, family and friends.