Honoured at Organic Connections 2018
Mark Gimby has worked with the Saskatchewan organic industry for over 40 years and is a founding member of Organic Connections. He says that the thing that has kept him going all these years is working with the creative, intrepid and often wonderfully crazy people that make up this community.
Raised on a mixed farm at Marsden Saskatchewan Mark harkens back to a time when kids walked through the fields to the one room school house, families danced old time dances on the weekend at the small town halls and people got together for work bees whenever there was a job too big for one person. Rural folks mostly grew and raised their own food back in those days, and knew how to entertain themselves. There was a very powerful sense of community.
Graduating from the School of Agriculture in 1977 he began work at the Saskatchewan Research Council in 1978. Mentoring under people like Ewen Coxworth, Stan Roe and Andy Rutherford he worked on projects all over Saskatchewan that looked at the viability of organic farming techniques.
In the ‘90’s Mark had the opportunity to partner with CUSO and travel to Central America where he met with local Indigenous people in their surroundings. Some of them walked 2 days though jungle to meet and discuss ways to develop markets for their crops.
Through working as a researcher and doing organic inspections Mark had the great good fortune of visiting budding organic farms across the prairies. He took part in the burgeoning industry from its infancy to where it stands today. He has had the immense pleasure of working with three generations of some organic farm families.
He headed up the development of the Organic Products Information Service on projects aimed at linking producers with international markets.
In 1980 Mark joined Growers International Organic Sales where he currently works as an organic grain buyer.
Mark lives in Saskatoon with his wife Mona. They enjoy their ever expanding family, traveling and playing old time music. As members of Permaculture Saskatchewan they take part in Permablitzes and have recently established their own Permaculture garden. They are also actively involved with the Ness Creek Festival site, volunteering at various events and supporting the Ness Creek Forest Garden.
Mark has not strayed from his support and belief in Organics. It hasn’t been a job for him, it has been his life’s work.