John Burns is a modern farmer and the originator of ‘Windy Poplar Farms’ – a group of four family farms, all operating in cooperation with each other; working toward the same goals and with the same purpose. The original farm, Windy Poplars Farm Ltd., was started by John and his wife Linda in 1975, and is located just south of Kandahar, Saskatchewan. They raised their family, developed a large farmyard and made this their home. The farm continued to grow, incorporating – new technologies and practices to stay current and effective. John takes crop rotation and soil health very seriously. To that end, the farms grow: peas (green and yellow), cereals (wheat, malt barley, oats), canola (identity preserved, and generic), flax seed, alfalfa, and annual & perennial grass seeds. This allows for crop rotation through all the acreage, giving nutrients and organic material back to the land.
The farm has therefore grown to more than 20,000 acres under their management across three different soil zones, a cooperative that also includes two of his four children, as well as a family friend. Each member of the group owns a parcel of land individually, but also holds common shares in land and equipment companies. They share profits, and risk, equally.