Heather McBey – 2023 Honorary Life Award

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the second of five children, Heather grew up in the city. However, she was always the happiest when she was out in the bush exploring or hiking. Her father grew up on the family farm in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. Every summer, they would load up the station wagon for a family visit to the farm.

After graduating from college and working in Arborg, MB, a small farming community north of Winnipeg, Heather planned to make some money and travel the world. Instead, she married a farmer, and the true adventures began.

Heather and her husband Bragi manage a mixed farming operation of annual cereals, pulses, oilseeds, forage seed production, leafcutting bees, and beef cattle. The McBey’s are implementing regenerative agriculture practices on the farm to improve soil health and encourage ecological biodiversity. Their farm is a century farm, homesteaded by Bragi’s grandfather in 1901.

Heather returned to the workforce in 1999 as the Manitoba Forage Seed Association Administrator, a not-for-profit producer association representing forage seed growers in Manitoba. She has been a strong advocate for the forage seed sector in Manitoba. She has worked to build ties with forage seed organizations across western Canada, allowing her to work with many wonderful growers, board members, and the people in the sector as a whole.

Heather has four children, three of whom are involved in agricultural production. Heather loves to hike, kayak, snowshoe in her spare time, and spend as much time as possible with her two little granddaughters.