Hailey Jefferies, President
Did you grow up on a farm?
I did not, I was born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba a city of about 50,000 people. However, Brandon’s economy thrives from the surrounding rural communities, being the only city center in between Winnipeg and Regina. So even though I did not grow up on farm I understood the importance of farming as my parents were business owners who always emphasized how important agriculture was to Brandon businesses and our cities economy.
Didn’t you attend University in Ontario? What made you move back to Manitoba?
I decided to leave Brandon after high school to move to the “big” city of Toronto to take a degree in business at George Brown College. After graduating I got a job in medical device sales with Alcon, Canada. Not long after my husband (who I met in highschool) moved to Guelph to attend the University of Guelph and play hockey.
After Cale graduated we decided to move home – back to the Prairies as an opportunity arose for him to join his family farm business. The timing worked out for me too because my mom was battling ovarian cancer and it gave me the opportunity to be her caregiver.
So, how did you become the fava bean queen?
Spending hours at Cancer Care Brandon I had a lot of time to conduct research. One thing that Cale and I have in common is we have always been very entrepreneurial spirited. I saw an opportunity with fava beans and decided to found Prairie Fava.
Why fava beans?
With my mom being sick I started to realize how important our health is. We can’t control a lot of things in life but we can control our nutrition which can help with our overall health. Fava’s provide great nutrition specifically a great source of quality protein. They are also naturally light in flavor making them an easy ingredient to add without getting that “beany” taste. There are also studies showing that in general how beneficial eating legumes are to our health. Fava Beans also happen a sustainable food source. Fava ingredients can help provide people better nutrition in current and new food products which will help to have healthier people while being a healthy crop for our world.
Healthy people + healthy planet = a win win!
What is it you like most about what you do?
I like that I am working towards making a difference. In this fast passed life we all live I like the fact the Prairie’s Fava ingredients can provide current and new food products more nutrition while adding value to our Canadian crops that provides our world a sustainably and quality food source.
Cale Jefferies, Supply Manager
Did you grow up on a farm?
Yes, I did. I grew up on farm just west of Glenboro, Manitoba. It is a 5th generation farm that was founded by my great great grandpa Sid in 1896 with 320 acres. In 2015, my brother Riley Jefferies and I took over the reins from my dad Ron Jefferies who had expanded the farm to a family seed business – Jefferies Seeds.
What does a seed business do?
It means that the crops our farm grows are grown for certified seed. That seed is then cleaned in our plant and sold to our farmers/growers as certified seed. Because of our certification that seed is guaranteed to be certified so that there is no cross pollination.
Does your farm grow fava beans for Prairie Fava?
Not directly. We like to say I grow them to sell to farmers – farmers then grow more fava beans and Prairie Fava buys them back from the farmer to process.
How does Prairie Fava and Jefferies Seeds work together?
Prairie Fava operates out of Jefferies Seeds. The businesses work well with each other because as more fava beans are sold to farmers that means more fava beans to process = better nutrition in our food with a crop that is great for the farmer’s soil and ultimately better for the environment. Everyone wins even our planet!
What is your role at Prairie Fava?
My expertise comes from my farming background and my relationship with growers through Jefferies Seeds. We like to call me the “supply guy”. Hailey lines up the customers and I line up the production starting with the fava seed.