Doug Scott

Doug Scott

Doug Scott is a board member and long-time family friend of the Melnyks.

Doug spent 30 years working as a school principal in rural Alberta where he experienced both the best and the worst of situations that children growing up in Alberta contend with. During his teaching career, he also ran his family grain farm and cropped over 2000 acres a year. Doug retired from his education career in 2005, but continues to farm. Doug has always been a strong supporter of the co-op structure having served on the executive board of the National Farmers Union for 10 years and been the regional director for Alberta for another 10. Doug was also one of the original investors in Providence Grain, a private farmer-owned grain company that emerged after the demise of the farmer-owned prairie grain pools. Doug feels The Gathering Place Co-op will be an example of how a group of people with a vision can create a unique food outlet that supports local farmers and provides local employment opportunities. He thinks that nationally, it will fit in with our government’s food strategy policy and provincially, provide an example of how communities can diversify their economy. Doug likes to see things succeed and has great respect for people who are willing to take chances. “We do see some smaller potato producers in the area, and we see quite a few guys producing honey, Mandy with her chickens, Dalton with his beef. So, it’s just a different model of food production which means you’re not buying your asparagus from China.”

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Mandy Melnyk

Meet more about Mandy.

Mandy Melnyk is a board member and producer.

In 2011, Mandy made the decision to make a living on the land. She began growing organic vegetables like onions, garlic and beets, and raising chickens and turkeys outside. She believes that when it comes to raising animals, there is no healthier animal than an animal that is free and able to garnish the natural nutrients from the grasses around us. She believes in regenerative and holistic farming practices such as not just feeding the plant, but feeding the soil so that it will be able to produce for future generations.

“In July of 2018, when we decided that we needed to start getting some actual collective marketing power in the North – not only to distribute our products, but to create. To create some of the best pies and pierogies that Weasel Creek ever saw. It’s a bit of a work-in-progress as we learn how to put together our individual farms and talents. It’s like putting together a puzzle – every person that joins the Co-op may be a farmer, they may be a chef, but they all fit because they have a passion and a love for our rural communities.

The essence of our Co-op is not just about a place to come and eat, it’s about understanding that there’s a respect for the land and that the goods are being produced in and around our area. It’s a respect both ways – producers/caretakers and consumers.

As member-producers, together, we’ll be able to learn from each other to enhance ourselves as individual producers but also as a collective co-op.

It’s important for people to know that they can grow food in our rural communities and what our hope for the Co-op is that we can collectively market that for them so that small people who want to make an income off of the soil that exists in our communities can do so without thinking that they have to be really big. There is a place for small production in our rural economies and we want to help people harness that.”

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