Harold Perry

HaroldPerryHarold, a thirty-five year old farmer from southeast of Calgary is the latest recipient of the Nuffield scholarship. He first became interested in Nuffield when a Nuffield group toured his farm last year. Harold says, “They were a very upbeat group of guys asking lots of thought stimulating questions. This looked to be a great environment for learning and stepping outside of the day to day paradigm to see what and why we are doing what we are doing.” Harold is interested in learning about politics and agricultural politics in different countries, and believes it will bring a fresh perspective to his view of Canadian politics.

Harold’s study will focus on Soil Health. According to Harold, “I think we are just starting to scratch the surface, no pun intended, of what there is to know about soil biology. It could be to row crops what no till farming was to grains and oil seeds.” His study will look at how chemicals, fertilizers, crop rotation, and companion plants affect the soil biology. He will be looking at farming systems working in harmony with soil microbes to grow healthier plants that are better able to resist pests. He believes if we use fewer pesticides we will lower the chemical residuals on our food, giving us an edge on the World’s competitive market place that we can be proud of. Canada has to learn to do more with less in order to keep our export markets, with third world countries getting their logistics in order and having a much cheaper labor pool to choose from.

Harold and his wife Jill and three children Chloe (6), Charlotte (4), and Elise (1) raise llamas and grow potatoes. His brother and he are fourth generation farmers. With their father, they have grown the family farm from 1100 acres to 3145 acres. They grow 1000 acres of irrigated potatoes for processing at Frito Lay Canada and McCain Foods Canada. They are on a four-year rotation and crop share or trade out the other crops to be grown on our land.

He is a director with Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) currently chairs the research priorities committee of PGA. He is an avid skier, enjoying most outdoor sports.