Meet Marc Vanden Bussche, whose company contributed $10,000 to sponsor the production of ecosystem services in four provinces
Vanden Bussche Irrigation & Equipment is a fourth-generation, family-run, international, full-service irrigation business that now joins TD Bank Group as one of the first sponsors of ALUS Canada’s New Acre™ Project. President Marc Vanden Bussche is a farmer, agri-business leader and longstanding ALUS champion.
His company’s $10,000 sponsorship contributes to the production of cleaner air, cleaner water and more wildlife habitat on more than 20 acres of ALUS projects in ALUS Montérégie (Quebec), ALUS Vermilion River (Alberta), ALUS WUQWATR (Saskatchewan) and in Marc’s home community, ALUS Norfolk (Ontario).
“We are happy to sponsor the New Acre™ Project, because the ALUS program rewards farmers across Canada to use uneconomic parcels of their land in a better way,” said Marc.
On his own property near Delhi, Ontario, Marc manages an array of naturalization projects, including forests, wetlands and tallgrass prairie, alongside his family business’ precision agriculture irrigation equipment.
Marc uses the site to train staff and to host farmers and agri-business leaders who have an interest in precision agriculture. He also uses these business opportunities to highlight the benefits of including nature-based solutions in agriculture.
Since 2000, Marc has hosted more than 5,000 guests. Given its location beside the highway, the is always visible to the wider community as well.
“I try to highlight the benefits of having different kinds of irrigation and crops alongside ALUS projects,” he said.
Marc first became motivated to collaborate with ALUS Canada in 2000 by speaking to Dave Reid, a founding architect of the ALUS program who co-wrote the original ALUS concept paper and later became ALUS Canada’s Eastern Hub Manager and Research Director (now retired).
“Dave told me about ALUS and it just made sense,” said Marc. “In the beginning, the whole idea was to restore two acres of my land abutting the Kent Creek, using prairie grasses. Their long roots grab the nitrates out of the soil.”
The duo seeded native Tallgrass Prairie (TGP) along a creek on Marc’s land to prevent erosion and keep sediment and agricultural inputs out of the water, which runs into the Lake Erie watershed.
Marc later added more naturalization projects to his farm, including a wetland and hundreds of trees. He has aspirations to go further by increasing the size of his TGP project and planting more trees.
The family business, Vanden Bussche Irrigation & Equipment, was established in 1954 by Marc’s father, Roger, and grandfather, Gerard. Marc took over the presidency from his mother, Theresa, and will eventually pass the responsibilities over to his two children, who also work for the company.
These generational traditions are an important factor for Marc. “I believe that the ALUS program leaves an important legacy for our children and grandchildren,” he said.
Given the success of his family business, and his generous nature, Marc decided to decline the ALUS Norfolk annual payments for his projects and, instead, to give back to the community by supporting the ALUS program.
By supporting the ALUS program through his farm and business, and by spreading the word through farm tours, Marc is proud to help create a thriving natural landscape as a legacy for future generations. Vanden Bussche Irrigation & Equipment’s New Acre™ Project sponsorship is part of that legacy.
For more information on the New Acre™ Project, visit this webpage.