Premiering Now: The Farmer and the Fire Engine

Our newest film is the story of a firefighter with a passion for farming, and the blaze of pure veganic sunflowers he tends on the Canadian prairie.

Farmer Duane Vaags works tirelessly for all the right reasons: for family, for the sustainability of the land, and for the health of the consumer. The strong work ethic of this full-time firefighter is magnified by his devotion to his wife and six children.

“I’ll work a 14-hour night shift,” he told us, “have breakfast, then I’m out the door to the fields 9:30 to 3:30 or 4, then spend some time with the kids, then I’m off for another 14-hour night shift.”

Firefighting is a calling, but farming is in the blood. Duane’s maternal great-grandfather began farming the land in 1927. Duane’s father, an immigrant from Holland, bought the land after marrying into the family. Today, the health of the farm’s youngest generation is the most compelling reason to grow crops organically.  “Ninety percent of the reason I do this is for the next generation,” he says.


Duane also takes the long view when it comes to the health of the soil and the vitality of his crops. On 600 acres in Dugald, Manitoba he proudly cultivates sunflowers used to make sunflower oil for One Degree, using proven veganic methods. He fortifies his soil with a rich crop rotation that includes hard red spring wheat, barley, oats, sweet corn and soybeans.

Of course, long-term perspectives are what veganic farming and One Degree are all about. And from what we can see, Duane’s perspective gives him a long, clear view — deep into the future he’s creating for his family, and across the many seasons of harvest yet to come.

Begin your visit with our film premiere below. Or enjoy the video along with photos and an essay on our Web site: