David Ainslie is a passionate advocate for pollinators who has worked tirelessly since the early 1980s to promote conservation and increase biodiversity on his 300-acre farm located near Leamington, Ontario.

His vision is for a place where farming and nature, with all of its beautiful, living organisms, can co-exist and he believes that maintaining diverse and resilient ecosystems is critical to achieving this objective. David was an early adopter to conservation farming techniques, such as no-till cropping. His farm also features ponds, pollinator meadows and wind breaks that have been enhanced with plants, such as lupines, bergamot and other native varieties, increasing habitat for pollinators and promoting greater biological diversity. Another feature is a relatively intact, 30-acre, Carolinian woodlot, which he has enriched with plantings of native trees, shrubs and flowering plants. Altogether, David has set aside about 15% of his property as natural areas which, through his conservation efforts and time, have become diverse and ecologically-rich landscapes where birds, bees, butterflies and other creatures can thrive.

Bergamot and lupines.

This farm follows a different model than most modern day farms yet, it succeeds in showing what is possible when the determination to create something better exists. David’s work has been recognized by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, which awarded him the prestigious Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award for 2015.

Blood rood and red trillium.

David’s story provides an opportunity to consider how each of us can help to foster positive change in nature. We, too, can be stewards of the land, whether this be the areas around our homes, the school yards where our children play or the public spaces in our cities. Safeguarding our precious and wonderful natural world is a responsibility that we all share.