Farming For Love is set to start filming in September
By Diego Flammini
Dave Semmelink is a name Canadians may come to know over the next little while.
The 33-year-old farmer from Comox Valley, B.C., and operator of Lentelus Farms, a mixed livestock and grain operation, is one of six B.C. farmers cast for the upcoming reality show Farming For Love.
The show, which begins filming in September, will see farmers invite singles, who are from urban communities to their farms to live and work.
They’ll also participate in challenges, group activities and one-on-one dates with the end goal of finding a life partner.
Farms.com connected with Semmelink about his farm and what he’s looking for on his quest for love.
Farms.com: Tell us a little bit about your farm.
Dave Semmelink (DS): I run a mixed livestock, grain and hay farm in the Comox Valley and then a processing facility near Kelowna.
Farms: How did you get to be on the show?
DS: The casting producer reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to be on the show. It definitely wasn’t something in a million years I’d think of doing myself.
Farms: On the show you’ll be opening yourself up to the singles but also to anyone in Canada who watches the show. What’s the most public setting you’ve been in where eyes were on you?
DS: I’ve done talks for the ministry of agriculture in B.C., and I teach as well. So I’ve had a little bit of exposure to that but nothing like this obviously.
Farms: Are you worried about authenticity with all the cameras around?
DS: I’m not too worried about it to be completely honest. I can’t fake who I am, I’m just going to be who I am and use this as an opportunity to showcase my farm and how we practice regenerative agriculture.
Farms: We hear a lot about how people from urban communities don’t understand how food is produced. Will that be on your mind as you visit with the singles? To show them how a crop is grown or how livestock is raised?
DS: Totally. For me that’s really important and one of the reasons why I did do the show. We can showcase the good parts of agriculture. I actually teach a farming program for North Island College in regenerative agriculture, so I’m used to teaching and educating others on the importance of sustainable agriculture.
Farms: Why is regenerative agriculture such an important part of your operation?
DS: I’ve always been very environmentally conscious. My dad has practiced organic agriculture for 35 years and it’s something that’s engrained in me. If you want to produce food in the long term, then we have to re-examine the way we do things and strive to better ourselves.
Farms: Do you hope other Canadian farmers see what you’re doing on your farm and think it might be a good fit for them?
DS: Totally. I lease a lot of land from Ducks Unlimited Canada and the reason they lease the land to me is so I can showcase the things I do differently and hopefully get others to adopt practices that are slightly more sustainable.
Farms: You grew up in a family of farmers in South Africa before moving to B.C. How is agriculture different in that part of the world?
DS: My grandfather’s hobby farm was 1,000 acres and here our big dairy farms are about 500 acres. There’s obviously a big difference in what we grow. We did orchards and vineyards in South Africa compared to grain and livestock and hay here.
Farms: You’ve indicated you need to find a work-life balance. What does that look like to you?
DS: Farming can definitely be all consuming and I want to take a little bit of a break. I know I work too much, and I work many hours every day, so I need to find that balance to find that time to enjoy life a bit more.
Farms: Your profile says you’re looking for a woman with a dark sense of humour. What’s your idea of a dark sense of humour?
DS: Someone who is willing to joke about anything. Nothing is off limits.
Dave Semmelink/supplied photo