The Back to the Farm Research Foundation (BFRF) was created in 1973, with the sponsorship of the National Farmers Union, its goals were to encourage organic farming, to lobby government to create new policies that support chemical-free agriculture, and to conduct research and share information. Elmer Laird was instrumental in creating this organization, and was its first president. In 2001 Laird retired as a farmer and donated the use of his land (640 acres) to the BFRF whereupon it was established as an organic research and demonstration farm, the first of its kind in Canada. Research plots were planted for the purpose of demonstrating the benefits of farming without pesticides, and other aspects of organic farming. The Foundation also offers, without charge, consultations and advise on all aspects of organic agriculture.