RealAg LIVE! with Kelsey Banks, talking resiliency, Bob, and all things pumpkin


What’s it like to be well under 30 and very suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumour, have your license pulled, and have to move back home? Kelsey Banks, Ontario agronomist, knows because that’s been her last 13 months. Oh, and there’s a global pandemic happening, too.

In this RealAg LIVE!, host Kara Oosterhuis asks Banks about her last year, managing her health, leaning on good people, what she misses most about working in agriculture while healing, and, of course, all about pumpkins!

Don’t miss a new RealAg LIVE! guest every weekday at 3 pm E on our livestream!


  • Kelsey is currently in the eastern part of Ontario, but the family farm is in Dufferin County
  • She is known as the pumpkin QUEEN, loves pumpkins, and has grown pumpkins on a field scale
  • #KickBobtotheCurb, #kelseystrong, #pumpkinsforkelsey
  • January 2020: A seizure and pneumonia ended up actually being a brain tumour. The first diagnosis and being told she couldn’t drive was really tough
  • At first, she wanted to keep it personal and private, but eventually figured it was just better to share what she was going through
  • Has shared through a blog and social media
  • Has joined a group with people diagnosed with similar tumours. And that has helped her focus on some positives, like taking the opportunity to get to know her dad and spend time with him in the field (Scott Banks)
  • Why did you name the tumour Bob? Jenn Doelman suggested it. Give it a name, then kick it to the curb!
  • People ask what it’s like to battle cancer during COVID? Don’t know any different, and hopefully never will
  • Had surgery, radiation, and still doing chemo
  • Advice for someone facing something like this? Give yourself time. Time to accept what’s happening. And then prioritize your wellness and the importance of you and those around you
  • What do you look forward to most in getting back into the field? Working with farmers! Being in her happy place.
  • Favourite crop besides pumpkins? Wheat is OK (sorry Pete). But after working in Saskatchewan, she fell in love with canola.
  • Recently got connected with someone to help with the mentally tough part of dealing with cancer
  • It’s tough on the patient and it’s tough on caregivers, too.

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RealAg LIVE! (view all)Season 2 (2021) Episode 65

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