August 22, 2016

Harvest 2016 has started with lentils

I’ll apologize in advance for the next two months of harvest photos. Our combines hit the field yesterday to start harvesting lentils. About a third of our acres was planted to this crop because it’s a good fit for our rotation and the price was right.

We were hit with a bit of hail and lots of rain and because lentils are a very short crop that don’t do well with lots of moisture, some of the fields were quite diseased. But that’s a risk, just like with every business and crops you grow. So even with the challenges, the lentils will be average for us this year and that’s okay 🙂

Did you know that last year, lentils were Saskatchewan’s leading food export, worth $2.4 billion. Lentils are quite versatile and healthy too. Packed with protein and fibre, you can eat them as snacks, burgers, use in baking and in salads and soups. Our family especially loves lentil soup.

www.lentils.ca
www.saskpulses.com

August 17, 2016

GMOs are Amazing!

Because of anti-GMO campaigns, we may have a negative association or reaction with this term and what genetic engineering actually is. There is more to the story than what we hear in the media and this article may surprise you about why GMOs actually exist.

What if I told you that genetic engineering is more than just food. It helps save lives through medicine, vaccines, insulin, and added vitamins to prevent blindness? It also is being used to treat cancer, MS and autoimmune disorders.

What if I told you it has helped us protect the welfare of certain animals?

What about stopping the extinction of the papaya from a virus?

What about helping us farmers be better environmental stewards and safeguard the environment?

There is so much more to the conversation about GMOs and genetic engineering than Monsanto and super weeds. The genetic engineering process is touching and improving so many lives outside of agriculture and our farm. In fact, genetic engineering doesn’t have to be so scary after all. It’s actually the opposite.

More info here: 10 Amazing GMOs

August 13, 2016

Do we really know what the non-GMO label means?

Do we know what a non-GMO label really means? This label, found on everything from water to kitty litter, uses the latest food fad and our misperceptions to gain a competitive advantage for companies and their products.

But if it’s a label that says it’s non-GMO, it must be better? Nope. It’s marketing.

“The misleading marketing gets worse. A U.S. social media posting shows regular avocado oil selling for $1.47 per 100 ml, while “Non-GMO Project” certified avocado oil sells for $5.40 per 100 ml in the same store. There are no GM avocados grown anywhere.”

The winners of this label are food companies. The losers, are us consumers who may not know about GMOs because of all the misinformation out there.

When you see this label, please don’t automatically assume that this product is better, safer, or healthier than its counterpart. It’s not. The only difference is the price and what you’re paying with your wallet.

Read more here: GMOs – Trust the Science, Not the Food Fab

August 10, 2016

What’s behind our son’s name: Copeland?

My farmer and I have two boys: Jennings, 4 and Copeland, 1. Jennings, who has farming in his blood is methodical, analytical, empathetic, and kind hearted. Copeland is curious, rambunctious, driven and determined.

We’ve gotten asked a few times how we came up with Copeland as a name. When I was about six months pregnant, we were reviewing options of what different cereal varieties may be a good fit for our farm. When we got to barley, my hubby said “Copeland” and I got goosebumps. I don’t know why but the name struck a chord with me and stopped me in my tracks. We didn’t grow Copeland barley that year but I’ll never forget how I felt that day.

It may sound odd, but I also really liked the possibility of naming the baby after a barley variety because one of my proudest accomplishments, greatest lessons and where I met so many fascinating people was helping my family create a snack food made out of barley grown on our farm. That venture really got me interested in talking with consumers, sharing our farm story and learning about the food value chain. (I guess you’re a farm girl when….😂😂😂)

When our baby was born, both my hubby and I knew it. He was a Copeland. He was a Copeland even before I knew it. ❤️❤️

As a side note: Copeland barley is named after Saskatchewan farmer Bill Copeland, a pioneer in the pulse industry. He started Copeland Seeds in West Central Saskatchewan. Both he and his wife, Alma are inductees of Saskatchewan Ag Hall of Fame.

(Picture is of our neighbours barley taken a week ago)

 

August 5, 2016

This Fills my Cup: Passing ag on

This fills my heart ❤️

How sweet is it to get a thank you note in the mail in today’s world??? This also makes me smile because you just never know how you can make someone’s day and help them soar in life. Passing on my love of ag to the next generation is one of the reasons why I’m here.

 

August 3, 2016

Shark Farmer Podcast: Agvocating, a Viral Post, Gitch and Trailer Parks

I can cross being a guest on a podcast off of my bucket list! 😊

I’ve never been interviewed for a podcast before and was super nervous when a friend of mine, The Shark Farmer asked me to come on to his show to share my story of why I started to be an agvocate and the crazy roller coaster of a ride I was on during a post that got over a million hits.

We also joke about the province I live in, Regina, trailer parks and how gitch is somehow only a term used in Saskatchewan.

Hope you laugh cause I sure did my fair share during the interview.

Thanks Rob for going international and having me as a guest!

Please check out his other podcasts too. He’s interviewed a few more farmers with great stories and experiences. Or check him out on Twitter at @sf28430 under The Shark Farmer.

Click here to listen: Episode 10 – Shark Farmer Podcast

August 2, 2016

Going Back to Work: Today is an Amazing Day

Originally posted on Facebook

Today is a bittersweet day.

After almost a year and a half of spending each day with my boys, I’m returning to work.

A part of me is excited. I get to see so many people that I’ve missed. I get to roll up my sleeves and get re-immersed in marketing, a passion of mine that started right out of the gates at college. I also get to share my love of ag with so many people.

The other part of me is anxious, nervous and sad. It seems time has somehow gotten faster because it was just yesterday I first laid eyes on my baby boy. I’ve enjoyed every milestone, every giggle and coo and am thankful for the tears, hugs and sleepless nights. Being a mom has been the greatest gift and blessing and I thank my lucky stars every day.

There are a couple things I’ve learnt about myself the last few years. I’m my best version when I put me on the list. At times it is so hard and it might not work out, but I’m a better wife, mother and friend when I follow my passions and take time for myself. My ag marketing career is one of them for me. I’m so very grateful that I have an amazing hubby and supportive family who are my biggest cheerleaders and make sacrifices so I can put me on my list.

I’ve also learnt that life is amazing. The sun is shining, crops are growing, watching my kids sleep, eat their breakfast, fight with each other and kiss me goodbye with a fist pump makes everything okay. Life can be ordinary, gut-wrenching, beautiful, challenging, awful, enriching, heartbreaking and lovely, and maybe even all of these at the same time. But it is amazing.

And today, even though bittersweet, this day is amazing. I wish you an amazing day too.

August 1, 2016

The Golden Wheat is Coming

The golden wheat is coming…

This is one of our wheat fields that I drove past one night on my way back to the farm. It was during sunset and I just love that time of day with the glow, calmness and all the crazy clouds.

July 17, 2016

The Story of My Life

Sooooo we had a family photo shoot last night and I tried to get us to be all fancy and prim and proper.

But I guess it’s just not in the cards.

The story of my life. 😂😂😂

July 15, 2016

Calling in Back-up: Aerial application

Originally posted on Facebook

With the heat, humidity and moisture, our crops are going strong and fast. But with optimal growing conditions and fertile soil, comes disease, weeds and insects that can literally wipe out a crop in a matter of just a few days. Our canola had aphids that will eat the growing plant and our lentils had the first signs of aggressive disease pressure.

The window to get into the field to spray our canola and lentils (two of our highest potential earning crops this year) was very tight. It was too wet to get the sprayer in the field since it rained on the weekend and there is rain in the forecast for most of the week.

So we had to call in backup. Aerial application helps farmers apply chemical to kill these aggressive pests when we can’t. Yesterday, both a plane and helicopter helped do that job.

When it comes to applying pesticide, farmers follow strict rules and regulations set out by the manufacturer and government agencies to ensure its effectiveness and safety. We don’t douse our crops. We might have only had a 2-4 day window in order to spray these crops before they would be taken over by disease and insects.

But just because we can spray, doesn’t mean we actually do though. If it’s the right time, with the right weather conditions, the pests/diseases are over a threshold, and at the right cost, we may take action. It costs us money too so we review to see the risk versus reward and crunch numbers (of having some damage and crop/profit loss which may be okay because the cost of applying the chemical is higher than the potential crop loss).

Spraying our crops is just one tool in our tool box and we take that privilege very seriously. Our livelihood and growing safe food is at stake.

My brother took these pictures. My nieces are in the one picture and are pretty proud to have been able to see the helicopter.

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