September 1, 2016

Harvest: Stopping to Stare

It’s September!!! September means back to school, pumpkin spiced lattes, scarves and……harvest 😉

We’re combining canola today. It’s yielding better than expected too. Yayyyy!!!

I took this picture a few days ago on our way to the farm during the sunset when the skies were filled with dark clouds. It was breathtaking with the glow and rich colours of fall and harvest. I just had to stop and stare.

August 30, 2016

The Little Red Wagon

I think every farm has that little red wagon. This one still has some life in her, even after 30 years.

To some, they may see just a toy. But it represents so much more:

Multiple generations
Smiles
Laughs
Sibling throat punches
Tears and tumbles
Preservation
Hard working
Can get through the little bumps and steep climbs
Sometimes a leader, other times a follower and vice versa, but you need to work together, as a team to push forward
Gentle enough for precious cargo, but strong enough to haul a heavy load
At times, you need to choose to go slow or fast
It doesn’t have to be the fanciest or newest to get the job done
Both play and work
Memories
Family
Love
Life

Actually, this red wagon sounds a whole lot like farming….

 

August 27, 2016

City Girl but Country Heart

My family and I’s situation is a bit different than some farm families. We don’t live on the farm. We actually live far away. My hubby, boys and I live in Regina because of my ag marketing career, which I love. But our farm is 2 hours north of the city which makes things a bit tricky at times, especially during the busy season.

Even though it has its challenges, we make the best of it and there are some really great things about living and working in the city. But we love the farm. It’s where we are supposed to be. When we turn on the grid road from the highway, the boys start to laugh and do the happy dance in their seats. They are up at 6am ready to farm and they stay up late in hopes they’ll get one last tractor ride for the day.

I feel bad because we aren’t at the farm full time and a part of me feels like I’m not contributing; that I’m not a farmer or farm wife. But I am in different ways. One day I’ll be on the combine, the next, meeting as a family to talk about safety, and then running after kids as I try to help make supper, even if it is for just a few days here and there. No matter what it looks like, we’re all working for the same goal and future.

During harvest, the kids and I make the trek to the farm on Friday nights and come back to the city on Sunday. Even though it’s crazy busy, it’s views like this that make me appreciate and be grateful for everything in my life. The kids let me stop and smell the roses…..or hay in this instance.

Nothing beats the country, its view and being on the farm.

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.

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