Jody's Message to Farmers 2014

Good Day Fellow Farmers,

Growing up as a young farm boy, my brothers and I played for hours on the edge of the garden and in the cultivated dirt underneath the tree rows making roads, towns and farms. We would often run to the hydrant with an ice cream pail to gather enough water to flood our roads and farms. It always seamed to add some giggles and some new drama to our “farms” when they were flooded. Little did I know, that 30 years later I would be enjoying the thoughts of getting ready for my 3rd spring where myself and my young family were able to once again seed our very own crops. We had just come out of what my buddies all referred to as “the two best years in the history of farming”. It seamed we had made a very wise decision to invest our savings into starting our own family farm and maybe we even had a little “beginners luck”?? We did not see what was about to come. The late wet spring and unbelievable amounts of rain we experienced made us wonder if God also had an ice cream pail and his very own sense of humor? Everything leveled off for a bit and we thought maybe we had dodged the weather bullet and we were set for what looked to be another great crop year.

For many farmers across Saskatchewan, this is where the story changes dramatically and gets very interesting. Many farmers were shot through memory lane to a time that had not spread enough distance from recent memories to alleviate some of the pain of incredibly wet and almost unthinkable conditions. The rains were back with a vengeance. Not stopping for anything, including enormous amounts of prayers from local farmers, friends and families. The rains just kept coming and coming. Most area still had not totally recovered from 2010. Now we were forced to face the truth; not only were the beautiful crops in danger of slipping from good to bad, they were nearing the possibility of complete failure. Roads were washing away, fields were so wet swathers and equipment could not move. Combines were getting dual wheels, and lots were getting triples just to be able to try and move forward with this year’s harvest.

I cannot explain how hard it is to watch all the love, effort and the hopes of success begin to fade. It is not just the emotional loss of watching a nice crop begin to fail, but the crops need me to make proper decisions to give it the best chance to not only survive, but to grow and become something strong and healthy. Healthy enough to make a man feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for all his efforts. Growing a beautiful crop is certainly not an easy task. Many hours of thinking, fixing, planning, preparing, watching, waiting, asking, learning, worrying and hoping that every decision you made works out! We as farmers need to feel that all our time was worth the effort so you can do it all again year after year!!!

I am VERY fortunate to work for Flaman Sales. It is a wonderful company that supports so many farmers including myself. I have conversations everyday with my customers about farms and farming. It’s only been since I started farming myself that I can carry on deeper conversations and understand what farming actually is. It is a way of life, and we all are in it together! I feel a very deep desire to get “STUCK IN THE MUCK” back rolling, because it is a way to lighten the mood of a very troubling harvest for us all. Unfortunately, I can include my very own “STUCK IN THE MUCK” photos to this year’s compilation. I am hoping I do not win a prize for the least amount of common sense, but I do wish to make farmers in troubling times SMILE and SMILE TOGETHER!!

Thanks from a farmer to a farmer!! ENJOY!

Jody Kemp

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