It took a growing season to make, but Jay Schultz says his video of their family farm’s year is more than a set of memories for their family.
Schultz and his father farm 4,500 acres near Standard, Alta., in the central part of the province, east of Calgary. Their farm is east of the Rockies and west of 5 million acres of mostly rangeland the Province refers to as the Special Areas and an area known locally as the Wintering Hills. It’s a region where the balance of grain and cattle favours grain, where the brown chernozem soil is capable of yielding well, provided it rains, and in 2013 it did.
It was a good year for most of the Schultz family’s crops and Jay managed to capture it in video.
“On the farm the growing season passes so fast. If you don’t keep a record of some kind it’s over before you know it and you forget things,” he said.
In the past the family would make photographs and create collages at the end of the season, as record for themselves and friends. Schultz considered video a better way of documenting the year.
“We did it last year for the first time,” he said.
He hired someone to help with the video capture and production last year.
“But it takes hours to get one shot sometimes and do it well. And even then you get what ends up being 10 seconds of video,” he said.
This year, instead of investing in someone else’s time to shoot the video data, he bought a small, durable Gopro camera. Shultz mounted the $300 camera to his farm equipment, pick-up, utility vehicle or even a painter’s extension handle that he stretched up into the air for top-view, aerial-type shots.
The result was a video that follows the farm activity from seeding through harvest.
“My Dad didn’t exactly support the idea of minor delays when I was mounting cameras or stopping to set a up a shot, instead of swathing or spraying. At first anyway. Now he sees what we’re doing and its value,” said Schultz.
The 2012 farming season video was placed on Sarah Schultz’s blog, www.nurselovesfarmer.com. His wife quickly found that her internet journal of their farm lives was attracting views from around the globe. That video drew more than 200,000 views.
Schultz says his agriculture degree in crop science didn’t prepare him for video editing and production, however he said he is enjoying the process and has plans to improve it for 2014.
“I’m looking at one of those drone, remote control copters that can carry a camera. They can be useful for looking at fields as well,” he said.
Schultz said his family enjoys the idea of having their farming practices and hard work shared with non-farmers and farmers in other parts of the world alike.
“We think it’s a good way to show people what prairie farmers go through, but also how much we respect the land as food producers,” he said.
“We know it’s a wonderful place. And we’ve found a great way to share it with others.”
To view the family’s 2012 or 2013 seasons visit www.nurselovesfarmer.com.