Modern ag

This series looks at how farmers, agriculture consultants and service providers are professionalizing agriculture by integrating the many skills required by today’s complex and challenging industry.

Surrounded by professionals
– ALTONA, Man. — It’s a busy day at B and S Farm, with Eldon Klippenstein on the phone with his broker, hedging 2016-17 corn. He’s multitasking, organizing quality samples of the pedigree seed and commercial beans and soybeans he’ll sell this year and also planning his crop mix.

VIDEO: People skills key to economic success
– NIVERVILLE, Man. — Farmers still need the hard-nosed skills that they have always had, but softer people skills are also seeping in.

Mentors around every corner
– The best advice on how to become a pro farmer might not come from another farmer but from the business owner in town, says Brent VanKoughnet of Agri Skills, a management advisory and training company in Carman, Sask.

Workplace safety in the spotlight
– Young farmers expect to learn a lot about soil science, plant science, farm management and animal production when they attend university to study agriculture. That’s what generations of farmers have studied.

U of M re-engineers ag program
– Garrett Sawatzky wasn’t the model of today’s professional farmer when he entered the University of Manitoba’s agriculture diploma program.

Making sense of the numbers
– TUXFORD, Sask. — Bartt Chute hates looking at some of this year’s production and profitability numbers on his farm. It’s break-even at best for a lot of crops when he includes fixed costs.

Industry seeks new generation of advisers for complex farms
– Farmers and rural communities are bewildered by the digital, economic, technological and demographic revolutions that have swept the world in the last 30 years.

Farmers should increase focus on long term goals
– Many farms are multi-million dollar businesses, but aren’t acting like it. It’s a situation that can occur when a business, especially a farm, grows based on its success, but the operators don’t realize that it has become a complex operation.

Farm consultants explore network service
– Lots of farmers have been scrambling to cope with the increasingly complex and unforgiving world of agriculture. They aren’t alone. Some of the expert professionals they turn to for advice have been doing the same, and some feel they’ve fallen behind.

Farm families urged to deal with risks before a crisis hits
– Thousands of farms have been wrecked by an f-word that has nothing to do with farming. It’s “family,” and it’s not always family fighting that’s the problem. Instead, it’s the myriad misunderstandings that can make a functioning family farm fall apart in the wrong circumstances.

The new professionals: farmers learn new roles
– WAWANESA, Man. — Simon Ellis hasn’t dealt with many of the down times in western Canadian farming, at least not as the operator of a farm. However, he’s spent the last few profitable years getting ready for when things turn lean, something that might be happening now as crop prices drop.

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