WESTLOCK, Alta. — The Wolff family has been farming in Westlock County for more than three-quarters of a century, and now the fourth generation is working the land and seeding and harvesting crops.
Rolin Wolfe, with the help of his sister, Jadeene, was augering wheat into the tanks of a huge seed drill May 14 just northeast of Westlock.
The 56-foot-wide hoe drill he was operating would be a far cry from what his great-grandfather would have used in his farming days and larger than what his grandfather, Dennis Wolfe, started out with as well.
Rolin said his father, Grant, was busy in another field nearby with the family’s second seeding unit, seeding canola with a disc air seeder.
Rolin said it was keeping one of his uncles busy almost full time just hauling fertilizer to them to keep things moving.
Seeding has been going well in the area, once spring finally arrived and the ground was dry enough to work, he said.
“I can cover better than a quarter section a day,” he said.
Dennis Wolfe was raised on a farm southeast of Westlock. His wife, Joyce, grew up on a farm in the Rossington area west of Westlock. The couple started farming on the place where they still live, northeast of Westlock.
Joyce said she wasn’t sure exactly how long, but her family has been farming in Alberta for close to a century and likely Dennis’s family as well.
Dennis and Joyce are proud that their children and now grandchildren are carrying on the family tradition of earning their living from the soil.
What is most heartening is to see the number of young people who are staying on the farm, working long hours, often seven days a week, with no set pay or benefit plan, while their city cousins, and often siblings, opt out for higher paying jobs with a regular pay check, benefits and weekends and holidays to themselves.
But then again, those who do remain on the farm get a certain satisfaction from producing a crop from the soil or watching their livestock grow. Yes, it is a business today, but still, to some extent, a way of life that money can’t buy.