What’s your name? My Name is Andy Neufeld.
I have been a farmer since: I was about 11 years old when I plugged dad’s new JD combine in flax until the drive belt burned right off. That seemed to be a rite of passage that I’ve never forgotten, and a good place to call my start as a farmer. Since then I have taken some breaks to go to school and work at a few other Ag related jobs but have always thought of myself as a farmer regardless.
I’ve been using Farm at Hand for: a year or two alongside a couple of other programs, with the intention of finding a farm software program that meets the needs of our farm. Farm at Hand is becoming the most favored software that we’ve tried, to keep track of the day to day operations of our business.
We started using it (Farm at Hand) with our FarmLink marketing manager to share inventory and sales contracts information, and it has become more and more useful as it evolves into other parts of our farm. Even something as simple as assigning a Google map pictures to each piece of land we farm seems to help us better explain to consultants and staff where we are and what we are doing on that specific area of our farm. Like anything on our farm, the easier it is to use, the more we seem to use it. We are still exploring this software but we really like what we’ve seen so far.
Where do you farm? I farm near Margaret, MB
What do you grow? We grow HRS wheat, GP & winter wheat, as well as soybeans and canola currently. This spring will mark our first venture into planting a small amount of corn.
Tell us a little bit about why you become a farmer and who you farm with. I became a farmer because enjoyed most of the different things that makeup producing grain. There is so much diversity in the tasks that need to be done when working on a farm. Each day is different from the last. The byproduct of the work is a commodity that is important on a global scale and always in demand.
I farm with my wife and kids and my brother and his family as well as one of our childhood friend/neighbours.
What’s one of your favorite moments when you’re out in the fields? I have a few favorite moments on the farm. Completing each harvest is definitely one of them but my favorite has to be during an evening of planting. Knowing that I have done all I can to start a potential crop, and that’s when faith really kicks in….that those small seeds will grow into potential food. A feeling of accomplishment and a little bit of Awe is a great recipe for fulfillment.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? Farm succession has to be a big challenge these days. The business is so capital intense that it makes it hard to transition into and out of the business of farming. It is also a very emotional topic and can be difficult to start the necessary conversations about selling and buying.
Farming can be a very competitive business/lifestyle at times, and it is important to get the right people into positions where they can keep agriculture progressing at the farm level.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? One thing I would want the public to know about farming is the level of commitment to the farm that it takes to make a successful farm. Farmers have always, and I assume always will, need to be able to commit to the work and the hours, be flexible with our plans, stay positive when things (weather) look bleak, and take responsibility for the decisions that we make, and to succeed farmers need to balance that with families and life in general. ….usually easier said than done.
Where can we find you online? I can be found very occasionally on Twitter @aneufel1