What’s your name? Craig Andres
I have been a farmer since: I grew up on my family farm but back actively farming since 2007 – about 9 years now. After you go out and not being involved in it for a while, you learn to miss it and you want to come back.
I’m passionate about ag and I think my heart was always at the farm – there’s no place like home. I consider myself lucky to be able to work in the industry and farm at the same time.
I have been a Farm At Hand user since:
I have only been using it for a couple of months. Just setting up my account now and entering my data. There are multiple people involved in our organization, the ease of use for many people is critical for us!
Another thing I can see the use of is real time information for us, i.e.: how many bushels I stored in which bin at any given time. There aren’t a lot of platforms out there that really dedicate itself to manage farm inventory and sales, and operations at the same time.
Where do you farm? 2000 acres at Roblin, M.B.
What do you grow? We grow wheat, canola, oats and corn.
Tell us a little bit about why you became a farmer and who you farm with. I farm with my dad and my brother. I have been lucky to have been able to work in this industry, in both agronomy and grain. During that time, I have been able to work with many different farmers and have learned a tremendous amount from them. Being able to take that knowledge, and take it back to our operation is something that has made us more successful. That in itself is one of the reason why I decided to come back and farm.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you are out in the fields?
You know, I guess the biggest thing for me is the whole process –time, effort and risks – when you put the seeds in the soil until you harvest and store them in the bins. We take a lot of pride in that. And Harvest time, well to me, nothing beats reaping the fruits of your labours all year!
Any tips for fellow farmers?
To stay persistent in what we do despite market fluctuations, the weather or any outside factors. We are all in this together.
Also, at times, different parts of the industry seems to want to prey on us with negativity to force us to do things that, on the surface, may be the right thing to do, but in the end was not. All I will say is don’t be afraid or too proud to ask a second, a third, or maybe even a fourth opinion. The consensus usually leads to the right decision. I know I’ve made that mistake and learned from it.
What is your most important piece of equipment and why?
The most important piece of equipment is my sprayer. If you are not out there spraying at the most critical time of year, that’s when you make the biggest mistakes.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? The biggest challenge I see is young people coming into the Agribusiness sector. Most specifically, I’m referring to people working as agronomist, chem reps, elevator staff, ,market advisors, etc. I think there is going to be a huge number of people leaving over the next 10 years with not enough qualified people to fill their positions.
What’s your biggest lessons learned in farming/Ag this past year? Don’t write something off from the get go. Never doubt the practices and the technologies we have to manage our challenges.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? Farming is not as easy as people think and it’s not a low-stress profession. Farmers are not motivated by money; we do what we do because we love it.
Where can we find you online?, i.e.: Twitter @CraigFarmLink.