What’s your name? Dean Toews.
I have been a farmer since: Not sure about the day but I was 5 when operated lawn mower, field work at 7 or 8 and started driving the combine when I was 10 years old.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: this year. I am looking forward to organize and correlate field information more efficiently. We could all be doing different tasks and entering them in – it’s just a way to keep us organized.
Where do you farm? Macgregor, MB.
What do you grow? Corn, sunflowers, soybeans, wheat and edible beans.
Tell us a little bit about why you become a farmer and who you farm with. I farm with my two younger brothers and my dad. I think our strengths compliment each other. As to why, I guess it’s just in my blood. There’s nothing else that could bring this type of lifestyle for my kids.
When I am not farming, we run an on-farm business. We have had it since the 80s. It’s been a way of supplementing our income and part of our growth, as well as creating opportunities for ourselves during Winter.
My dad invented the auger steer because he was unable to drive the auger off one of our yard sites. We had it patented and started selling it. The grain cart scale was something that we wanted for our own farm to measure trials, performance and general farm information. So grain cart scale made a lot of sense to us, but we had trouble finding a Canadian business that knew anything about them. There were a few that could order them in but the price was quite high because they deal at commercial/industrial level. So we started selling grain cart scales as a specialty. “A better ‘weigh’ to manage your farm” is our slogan.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? When everything is done and you know you put in a good solid day, knowing you’ve got those acres done. That and the satisfaction of seeing the results. We can manage and transform the land day by day and have the kids by our side while doing it. My youngest 3 girls are 2, 7 and 10 and my son is 12. He has been operating the cart since he was 8. He was also combining a little bit this year.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? A lot of it has to do with “license to farm” whether it’s social acceptance of our technology or government policy.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? One of the biggest misconceptions is that farming is now a factory farm but the reality is it’s still a family business. It’s just good people trying to grow food and we’re doing it in the most efficient, environmentally friendly way possible in the history.