What’s your name? John Kowalchuk
I have been a farmer for about the last 30 years. I started to help on the farm a little when I was 10 and more actively when I was 17.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: since I first heard of it. I think about 2013. I use Farm At Hand on my phone right at harvest to enter by grain bin info. While I’m unloading I enter it while it’s fresh in my mind. I keep track of varieties and bushels and then I like how I can view it on my PC or iPad later to organize where I should store tomorrow’s harvested grain. It’s nice it’s always with me on my phone when I need to look something up.
Where do you farm? I farm just South of Rumsey Alberta, 30 miles north of Drumheller.
What do you grow? Our farm has grown wheat, barley and canola for as long as I can remember and I added yellow peas about 15 years ago. This year I seeded soybeans for the first time to test the viability of this crop in our region.
How did you get into farming? I grew up on our family farm that my dad Bill bought in the early 1950’s. I worked with him and my older brother from an early age and developed a love for all the things that went into raising a crop. Now what keeps me excited about farming is the ongoing developments in technology and learning from other farmers.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? Some of my favourite moments in the field have been when I could share my experiences with my family. All my kids spent time when they were young riding in the tractor or combine with me. The last couple of years my son who graduates this year helped run a combine and it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride.
What is your most important piece of equipment and why? It’s kind of silly but my phone has become one of my most important tools on the farm. I’m using it constantly to keep in touch with my ag retailers and grain buyers as well as my family. Working mainly by myself on the farm it’s nice when you can’t figure something out to be able ask my friends on twitter and get an answer almost immediately.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? One of the biggest challenges to Ag right now is public perception. I’m hoping that as a collective group we can ease the public concerns over food safety. We take a lot of pride and care in what we produce as well as the sustainability of the land we farm.
Do you think the way we farm and produce food will change in the next 10 years? Farming will need to change in the next ten years to meet the demands to feed a growing world population. We will need to become more efficient and be given the tools to produce more with less. Farming is continually evolving and along with the help of science and hard working men and women on the farm we may rise to the challenge to feed the world in the future.
Where can we connect with you online? Twitter @KowalchukFarms