What’s your name? Micheal Wipf
I have been a farmer since: at the age 10 I operated a hay rake and my dad let me drive the combine.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: the Fall of 2012. It has help me keep better records. Really love to have our pesticide records at my fingertips for purpose of resistance management. The records are at hand wherever I take my smartphone. No more running to the tractor or the computer to look up what was seeded, applied or spray in whichever field. Also love that whenever a record is entered it is accessible to all the users on our farm, as well as our agronomist. With all the improvements the team has done over the last while Farm At Hand is becoming my favourite app on my iPhone. I love it.
Where do you farm? North East of Viking, Alberta.
What do you grow? On our farm we grow wheat, barley, canola, faba beans and silage corn. We also have laying hens, poultry, pork, dairy and beef on our farm. We are truly a mixed farm.
How did you get into farming? I was born and raised on the farm. Farming is what I love and do.
What do you love about farming? I like nature and there is no better place than on a farm to observe that as a child I worked in all enterprises, dairy, beef,poultry, pork a person gets to learn a lot. To watch a tiny seeds grow into a plant that puts food on the table for my family as well as my fellow mankind. We live in a wonderful part of the world where we experience four seasons, although I can do without winter.
Tell us a little bit about why you become a farmer and who you farm with. Historically my forefathers have been farming since the 16th century. So I can say it’s in my heart, mind and blood since I was knee high to a grass hopper. I live at the Viking Colony with my wife, Becky, and our children, Markus, Isaiah, Seth and Sophia. I farm with my dad, Paul, and numerous members of our community.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? When I’m all by myself and can look at the beauty of heaven and earth. The serenity of no noise outside the croaking of frogs and then watch the magnificence of a sunset.
Has technology changed the way you farm? How so? There are so many ways technology has changed the way we farm. Gps, auto steer, sectional control, variable rate, professional agronomy, etc. All for the betterment and safety of the environment and the food we produce.
What is your biggest challenge this growing season? Trying to balance the cost of inputs and return on investment.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? The biggest challenge in Ag is will we be allowed to grow the food that will be required to feed the world with all the misinformation about agriculture from the special interest groups. It will be a challenge to convince the general public that the food we grow is the safest food in the world. The other challenge will be can farmer sustain a Ag business when grain prices have not changed much in the last 40 years. But equipment, farmland and crop inputs have gone up ten fold.
Do you think the way we farm and produce food will change in the next 10 years? If the last 10 years are any indication we are going to see magnificent changes. Big data will be the next change where we’ll make decisions base on soil conditions, weather forecasts, soil moisture probes, nutrient requirement sensors.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? As farmers we take great pride and care to insure the food we grow is safe. We will all pass through life, therefore it is our obligation to leave the soil, environment so that our future generation have something for their children’s children.
Where can we connect with you online? Twitter @MichealWipf