What’s your name? Rick Keller – R&D Keller Farms Ltd.
I have been a farmer since: since 1976 when I was 16.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: I was the first Farm At Hand user! How has Farm At Hand helped me? Well, my daughter now has a great job! Just kidding. In all seriousness, its way easier to track my inventory and records. It has cut down our mistakes in the field and binyard and has saved a ton a time with the info right in my phone. I don’t have to keep remembering everything all the time, it’s just right there when I need it.
(Editor’s note: Our co-founder Kim Keller is Rick’s daughter.)
Where do you farm? Gronlid, SK
Here’s a picture of my farm
What do you grow? 12,000 acres of wheat, canola, oats, barley, flax and peas.
How did you get into farming? My dad was a farmer, so that’s what I knew how to do, and that’s what I did. It was a family farm and it was passed on to us. I never wanted to do anything else than be a farmer, well other than being a race car driver!
What do you love about farming? I am my own boss and there is always something new to do and tackle. There is a lot of freedom and fresh air that comes with farming that I would never give up.
Tell us a little bit about why you became a farmer and who you farm with. I farm with my wife, my son and my daughter. That is the very best part of it all – being able to work with your family. I think it’s every farmers’s dream to build a farm and have their family all participate. You can trust your family to always work the hardest to succeed.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? Watching a slough run out that I just drained, watching the first bushels of grain come off a field or crop checking and seeing a new crop just starting to come up. This isn’t out in the field, but I will always remember the times I sit around the kitchen table with my wife, son and daughter and just talk about everything that’s happening now and the past.
Has technology changed the way you farm? How so? Yes, for sure! How hasn’t it changed the way we farm would be a better question! Everything has changed and is still changing rapidly. If we didn’t have this technology now, there is no way we would be able to keep farming. We have become so much more efficient with our inputs and tracking production.
What is your biggest challenge this growing season? Low commodity prices and high input prices, just making the numbers work to make sure we make enough to keep on keeping on.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? Trying to keep the expenses and inputs in line with the commodity prices, so us farmers can actually make a go of it. As a farmer, its making sure we are always on top of the latest technology to take you from seed to sale — once you put the combines away there are a whole pile of other jobs to get done!
Do you think the way we farm and produce food will change in the next 10 years? If yes, how? Farming basics won’t change – you still need to seed and harvest and all that in between. The tools will definitely change. We will be using more technology for sure – genetics, drones, sensors, software technology, etc to keep increasing efficiency and saving more crops from weeds/diseases/insects.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? It is that family farms (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation; however you have it set up) can’t be replaced by anything else.
Family farms are it, we make up something like 98% of all farms in North America. We are the most efficient farming you will ever get. From the cheapest food to the most reliable methods of production. We have a tie and connection to the land – we know our land the best, we are on it everyday. Having that connection is absolutely key, getting bigger isn’t always better. There is a reason why family farms stand the test of time and keep succeeding. Oh, and sorry about being on the roads with our equipment, but there isn’t anywhere else for us to go!