What’s your name? Teri Ruecker.
I have been a farmer since: birth I guess. I grew up on my parents’ farm. They have been retired since 2006. I have been actively farming since 1997 with my husband. It is really the last 5 years that my role has been increasing to what it is today. I had always helped out with the farm and ran a combine in harvest. Now I run a drill, sprayer, swather, combine – you name it. The only thing I don’t do is drive the semi because I do not have my 1A license – yet. I also do all the office work and 80% of the grain marketing.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: this crop year. I am very excited to have this app to keep me organized on the go! It has been exactly what I needed to keep track of inventory. We have two farm sites 25 km apart as well as 3 other yards with bins. With about 100 bins you need to write it down somewhere…
Where do you farm? Near Abernethy and Lemberg, Saskatchewan.
What do you grow? Wheat, canola, oats, peas, soybeans, lentils.
How did you get into farming? Just kept happening I guess. I was born into it, then I married a farmer. Then I found that I enjoyed it more than my full time pharmacist job so I decided to put more time into our farm and cut back on my pharmacy hours. Now I just work in the pharmacy casually in the winter when they really need help. I never run out of work on the farm, that is for sure!
What do you love about farming? Working side by side with my husband, watching the progression of your efforts grow, being your own boss in charge of your own schedule…I could go on and on.
Tell us a little bit about why you become a farmer and who you farm with. I farm with my husband Scott and our children Paige (13) and Luke (10). I would say I have always been a farmer in my heart, and I finally am listening to my heart and doing what I love full time.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? One of my favourite moments is when we are all out there together in the field having a good day. A good example of that was a few weeks ago when there was the eclipse of the moon. I was combining and Paige was running the cart. The boys were trucking the grain with the semi that night. But we were all out there together to watch the eclipse while combining.
Anytime I can watch the kids tackle something new and accomplish it and see how it improves their self esteem….that is fulfilling for me. Both kids have tackled new jobs this year and done them successfully. Those are proud moments.
Any #harvest15 tips for fellow farmers? Patience and endurance are keys to success.
What’s your most important piece of equipment and why? That is a tough one. They are all important.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? Marketing and Mother Nature. Mother Nature has given us some rough years in our area. We have been very, very wet. You can do whatever you can to try to grow a good crop but Mother Nature is still the ultimate ruler.
Grain marketing is becoming extremely challenging. Companies are becoming too big of monopolies and take any profit the farmer might make. Every year is a different story. Too much fusarium. Too much sprout. It seems they bow down to the big farmer and walk all over the smaller farmer. Time for that to change. It’s important to note that not all of them are like this, but you have to work hard to market your grain to find good deals these days. Hauling to your closest terminal is often not the way to go. So we spend a lot of time looking for better deals. It is sad we have to though.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? That women are great farmers too. They don’t just make the lunches and maybe drive someone to field. We run equipment as good as or better than a lot of men. We can fix, we can maintain.
I grease my equipment, check it over and do minor repairs. I am not saying I don’t need Scott’s help for bigger repairs, but women are very capable at doing many jobs. All while running households, managing everyone’s schedules.
If a woman applies for a job on your farm, take her seriously. This has probably been one of my biggest battles on the farm. Scott knew I could handle more than even I thought I could at first. But dealing with mechanics, salesman, grain buyers…it has been a long and hard fought battle for respect from many of them. One example of this was when my sprayer (we have two of everything – mine and his) had an “update” that the dealer needed to come out to do. Now we are pretty fussy so we never leave a mechanic near our equipment unattended. I was cleaning my tractor while the mechanic was working on the sprayer. After a while he asked if Scott was around. I said: “Yes, he is in the other shed. Why?” He didn’t even answer me and went to get Scott. They came back, he asked Scott to lift the sprayer up out of the cradle, Scott answered: “I don’t know how, it is her sprayer….” (He knew but he was proving a point.) That mechanic was never allowed on my farm again.
Respect. Try it out. Another mechanic who is a good friend of ours has told us he thinks women are far better operators because they stop when they hear a noise that is not right…men just drive things into the ground. And women notice problems sooner than men quite often, too. I had a rear discharge beater bearing go on my combine last year. The mechanic said that was the soonest anyone has ever caught it – #WomenInAg and proud of it
Where can we find you online? You can find me on Twitter @stplruecker.
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