Monday November 24, 2014

Big operators push family farms aside

Baljennie News

The years pass swiftly and change is a constant. Farms that have been farmed as family farms are gradually disappearing. Farmers are at retirement age and some are lucky to have younger family members take over and carry on, but some are not quite so lucky. A significant amount of farmland is being rented out to bigger farm operations while other land is going on the market to be sold to the first buyer with the right dollars. It is bringing land buyers and lookers from far off areas. A lot of land is exchanging ownership. The bigger farm operators are pushing the little farmers under, as they can no longer complete.

The big farmers use bigger equipment with more than one outfit on the go, many controlled by GPS, to cover many more acres in a day. The big farms now consist of thousands of acres to cover each spring season.

There are many unfamiliar vehicles about and it makes us wonder who is driving about the area. On one occasion we had a knock at our door and there stood a middle-aged couple making inquiries about the area and asking about its history. They were invited for a friendly cup and coffee and a lovely visit. They were Kim and Meloney Lamont of Kindersley and they had been camping for the weekend on land about two miles from our farm. They had just purchased the two quarters of raw, unbroken land near the McGoniagill area close to the community centre. It is mostly bush and pasture land with a creek running through it. They plan to develop a yard area where they can build and run a few cattle and horses. So many people have retired and left our area or have passed away, it is nice to see some new faces. They were interested in the history of the community and of the land they purchased. We welcome them to a good stay in the community.

Fatherís Day was a wet rainy morning and to our surprise there were people out in the rain. Once again we had Kim and Meloney Lamont of Kindersley at the door. They had spent another weekend camping on their new land. They wanted a change from the rainy conditions and came over for a visit and a coffee. They will be back on more weekends as they are preparing a site to build. The old house on the property is in a tumbled down condition and will be demolished and hauled to a burning pit.

June 15 will make a mark on the calendar for a few years to come. It was a violent day across the whole grain belt of Saskatchewan. There were tornado sightings and funnel clouds galore with more than one sighting at a time. Everyone was watching the sky. It all started at noon with a tornado watch that escalated to a tornado warning that lasted until the evening. They touched earth in many areas and not much harm was done. There were other areas were buildings were demolished, hopper bins were upset and trees and whatever else was in their path was damaged. The winds were powerful and left rain and hail in some areas. This is only the beginning of the season, so we are on the watch for more the follow. June 30, it will be three years since our farmyard was dismantled by a tornado. We are still trying to get the yard back to normal.

Glenn Peters of Rainbow Lake, Alta. stopped on his way to visit his mother Louise Peters of Assiniboia. Louise has sold her house to move to a duplex. Other family and neighbours helped make the move. We wish her well in her new home.

The high winds and late May frosts have put an end to the wild saskatoon and pin cherry blooms. Each year they have a big struggle to produce fruit. Some protected areas will likely bear some fruit. Choke cherry trees bloom later and seem OK, but the high winds may have damaged them as well.



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