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And… I have a brother farming too

This can present a whole set of challenging situations

Brothers farming together can make for many different, interesting, and somewhat challenging dynamics. Oldest son syndrome. Birth order has been very well researched by Dr. Kevin Leman. Seek out his work for the different traits of first-born sons. My coaching experience tells me that some founders automatically default choosing the oldest son as successor which may not be a great idea if the younger sons or […] Read more

How to help founders let go

The transfer is inevitable so it can either be done in planned stages over time or by death

What should I do with the next 25 years? At 61, my life expectancy is 86. The math says I have a quarter of a century left to create legacy, help others transition, and mentor the next generation. I am also now a grandmother who delights in reading Penny Grace stories, rocking her to sleep, […] Read more

The scoop on making cookies

First We Eat: What kind of fat is best? What kind of sweetener? Does it really matter?

I started baking at six, the same age I first climbed onto a horse. I was too short to mount a tall gelding unaided, and in the kitchen, I didn’t realize that what I wanted to make first — cookies — were among the most challenging of any sweet. But at my first gymkhana, when […] Read more

Love does not read minds

You need to share what’s in your head and heart so have those farm transition discussions

An amazing group of Alberta farmers shared their deepest fears with me at the 2018 Agriculture Service Board Conference. They texted me their biggest issues regarding fairness in transition planning. I thought you might like to see what resonates for you in this list of texts (no particular order). What I have had to come […] Read more

The reality of Alzheimer’s disease

When a loved one is diagnosed it’s devastating but there may be some ways to help reduce the risk of developing it

Walter* has Alzheimer’s disease — but only his family and close friends know how deeply it affects his life. Walter meets us at the door, greeting us by name. “Good to see you!” He takes our coats and leads us into the living room; we make small talk about the weather; a perfectly normal conversation. […] Read more

Making room in the freezer

First We Eat: The offer of some grass-fed beef was incentive to finally dig through all that frozen food — some really old frozen food

I was sitting at my neighbour Sharon’s kitchen counter on a Sunday morning, enjoying our weekly coffee. My puppy, Jake, fussed at my feet, so I didn’t hear what Sharon had said, just held out my empty mug for a refill and shrugged. Sharon, who has known me for nearly 30 years, poured more coffee […] Read more

What does ‘farmwife’ mean to me?

This can have different meanings for different people but it explains a huge part of my identity

You could call me a bit of an old soul who passionately loves technology. I’m caught somewhere in the middle on the spectrum of ’50s housewife and millennial, if there is such a thing. I love being at home and being a housewife and mom. I also love practising as a registered nurse when I’m not at […] Read more

A dozen things about divorce

Here’s a friend’s observations about her own divorce journey

Speaking to my tribe of farm advisers I mentioned that I was walking alongside four friends navigating the process of divorce, and a colleague in my audience said, “Elaine, make that five friends… ugh!” My best friend from Grade 8 offers these observations about her divorce journey, with her permission of course! Both partners need […] Read more

Farm woman creates and restores quilts

Hopes her handmade creations will become family heirlooms

Leeanne Omit feels that increasingly the younger generation is appreciating the value in old-time crafts such as quilting. “Handmade quilts can become heirloom gifts passed down from generation to generation,” she says. Leeanne and her husband Ian and their two children, Kiera and Jayden, hobby farm near Asquith, west of Saskatoon. They have horses, chickens, […] Read more