Latest articles

Getting further into the farm business

A visit to the accountant leads to a new name for Toban Dyck’s old farm

Twitter was helpful the other day. I feel like that sentence uttered in earnest is so surprising and powerful that I could just drop the mic and walk off the stage. But, alas, I will stick around for a few more words. Jamie and I have reached a milestone (of sorts) in our farming story. […] Read more

Becoming a landowner at last

A new farmer feels the responsibility of signing the papers on his first land purchase

Imagine a boulder. Imagine that boulder is perfectly and delicately balanced on the lip of a large, downward run. The thing that frightens me the most about buying the 80 acres has little to do with the specifics. No. It’s different than that. It frightens me because when I sign those papers later on today […] Read more

Making a schedule and sticking to it

Taking time for off-farm pursuits requires a firm mindset and a strong constitution

It’s 2 p.m. Work is winding down. We’re just tinkering at this point, which, don’t get me wrong, is a valuable part of farming. I feel the pressure of a long list of off-farm tasks requiring my attention. I do a dry run in my head: “I should really head inside. I’ve got some writing […] Read more

Closeup shot of a man writing

My sister really likes your work

On accepting a compliment, and never making decisions in the winter

“My sister really likes your articles. She sent me one the other day.” He had one end of a heavy wardrobe and I had the other. We were helping a friend move. The piece of furniture we were tasked to relocate had been mistakenly placed upstairs during the frenzy. It needed to be downstairs, which, […] Read more

What do people want to know?

Taking a look at the questions people are asking the internet about agriculture

I did something that made me sad the other day. I often write about the chasm between farmers and the public they/we feed. There’s an information gap there that absolutely needs to be filled. If the gulf is allowed to grow, and the agriculture/food sector plods forward without a meaningful connection with the public and […] Read more

Getting to the grassroots

The hardest part about communicating with farmers is getting to the farmers

A convinced mind is hard to crack. Except if that mind belongs to a farmer. Then it’s nearly impossible. My job as director of communications with the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers involves communicating with farmers. It is difficult. When I’m with my peers, we brainstorm better ways to reach them. We dream of beautiful, […] Read more

The Commodity Classic

Toban is on his way and ready to tackle one of U.S.’s largest ag conferences

I’m on an airplane in which I cannot stand. It’s an express flight from Winnipeg to Calgary. I have the window seat — 17F. The 14-month-old in row 16 couldn’t be cuter and has made it his mission to rope me into a game of peek a boo. I indulged. The game briefly wrested my […] Read more

Replacing the parts in ag

The ag industry needs a continuous supply of young people to take part

Agriculture is a machine in constant need of new parts. Its oil needs changing every few years. Its chains are working but worn. Its bearings could stand to be repacked. It’s an industry that needs to be as sharp as it can be. And it’s an industry that is only as strong as the people […] Read more

A visit to Manitoba’s KAP AGM

With some time on the farm under his belt, Toban Dyck feels at home at ag events

Last year’s event was eye opening. I witnessed real, everyday farmers affecting change. And I wrote about it here in Grainews. I wrote about the importance of getting involved because over the course of the two-day Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) AGM I saw grown men and women nervously walk up to one of two mics, […] Read more

Moving from “just new here” to “experienced”

Moving ahead on the learning curve requires you to make a mental switch

Eventually, I will get it. Eventually, I will understand farming and agriculture. I don’t know when, though. And when I retreat inside my own brain to take stock what I do in fact know, the process gets interrupted by questions such as, what does it really mean to know or learn anything? The first time […] Read more