While some industries are dominated by a few large companies, agriculture in Canada is still planted firmly on the family farm. Nowhere is that more evident than at the home of Jordan and Jennifer Lindgren, the 2018 winners of the Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Award.
On their 11,500-acre grain and oilseed farm near Norquay in east-central Saskatchewan near the Manitoba border, the Lindgrens have made the business a true family affair, working alongside their four children who range in age from eight to 12.
“This is a fourth-generation enterprise and I grew up farming with my dad and uncle,” said Jordan.
After meeting in agriculture school, Jordan and Jennifer married and moved back to his farm.
“My dad had no boys, so I became his ‘right hand girl’ on a cattle and grain farm,” said Jennifer. “Jordan and I both wanted to raise a family on the farm, so when we met it was a perfect fit. We celebrated 100 years for our farm in 2011 and it’s nice to be part of something with such strong roots.”
All four kids are active on the farm, and in spite of their young ages, they play a big role in the Lindgrens’ success.
“Through all of the ups and downs in this industry, it’s so nice to have everyone’s support,” said Jordan. “Just because we’re a big farm and a business doesn’t mean we have to lose that family aspect. For us, it’s a priority, and we think of our employees as family also.”
In winning the award, they feel their “family first” approach has been validated, giving them more confidence that they’re headed in the right direction.
Recently, that direction has included participating in the Field of Dreams Program, where they partner with a local retailer and machinery dealership.
“As part of the program, we do all kinds of trials such as variety trials and treatment applications, to see what will work best on our land. Based on the trials we’ve started straight cutting our canola and top dressing the wheat to get higher yields. You can read a lot about various practices, but we’re big believers in putting them to the test ourselves.”
Shop is welcome feature
While their free time is limited, they are currently building a heated farm shop, just in time for winter.
“My father and uncle worked their whole careers without something like this,” said Jordan. “We transport our own grain and work on our own equipment, so it’s exciting to finally be getting this facility.”
Weather permitting, though, they prefer the outdoors.
“I spend a lot of time in the office, but when I’m working on the land next to my dad, uncle, wife and kids, there’s nothing like it,” said Jordan. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
“There’s nothing like the smell of turned soil in the spring, and harvest is everyone’s favourite time of year,” said Jennifer. “We’re living our dream.”
It doesn’t get much better than that; except, of course, when you share that dream with the whole family.