Big dreams, international connections and business planning all contribute to the success of Franck and Kari Groeneweg’s farm business, and are behind the Edgeley couple’s recognition as Saskatchewan’s Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for 2011.
As a boy growing up on a farm in France, Franck Groeneweg dreamed of owning his own large farm someday. After gaining farm experience in the United States, starting and selling a successful tractor parts business, and meeting and marrying his western Canadian wife Kari, Franck was well on his way to realizing his dream. In 2002, they purchased land in Edgeley, Sask., the beginning of what would grow to be their 9,000-acre grain farm, Green Atlantic Farms.
With a definite glass-half-full outlook, the Groenewegs look for efficiencies and opportunities in their farming operation. A grain-burning stove retail business grew out of a bad crop quality year. A custom-designed seeder matches sprayer equipment to reduce fertilizer and chemical overlap. A rubber- track tractor reduces compaction on their sensitive clay soils. Grain bagging addresses limited farm storage and lowers harvest fuel consumption and efficiency.
The Groeneweg’s 9,000-acre cropland base is made up of owned, rented and custom farmed land, in about equal thirds. Crops grown include spring wheat, canary seed, canola and peas. Farm trainees from France, Germany and Holland help on their farm.
Kari is the home educator for their four children — Luke (seven), Julia (five), Emma (three) and Solange (one), while managing the farm bookkeeping, cost of production and cash flow management. Franck and Kari are both active in their church, and Franck is president of the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation and a director of the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission. In 2008, Franck proudly became a Canadian citizen.
Canada’sOutstandingYoungFarmersfor 2011willbechosenatthenationaleventin Brandon,Man.fromNovember15-20,2011.