Young farmer profile - Establishing a new farming identity
Like many young people who start farming, Logan and Avery Grant had family backing. But unlike most, they purchased a farm several hours from the parent operation to pursue their dream.
Logan’s parents Lynn and Sherri Grant of Val Marie, Sask., are well known in the beef cattle industry in their home province and beyond, but their son was always more interested in the grain side of their operation. He took a heavy duty mechanics course at Olds College in Alberta and worked several years for Brandt Tractor. Then he spent some time in Australia before returning to run his parents’ grain operation.
When he and Avery – a city girl from Medicine Hat, Alta. – married, they decided to pursue their own grain farming dream. With the backing of his parents, they were able to purchase a farming operation near Chamberlain, Sask., about mid-way between Regina and Saskatoon.
“We were looking for a more profitable grain farming area; somewhere that the margins are typically better,” Logan explains.
The southwestern corner of Saskatchewan near the U.S. border, where the Grant’s cattle operation is located, is more noted for its rangeland and large cattle operations than its grain land. However, cropping practices are similar at Chamberlain, so there wasn’t a big learning curve for Logan and Avery after the relocation. Their crops now include canola, lentils, barley and wheat.
“When we were looking, the price of land here seemed to be the best deal as related to productivity,” Logan says. “This is the location and the land deal that penciled out the best.”
“We’ve now harvested four crops. Our last crop was excellent and we continue to expand.” The majority of their land base is owned, but they also rent significant acreage.
Seeding is accomplished with a large direct seeder which runs 24 hours a day during the spring rush. For harvest, they use three large combines. They have one full-time employee, while a number of other people help in the busy seasons.
Avery is taken with rural life. A school teacher by training, she collaborated with her mother-in-law on a children’s book called Where Beef Comes From, with Avery doing the writing and Sherri providing the photos. It’s in Saskatchewan schools (and you can buy it from the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association: www.skstockgrowers.com).
Although the two Grant operations don’t regularly collaborate, Logan was able to help his parents with harvesting in 2009 and seeding in the spring of 2011 despite the long distance to move equipment. He also hauled them some straw bales when they were short.
The family members are close, even though the farms are not.
Logan and Avery wouldn’t have their own farm without family backing. They were also fortunate to find
a farm operation for sale that met their needs. It helped them establish a separate, stand-alone operation where they can raise a family of their own and pursue their farming dream.
Last Father’s Day, their daughter Storey was born.
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