Looking for a deal?

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I don’t know a farmer who isn’t on the lookout for a good deal, so when we got the opportunity to speak at the Manitoba Auctioneers Association Convention we were sold!  As we were preparing our presentation we got talking about how integral auctions are to farming culture.  Livestock, land and equipment can all be purchased at auction, so no matter what the season there is an ag auction for you.

So, why are auctions so enticing?

Culture -  Auctions give everyone a chance to get a pulse of the ag comings-and-goings.  This is like the “coffee-shop-talk” for a week, a month or even a season, all condensed into a day.  The auction atmosphere provides just enough distraction and anonymity to strike up conversations with neighbours and strangers alike.

Action - There is something about the energy and buzz at an auction that you can just get swept away into.  Sellers count on this! The excitement of the fast pace and friendly competition of bidding gets your heart pumping.

Curiosity -  You never know what you will find!  Even if you have checked the listings, done your research and looked at all of the photos, you just might find a hidden treasure or a deal that is too good to pass up.  


Endorphins are flowing at auctions!


Check out the Manitoba Auctioneers Association to learn more about how auctions work, find buyer tips, check the auction schedule or become a member.


If you have ever wanted to be an auctioneer, check out the Auctioneering College of Canada.

Clear Your Calendar

Today is the last day to register for the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference. You can find all of the information here, including the agenda and registration details. However, here are the basics:

WHO: You and all of the FarmFemmes you know

WHEN: November 18-20, 2018

WHERE: Winkler, MB

WHY: This year’s theme is Putting You on the To-Do List. If you can’t make time to attend the conference, maybe you need to stop and smile at the irony…

FarmFemmes will be presenting a session on Monday afternoon, entitled You Can’t Have a Family Farm Without the Family – Finding Balance

This lighthearted presentation will talk through the challenges we face as women in a world of modern agriculture, in balancing farm and family.  This session will cover ways in which we can all use tools, technologies and teams (because really a farm requires a lot of teamwork) to be successful, grow a great crop and enjoy your partner, kids and community.  In recognizing there is no one-size-fits-all approach, attendees will leave armed with ideas and sore sides from laughing at the trials we all have in common as we navigate farm and family!

We will also be moderating a lunchtime conversation about going deeper in developing relationships within women’s ag organizations on Tuesday.

Come join us in Winkler for the conference!

Protect Your Assets: Common sense starters

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The value of buildings, equipment, livestock and crops is immense.  I grew up in an era, and area, where we felt safe and the spirit of neighbourhood watch was alive and well.  We didn’t often think about protecting our assets from man-made threats; Mother Nature was our biggest concern.

Now, I still believe in the principle of neighbourhood watch, and I do not want to live with a mindset of fear.  However, I also want to be realistic about the value of assets and potential threats to these assets when they are in rural locations.  This week, we will be talking about protecting your assets from a number of different technology perspectives. However, today addresses the low-tech, attitudes and behaviors that we can shift to keep our assets safe.

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  • Lock your equipment doors, or at least remove your keys.  (There a number of lock-box options if you want to keep your key with your equipment and still be able to lock it.)

  • Lock your bins and keep your keys in another location.  

  • Lock your fuel tanks and keep your keys in another location.  

  • Don’t just check the fence:  Check your livestock in pasture regularly and include a head count.  

  • Maintain a well-lit site.  Lighting can reduce hiding spots and ensure that your other higher-tech solutions, like cameras, can do their job properly as well.

  • Communicate with your neighbours.  Let neighbours know if you plan to be away, if you see suspicious activity or if you experience vandalism or theft.  Do not assume that they know or have heard from someone else; communication is key in a neighbourhood watch system.

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These steps are small, and large, at the same time.  For many of us, they will require a change in routines.  Just after switching to a key-pegboard in the house, there were many many times that my Dad arrived at a tractor without the key.  For the record, these were not happy times!

Each farm and farmer will have to find a balance that works for them.  However, don’t wait until you experience a loss to think about protecting your assets.  The investment of money, time and effort will be well spent. At the very least, take the time to make sure that you are weighing the risks and making an active decision about the common sense prevention strategies that you choose to put into practice.

P.S. My girls are lobbying hard for “get a dog”, which, to be fair, is also a legitimate way to protect your assets.

Open Farm Day - Manitoba

Yesterday farms and agricultural venues across Manitoba opened their doors to the public for Open Farm Day. This is a great opportunity for everyone to learn and explore agriculture. No matter if you live on a farm or have never visited a farm, there is something for you to enjoy! This year we explored the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Center, just south of Winnipeg. This was an amazing venue, that I didn’t even know existed, and I would highly recommend a visit. We were able to interact with activities related to beef, dairy, poultry and hogs as well as grain farming and food production. There were activities for kids of all ages, and displays for adults too. I enjoyed the virtual reality feedlot tour, the girls put the milking machine on Matilda at least 10 times each and Marcel enjoyed letting the girls push every button in a cab that wasn’t his!

Day old piglets, milling flour, collecting eggs and the milking machine, plus much more!

If you missed it this year, put the Open Farm Day on your calendar for next year, and get a close up look at agriculture. With venues across the province and featuring all different types of experiences you are sure to find something to interest you.