Connected, Protected, Respected

If you have been following us for a while you know that we have written about Connected, Protected and Respected before, and each time has a bit of a different twist, but the main message is the same: relationships are key to a successful family farm and people feel safe, physically and emotionally, when they are Connected, Protected and Respected.

In concrete terms for harvest time, what does that look like?

Connected (physical and emotional safety)

  • Everyone in the team has a way to communicate with the other team members as they plan the day and as they work. This can be high-tech, low-tech or anywhere in between (morning meeting, group text, CB radio, whiteboard, supper meeting).

Protected (physical safety)

  • Everyone in the team knows how to do their job safely and what to do in the event that something doesn’t go as planned.

    • Discuss any dangers or special considerations for the location(s) where you are working each day as well as along the routes to and from the location(s)

    • Have access to and know how to use the fire extinguishers and first aid kits

    • Keep your phone with you when you exit equipment. Know who to call for help and how to tell them where you are (emergency sign number, legal land description, latitude and longitude)

Respected (emotional safety)

  • Everyone in the team feels that there is a culture where questions are encouraged. Asking a question is better than proceeding when you are unsure - it is safer, and generally more efficient, which means it is more profitable to be sure of the answer.

Wishing you all a harvest where your family relationships are strengthened as you work together, feeling Connected, Protected and Respected.

Read past Connected, Protected, Respected posts: March 2017 May 2018


The 3Rs - Farm Family style

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Roles - Responsibilities - Relationships

Harvest is a time when farm families need everyone to help out in order to get all of the jobs done.

Roles: Roles can be tricky to define as they can be less concrete than responsibilities. Roles might include things like, advisor, consultant or final decision maker. Family farms typically involve multiple generations, and harvest is often the time when people are asked to step into new roles. This also means others may need to step back to make space for these changes to happen. Navigating role changes can be complex and there is no one, best or right way to switch roles.

Responsibilities: Responsibilities refers to the tasks that need to get accomplished - cleaning combines, making meals, ordering fuel, paying bills. Harvest time challenges even the best organizers and time-managers. The time-sensitive nature of harvest dictates that families need to decide which tasks are put on hold and which tasks need to become a different person’s responsibility during the harvest crunch time.

Changing roles and responsibilities can lead to stress in relationships!

Relationships: In farm-family life business and personal life lines are sometimes blurred. Changing roles and responsibilities can lead to hurt feelings or misunderstandings - especially if these changes happen “on the fly”. A pre-harvest meeting can help to set expectations for the season and ensure that everyone is aware of what their roles and responsibilities will look like this year. Open communication reduces assumptions that things will remain the same and ensures that everyone understands any domino effects of shifting responsibilities. Pre-harvest meetings may be one-on-one meetings or involve the whole team at the same time; they can be formal or informal. No matter how they happen, doing the hard work up front helps to set farm teams up for the most successful harvest possible.

Remember 1978? Me neither, but...

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We are back from vacation and ready to jump into harvest! But rather than ag or tech or even harvest stories, this week we are focusing on relationships. Family is what makes having a family farm so impactful, meaningful, motivating, and memorable.

To start off the week we want to say Happy 41st Anniversary to our parents! Any relationship that has lasted since 1978 deserves to be celebrated. Our parents have built a successful marriage, and a successful farming operation, because they are are a good team. They have a flexible give and take, they know how to divide and conquer and they respect each other’s strengths. They have figured out when to hustle and when to be still and they know the importance of making time for fun.

Congratulations to Mom and Dad! Wishing you a great harvest to start of another great year.

Farmily Vacation @aginmotion

Farm families know that the line between farm and family is often blurred. And many farm families would tell you that is what makes farming such a great profession and a great way of life! (At least most of the time.)

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Ag in Motion

- a farmily vacation

We strongly believe that farming is an important profession because we are working to make the world a better place - not just for ourselves but by respecting the environment as we feed the world .

We also believe that modern farming continues to have a strong multi-generational tradition because younger generations have the willingness and the skill sets to adapt and mesh agriculture and technology. Multi-generational farm family traditions can only be built if our kids enjoy farm life and see the pleasure along side the hard work.

So, this week we set out on a Farmily vacation; combining a little time away with the Ag in Motion farm expo. If you can’t be there in person you can follow our adventures here or via social media. You can also follow @aginmotion on Instagram and Twitter or find Ag in Motion on Facebook.

#aginmotion #aim19

A different kind of farm family

The intergenerational family farm is a common story, but what makes our family farm story unique is that we are an intercultural and international family farm as well.

This means that each year we open our home to international trainees who are looking for a farm adventure.  So far I have been a host mom to over 25 trainees and I am inspired by their brave and bold pursuit to learn what agriculture can look like in different parts of the world.  These young people come into our home as strangers and leave as family. They are “brothers” to our girls, they return to visit, and their friends and family come to meet their “Canadian family”.

I am inspired to be more adventurous and inquisitive when I see their energy for travel.  I am more reflective of our practices because trainees notice differences or ask about why we do things the way that we do.  Each year I gain a broader perspective than I had the year before, because trainees expose me to new and different ideas. However, they also solidify and reaffirm what I believe to be the core essence of agriculture.  Farmers are stewards of the land to supply food for the world.  We are bonded by that ultimate purpose.

I love that my girls get to see how ag brings people together.  We host trainees because we are rooted in ag; we love it and we want to share it, to learn, and to teach others about what ag looks like for us.

BMO Farm Family Award

The 2019 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is finished… but the memories are still going strong!

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We would like to say a big THANK YOU to

  • Walter, our BMO host and award presenter, for showing us a great day and being such a flexible and fun host. Of course, a big thank you to BMO for sponsoring this award and for their support of agriculture.

  • Karen, the Provincial Exhibition Marketing and Communications Manager, for answering our questions and ensuring that our day ran smoothly

  • Dan and Brydan, the ACC Interactive Media Arts students who produced the jumbo-tron video for the presentation, for being such good sports about keeping us with us in the petting zoo area! They also did a really great job of capturing our family and our farm! If you missed the video, you can watch it here.

By my toil I believe that I am giving more to the world than I am taking from it, and honor that does not come to all men.
— John Nason - The Farmers Creed

BMO Farm Family Award

The BMO Farm Family Award is being presented at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, March 25-29, 2019. This year six farms have been chosen as recipients for the award, including Vallotton Farms Ltd. The six farms selected represent many sectors of agriculture, including fruits and vegetables, grain and beef. We are honored to share this award with such great company.

Thanks to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and BMO for promoting agriculture in our community and province!

You can learn more about the BMO Farm Family Award recipients at their websites (below) or by visiting the fair. Each evening the recipients will be at the TD Ag Action stage at 5:15pm to share about their farming operation and then will be presented their award during the evening program in the main arena. We would appreciate your support on Wednesday and would love to see you at the fair!

Mayfair Farms - Monday

HTA Charolais - Tuesday

Vallotton Farms - Wednesday

Froese Family Farm - Thursday

Batho Farms - Friday

Southern Manitoba Potato Co. - Saturday

We're at our family gathering - now what?

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After the meal is eaten and the gifts are opened are you looking for something to do? Perhaps you have not gotten that far yet. Maybe the turkey is taking a bit longer than expected. Or your uncle is late. Or the dogs got into the kitchen. Or your brother got stuck in the snowbank by the train tracks. Or your grandma got run over by a reindeer. Whatever it was, you have some time to fill.

We’ve got you covered. Get your family moving and laughing with our Christmas scavenger hunts. Print directly from the images below or email us at teresa@farmfemmes.com to get your own PDF copies.

RULES:

  • Find the items (person, place or thing).  Be creative!

  • Capture proof of your find by taking a selfie with the item.

  • You may choose to include more than one item in a single photo.

  • One point will be awarded for each item photographed.

  • One bonus point will be awarded for each photo that includes the item and ALL team members.

  • All team members must report to the home point at the end of the time limit.

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Farmily - Celebrating Family Farms

At the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference, we were lucky enough to launch our latest YouTube video - all about our FARMILY. The combination of farm and family is real - and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Check out the video and share the link with everyone in your FARMILY… The people who ride in your buddy seat, bring meals to the field, run for parts, get up early, stay up late and are by your side no matter what.


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