Always remember to make time for your kids, one father said
By Diego Flammini
With Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, Farms.com asked farm dads in Western Canada to share their thoughts about being a farm dad or growing up with one.
John Guelly (JG), is a cash crop producer from Westlock, Alta. Guelly has two kids, Matthew, 22, and Kristen, 20.
Rick Lee (RL), is an egg farmer from Holland, Man. He has three children, Charlie, 13, Emily, 11, and Natalie, 9.
Ron Krahn (RK) is a grain farmer from Rivers, Man. He has two daughters and one son.
Farms.com: In your opinion, what is the best part about being a farm dad?
JG: Being a farmer, you’re able to move your schedule when it’s appropriate, so that also allows you to take time off and enjoy activities your kids like to do and spend time with them.
RL: Having the kids around the yard working with me and showing them what it’s like to live on a farm.
RK: You have take your kid to work day every day. Being a farmer gives us the flexibliity to include our kids in our way of life, which is a luxury other businesses might not have.
Farms.com: Do you have any memories of when the kids were younger and spending time with you on the farm?
JG: Lots of times my wife would bring them out into the field to bring me lunch or supper in the tractor. Those are always happy memories to see them run to the tractor and be happy to see you.
RL: The kids always spent time in the barn picking eggs and would always be so proud of how many they picked.
RK: I had to go into town to the local retailer to buy some chemicals for spraying and I stopped in to ask if one of the kids wanted to come along. One of my daughters wanted to come and she was dressed from head to toe like a princess. The ladies at the retailer got a kick out of it.
Farms.com: What was it like growing up with a farm dad?
JG: My dad Elmer still helps me out in the spring and fall. I’m still learning from him and bouncing ideas off of him. It would be a big mistake not to utilize that much experience and tap into that knowledge. Sometimes by just talking something through, you discover a plan C when originally you were only thinking about plans A and B.
RL: My (late) father Don had a very strong work ethic and was very ambitious. His favourite saying was “If you’re going to do a job, do it right or don’t bother.” I’ve taken that saying and am trying to pass it down to my kids.
RK: My father taught me that a deal always needs to be good for both sides. If someone walks away feeling that the other party got the best of them, it may be difficult to deal with that person in the future. My dad still operates the combine all harvest and any chance I get to hang out with him in the buddy seat is great.
Farms.com: What advice do you have for a new dad?
JG: Enjoy your kids while you have them. One minute they’re born and the next they’ve moved out of the house.
RL: Take the time to be with your kids, make good experiences with them and teach them everything you know.
RK: Try fo figure out the balance between working and being a parent. Usually when you become a parent you're at a time in your farming career where you've got the least amount of money but the most energy to work hard.