Wishing everyone - A Blessed Christmas

To the Editor;

Fifty years ago this December my Father died. My Dad was interested in almost everything, he was much more outgoing and sociable than me and most people seemed to like him. Being an insecure teenager and young man I did not appreciate his good points and concentrated on his few faults. One of the most vivid memories I have of Dad was us watching the moon landing and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and his famous words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

During the 50 years since then I have observed many changes, from the first calculator that my Dad bought ($80), to my latest iPhone, seeding with a 15 ft one way discer to 75 ft or bigger no till drills pulling tanks the size of grain bins in 1969.

When my father died I was drilling holes for Bertram Drilling making $2.50 per hour. It paid better than farming as that year the CWB quota was 3 bushels per acre at $1.45 meaning that was all you could sell, I had more income from three months of drilling than the farm of four and a half sections, over half being grain land.

The single biggest change in farming in my view was the advent of Roundup, particularly cheap Roundup. This with the improvement of no-till equipment has saved and improved our soil and improved yields dramatically. This increased productivity finally caused producers and governments who were holding on to 1969 ideas and technology to realize if we want to market our product things have to change.

Now instead of little elevators with three to seven boxcar sidings we are seeing oval tracks at terminals that can load 140 cars in a day. The Tyranny of the Wheat Board is gone and farmers are free to chart their own destiny. My Dad would be impressed, “One giant leap for mankind.”

Wishing everyone - A Blessed Christmas.

Gord Snell

Three Hills, AB