Name: Dean Harder
Farm Name: Wilfred Harder Farms Inc.
Location: Lowe Farm, MB
What do you produce?: Grains & Oilseeds including Wheat, Winter Wheat, Barley, Canola, Soybeans, Alfalfa & Rye Grass.
Size of Farm: 4500+ acres
Number of years farming? 10+ years.
Farming Background: Grew up on the family farm. The farm has been in the family for 3 generations. I’m the King of the Grain Cart.
What book changed your world?: Jack London – Call of the Wild, Jack Higgins’ – The Eagle has Landed, The Post Road, Reader Digest (It got me to start reading), National Geographic, Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1 John, James, Naomi Klein – Shock Doctrine.
What songs are you loving right now? Metric – Dreams So Real, Ben Folds & Regina Spektor – You Don’t Know Me, Pete Seeger – If I Had a Hammer, Lorde – Buzzcut Season
Why did you join the NFU? It is the one organization that is looking deeply into farm policies across this nation that fight for farmers. The NFU has the foresight and history to understand that farmers have to fight against the powers that be, including Multinational Corporations, in order to gain their fair share of the farm profit pie.
What issue is most on your radar right now that will challenge your farming dreams? The Loss of the Canadian Wheat Board, Lack of Rail Transportation Oversight, UPOV’91, Lack of Democracy, Poor Farm Policy Education, A real need for a stronger Co-operative Movement.
What advice do you have for aspiring farmers?
1) All farmers need to understand the basic policies that affect their farm. That’s why they should join the NFU.
2) Farmers have a strange knack for wanting to be absurdly independent which is usually their greatest downfall. The best thing you can do is to meet with each of your farming neighbours, sit and talk with each one for 30 minutes and ask the real questions which have helped them survive. You will get different perspectives, you may even disagree, but you’ll get a real sense of what it takes to survive in this crazy business and it really is a false idea to believe that farmers are best served by working in a bubble.
3) Get involved in your community and local Co-ops.
What is your guilty pleasure? Sid Meier’s: Civilization