Advisory Council Member Jim Wert – Stanlee Farms

Stanlee Farms has been in the Wert family for over 150 years.  Jim and Nancy’s four sons are the fifth generation to live and work on the family farm. The farm is dairy and cash crop focusing on producing quality food in a sustainable manner. The farm intends to keep up with changing technology and conservation practices and make sure it will continue to be viable for the next generation.
1.  When did you realize you wanted to be a farmer?

Having grown up on a farm, I just assumed that one day I would also farm alongside my dad.

2.  What’s your favourite thing about being an agricultural business owner?

I would say my favourite thing about being an agricultural business owner is being able to discuss and explain the importance of Canadian Agriculture to consumers.

3.   I know it’s early yet, but do you think your children, nieces or nephews will be interested in running Stanlee Farms once you retire? Do you have a succession plan in place to transition to retirement?

Succession planning is always on the minds of those that own and operate a family business. With 4 sons, it looks very promising that there will be interest in continuing the farm into the next generation.

4. If you could tell your younger, new-farmer-self anything, what would it be?

Farming is most rewarding when you are motivated by the intangibles.  I still remember the first cow we had go Excellent, or the first time we averaged 200 bushels on corn. It’s more rewarding if you are motivated by what I call the intangibles and agriculture is full of these examples.

5. What issues do you think are most important for the new Food & Agriculture Advisory Council to address?

That as a committee we can identify areas that impede value-added opportunities for the agri-food industry.

6. What is something you’d like to see come out of this new council?

If we can provide visible progress in a couple of areas it will act as an example for other regions.

7. What’s your favourite thing about this region?

Its diversity. We are rich in resources, opportunities and culture.

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