As many farmers would attest, farming for a living becomes more than a way to make a dollar.
To many of my peers, particularly those who have inherited the passion of agriculture, the drive to continue a legacy of successful family members becomes a major driving force in the business model.
Justamere Farms Ltd. was originally named Justamere Stock Farms by my grandfather Richard in 1911. It was largely due to his desire to be diversified in those years and raising livestock proved to be very successful. Richard raised cattle, hogs , sheep, chickens and even a few dairy cows. He was organized and a very effective marketer of what he produced and he continued to expand until my father Gordon became the owner / general manager in the late 1930’s. Gordon pursued the same business model and expanded the farm’s production significantlhy until he retired in the 1970’s. Bill, son to Gordon, career in agriculture began as most farm children can attest, started at an early age watching the management style of their parents. Bill’s dad Gordon was particularily accomplished at accessing the talents of his staff and providing them with the equipment and materials to accomplish his goals at the end of the day.
Every day is big at Justamer Farms with a solid land base to grow a variety of crops, either to sell for cash or provide feed for the expanding livestock herd during the winter months.
While we still maintain a diversified business of beef cattle and variety of crops such as peas, wheat, canola, barley and silage feed for our cattle, we have ceased raising hogs in 2007. Severe slumps in the price of pork forced us to wind down that aspect of our business. Almost all of the production small hog operations have stopped due to the highly volatile price structure. Only those with massive volume have managed to survive.
A constant theme in our operation has been to make decisions for the long term viability and sustainability of our business and it’s owners. Our family has always maintained the concept of being progressive and open about advances in agriculture but to never take shortcuts and damage the long term success of our farm.