Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Out last day in Texas had the AALP Class visit BNSF Railway headquarters (the air traffic control of the railway) a 23-billion dollar company situated outside of Fort Worth in an impressive, modern facility. We were greeted by James Titsworth, General Director of Business Development. We viewed the impressive state-of-the-art dispatch area, where over 250 people work together 24/7 ensuring safety of the railway system West of Mississippi. An impressive display of maps, graphs, live feeds were seen as data flows into dispatch in real time, making real time decisions. Truly a technology driven railway, busiest in North America.


After touring the dispatch area, we met in a boardroom to gain a better understanding of BNSF and Canadian agriculture. (Western Canada)

The Class learned that tonsumer, industrial, coal, and agricultural products are all transported (ag is a small piece of pie). This is very much a trade-dependent business, they are very concerned with NAFTA. North Gate Saskatchewan is the main inland port in Canada (crude, chemical, grain, primarily wheat and canola for Canada).

It was explained that it is a market-based system, working together with clients, giving them a competitive edge as the company is flexible to change with changing markets.


It was noted that many people who hold executive positions at BSNF come from agricultural backgrounds.

It was very interesting to have an insight of all the people and systems in place to have BSNF run smoothly. It is a well-run machine where efficiently and safety were paramount.

The afternoon was spent with Jim Prewitt of Landmark Nurseries. Jim also happens to be the chairman of the board of the TALL program.

Jim introduced us to his good friend Rutledge Haggard who lent us the use of his beautifully decorated hall for the meeting.


Rutledge gave us the background of his family and how they settled the area of Plano in 1866. He and his brother took over the family farm and continue to farm it today but the city is eating it up. They have no more cattle but continue to farm milo (grain sorghum) and wheat.

Jim was a very modest man. He grew up on a dairy farm but knew that was not his calling. He went to college, got married and took on his first job with a plumbing company but would only stay one year. After buying a new home, he began to landscape it. Others saw what he did and asked him to do theirs. His new career had started. He did 28 houses that year.


He acquired his parent’s farm (200 acres) and started the nursery. He currently has six nurseries and about 2500 customers all on the commercial side of landscaping. He sells everything from 4-inch pots to 45-gallon trees. He is moving from annuals to perennials, which is what his customers want. Jim has 278 employees and believes in giving them responsibilities. He has a problem with labour because so much of it is manual labour. He believes in reinvesting in people and that is his connection to the TALL program. He believes in relationships. He was very interested in knowing more about us than telling his story.

Views: 491

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers re-elect board leaders

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association have been re-elected to their positions for another one-year term. The elections were held at a board meeting following the organization’s annual general meeting in Niagara Falls this week.

News remains a negative in grain markets

The grain markets are preparing for the upcoming planting season but dealing with a “slug” of negative news, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in Des Moines. Roose said recent USDA reports have been negative, with yields and ending stocks rising, adding more available supply and not much more demand. “We’ve had such a slew of negative news, and weather in South America has turned non-threatening. It’s about how much of this is dialed in (to prices,)” Roose said. “I always tell people that this time of year, you start to look for a low. You get enough producers selling that it gets digested in the market. Funds are at a near-record on corn and a five-year high short on soybeans, so that tells you the direction we’ve been trying to push.” Argentina is projected by some outlets to have a record production year, rebounding from a tough 2022-23 season and several weeks of extreme heat this growing season. Roose said there are still unknowns as to just how well the crop recove

Western Farm Show gathers latest equipment, education

At the Western Farm Show, farmers and ranchers can not only see the latest equipment and technology, they can also talk with people about farm finance, watch a livestock handling demonstration, or attend farmer development sessions on a variety of topics. Show manager Jami Applegate says people can get information about all aspects of agriculture. “You’re going to find everything you need to successfully run a farm or ranch under one roof,” she says. This year’s show, the 62nd Western Farm Show, is Feb. 23-25 at the American Royal Complex, located at 1701 American Royal Ct. in Kansas City, Missouri. Applegate says this year’s show features over 400 exhibitors, including farm equipment, finance, seed and even land-sale businesses. Four drone companies will be at the show. She says show attendees see value in being able to talk with dealers in person and see farm machinery up close. “Once they get there, they’re going to be able to talk to the dealers who are really knowledgeable o

Agriculture groups concerned about reduction in interest-free portion of cash advance program

The recent decision to reduce the interest-free portion of the Advance Payment Program (APP) from $350,000 to $100,000 has caused concern among farmers and ranchers across Canada. The Advance Payment Program, a federal loan guarantee initiative, has provided producers with access to low-cost cash advances to manage cash flow. Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) said the drastic reduction in the interest-free portion has heightened the financial concerns and uncertainty among farmers. APAS President Ian Boxall said the implications of this decision extend far beyond financial strain and will have wide-ranging impacts on farm financial management. “It’s been three years since the APP interest-free portion was at $100,000, and interest rates have skyrocketed, grain prices have dramatically declined, and input prices have remained high,” Boxall said. “The program needs to reflect the current realities of farm and

Livestock receipts expected to push Canadian farm income higher

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) said overall Canadian farm income is expected to reach a new record for 2023. AAFC said while every farm is unique and will have experienced the last year differently, the continued growth of overall farm income shows that despite the uncertainty and volatility of the past year, the sector remains resilient. The largest driver of this expected increase is a forecasted increase in livestock receipts of almost 10 per cent, to $37.3 billion. Cattle receipts saw impressive price-driven growth that, combined with moderate growth in receipts from the supply-managed sector, more than offset an expected decline in hog receipts. Crop receipts are also forecast to have grown 4 per cent to $56.0 billion, as improved grain marketings have largely mitigated the impact of declining prices. Operating expenses are forecast to have increased only 2 per cent to $74.9 billion, well below the 20 per cent increase seen in 2022. For 2023, Net Cash Income (NCI), th

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service