What inspires farmers and why is their job so important? Andrew Campbell explains:
Why did you want to be a farmer?
For several reasons. I wanted to be working outdoors and around livestock, as well as running my own business. Farming allowed for all of that.
What crops do you grow?
Corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa hay.
What impact do pests and disease have on your crops?
The unfortunate part of farming, is there is always a risk of some type of disease or pest trying to feast off your crop. Armyworm can be an issue in our area for our wheat crops. The insect eats the stalk of the maturing grain, leaving the plant to die before the grain is ready to harvest. Soybean aphids can come into a soybean field, sucking the juices out of the growing soybean plant. If there are too many, they can weaken the plant to the point it doesn’t reach it’s potential. For corn, when the kernel is planted in the warming spring soils, insects coming out of their winter dormancy can find it to be an incredibly convenient meal, meaning the plant doesn’t even stand a chance before it sprouts.
All of these pests have affected our crops at some point in time. We need to try to stay ahead of every wave of pest, as they can have enormous impact on the quality and amount of crop we grow.
In general, how important is it to have access to crop protection products?
Very important. We always need to stay ahead of these pests – to make sure whatever crop we are growing can have the best opportunity to reach it’s potential. That potential means more grain, that is of the highest quality – something we take very seriously.
Why is your profession important in the challenge to feed the world?
Because there are simply fewer of us to do it. I’m happy that others have chosen professions like law, accounting, politics, marketing, teaching, medicine and more – and I truly hope they are passionate about those jobs and want to be successful for themselves and others. As I farmer, I too am passionate about doing the best I can. That includes making sure our farm produces as much milk and grain as we can in a, whilst ensuring sustainability and quality. And while we’ve been successful at that for many years, we always want to be better and do better.
What inspires you about your job?
The end customer. People choose to put our products on their table, and I take that very seriously. It is why I feed my own family those products. I want to make sure that the farm is sustainable, so I can pass it down to my children in even better shape than it was passed down to me.
Andrew is a Canadian farmer from Ontario growing corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa hay.