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Local farmer gains provincial spotlight

For the city girl who married into the world of agriculture, the winds of change have favoured her with a provincial agriculture award.

Local farmer Terra Weaver is one of seven recipients of the Women in Agriculture award from Agriculture Financial Services Corporation. The Alberta ag financier states that the “recipients are challenging stereotypes, breaking down barriers and improving the agriculture industry.”

Terra and her husband Ron have a mixed grain and cattle farm just north of Lloydminster. They also have sheep, chickens and bees on the farm.

Weaver was nominated in part for her volunteerism in things like the Ag Education Day at the Lloyd Ex. The annual event recently hosted some 1400 grade ones and twos for a day of fun learning about the food story. Also, her volunteer work with the 4-H club, KT and Company involving her friend Kelly Sidoryk and cultivating ideas like Harvest Feastival at the Lloyd Ex.

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The farmer who grew up in Lloydminster came to agriculture through her husband and her studies at Lakeland College.

One of her ongoing pursuits is using social media to bridge the urban-rural gap and share firsthand farm knowledge.

“The reason for that is then people can see what’s actually happening on a farm – that’s actually how beef is produced and how our food is made as well as grain and the other things that we are growing. Just to give a window into what is happening on the farm in case people are wondering how their food is produced and to give an avenue if they have a question,” says Weaver.

The Lakeland College grad studied animal health technology and worked as a veterinary technician. She jokes that growing up she had a pet hamster and that while she may have helped her aunt and uncle who had a ranch in Edam, she probably was not much of a help on the cattle drive. Still, she stuck at it and would come home from college with soiled clothes as she worked with pigs.

“The great thing about Lakeland College is that they are very hands-on. So, while I could have taken this course in Edmonton or Saskatoon – at Lakeland there’s a working farm. I got to learn about working sheep, cattle and pigs.”

She says she found the ag community very welcoming and on her social media, she wants to pay that forward as she shares with those who are curious about the world of agriculture.

One of the unavoidable questions is the price of food at the grocery. Weaver refers to the input costs including carbon tax and fertilizer, saying that ultimately farmers are price takers.

“Things like of wheat, canola or our beef if we sell it to the commodities market – we’re not able to say, “Oh by the way I’m charging you this much per pound.” The commodities market tells us what we are making. So the farmer isn’t necessarily setting that price – it probably has a little more to do with politics than it does with the farmers.”

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On the farm, lambing season is wrapping up and they are getting ready for calving.

In her over 30-plus years of family life and farming, Weaver sees an appreciation for the supportive male-female partnership and teamwork as necessary to succeed.

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