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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Read a comment this morning "small time farmers are the backbone of this country, big time farmers are like the kidneys- they help out but we can afford to loose one"
In the spirit of a good argument what are your thoughts, and what makes a "bto" is it area specific, size specific, or just an idividuals mind set?
My thought is I don't care how big you are but if you aren't out giving your time and at least a small part of your profits back to your community be it youth groups, co-op groups, sports organizations, schools, churches, local government, hospitals, retirement homes, etc. you really aren't very valuable at all to the community and could easily afford to be lost. I might stop short of calling you a cancer but kidney might be a bit nice.
 

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Read a comment this morning "small time farmers are the backbone of this country, big time farmers are like the kidneys- they help out but we can afford to loose one"
In the spirit of a good argument what are your thoughts, and what makes a "bto" is it area specific, size specific, or just an idividuals mind set?
My thought is I don't care how big you are but if you aren't out giving your time and at least a small part of your profits back to your community be it youth groups, co-op groups, sports organizations, schools, churches, local government, hospitals, retirement homes, etc. you really aren't very valuable at all to the community and could easily afford to be lost. I might stop short of calling you a cancer but kidney might be a bit nice.
We farm a fair bit 16,000 ac but 3 of us owners(brothers) we have 3 full time hired men with families livin in community, we active in various organizations, schools, churches...we try farm more intensely with overall more field operations, with hopefully higher yields and net profits....really wondered in the 90's what communities would look like as land was used at its optimum production...thinking more wealth generated per region would correlate to more re-investment ...oil has expanded dramatically here, but most land tday is hittin the high or max yield mark...school enrollment is on the rise, most acreages have new homes moving back into treed yards and new acreages or new farms being established...no question lotsa 1000 to 1500 ac operators gone, but don't think that's a very busy business anyhow, we competed and were successful 2 yrs ago on land purchase...no local bidders here in Sask....only us and Ontario and BC....we didn't want see land ownership in r back yard go abroad, ultimately it a great business fit for us but a close to irrational value to participate...time will tell, we in our last 1/2 of our business cycle
 

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Great response!

SE sask toiler has hit the nail on the head!:)

Farmers of all sizes who are not using their resources to potential are robbing the communities around them of economic activity. I would argue that this is not specific to farm size but may be more related to other factors. Since stereotyping is not helpful to anyone I will just leave it at that...;)
 

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Good thread idea!

It takes all kinds but farm size has no effect on community sprit, if a smaller farmer rents/sell out and was a community supporter and moves to the local town he'll still be a community supporter.
If the farmer that rents/buys the land and wasn't a supporter before he still won't be.
This is easier to say when Three Hills has become a retirement town but in other communities people that move away may move right to a bigger city and then you start your population erosion and corresponding service deterioration takes place.:(
 

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I have a theory on this and i feel hutterite colonies are going to lead to the end of rural canada. Say what you will about btos but they provide employment for local families. Local families that shop local use community rink and so on. Our local hutterite colonies contribute very little if anything to local economy outside of agriculture. They dont use the local store, rink, school the list goes on. Once land gets bought up by colonies alot of unseen benifits are gone with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The small things make such a huge difference to the community for example every farmer has a few fuel tanks, oil barrels, bolt bins, hardware stockpile, fencing supplies, vet supplies, a full line of machinery needing regular service and the list goes on and on. Most of this is typically serviced, sold, or supplied by a local, it's simple math less farms equals less supplies, equipment and service done be it locally or not.
I'm a well above average size farm carrying large debt from recent equipment and land purchases, I only say that to add merit to my next statement. Although I do make an attempt to shop local, I find myself in time constraints that make it hard to do, the same time constraints that make it hard for me to volunteer more of my time than I do. Although I am financially secure I carry enough debt that I am forced to be at work making interest payments when my time really would be better appreciated spent elsewhere. The community although I hope I'm missed would survive without me allot better than it would loosing any of whats left of the so called small guys who have time to be everyones friend, help out, volunteer time and resources, and are financially secure enough to do it year in and year out good times and bad.
BTO or STO people will remember us for who we were and what we did, good or bad. Economy of scale can be a double edge sword.
 

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BTO or STO I don't think makes a difference in community. I live and farm very close to Winnipeg, MB and my local town has grown into a bedroom town, sleep here and work and play in Winnipeg. So I don't think it's only a farmer problem...it's what people who live in the community do or don't do for the community that's the problem.
For example in my community why would you go out of your way to make the local community club successful when it takes only 15 minutes to drive to Wpg (35 min to get downtown) for all the entertainment in the world. My brother in law lives 3.5 hrs from here and over an hr from Brandon and I think there is much better community spirit than anywhere close to me, there are lots of times I envy him for that.

My wife has never had a paid off farm job, it was her wish to stay at home, raise the kids and volunteer in the community. So it doesn't matter how big or how small your farm is, it matters what you want from your community. We farm 7200 ac with my brother in law. Employ 2 full time year round guys. My brother in law also has a chem retail outlet, so we are quite busy but still try to make room fro community...but we could always do more.
 

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I have a theory on this and i feel hutterite colonies are going to lead to the end of rural canada. Say what you will about btos but they provide employment for local families. Local families that shop local use community rink and so on. Our local hutterite colonies contribute very little if anything to local economy outside of agriculture. They dont use the local store, rink, school the list goes on. Once land gets bought up by colonies alot of unseen benifits are gone with it.
I agree with this 100%. Colonies are killing rural economies. Colonies are not supporting local economies outside ag purchases whatsoever.
 

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I think a bigger concern should be all the investor owned land. None of the rent gets spent locally it just gets shipped to the big city or outside the country. At least a colony is still canadian owned and there spending locally
 

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I have a theory on this and i feel hutterite colonies are going to lead to the end of rural canada. Say what you will about btos but they provide employment for local families. Local families that shop local use community rink and so on. Our local hutterite colonies contribute very little if anything to local economy outside of agriculture. They dont use the local store, rink, school the list goes on. Once land gets bought up by colonies alot of unseen benifits are gone with it.
I'm not sure how it works in Canada but here in the US it doesn't matter if you send your kids to school or not we still pay for them through our property taxes.

We personally don't send our kids to public school for the following reasons:
1. Their standards are substandard, the curriculum is at least 3 years behind.
2. I want my kids to get an education so that they will be productive when they reach adulthood. That means they need to know how to read, write, and do arithmetic WELL. That doesn't mean they need to learn "alternative lifestyles", "Cultural diversity", "Social justice, or "PC Psychology". All basically underwater basket weaving classes IMO.
3. Want them to be able to carry on a conversation with a group of adults and look them in the eye without having to be around their "friends" to relate.

Anyway other than supporting the school system I agree. A person needs to be a presence in their community, support the shops and stores locally. Unfortunately the fact of life is that as the farms get bigger and more people move to the bigger cities there are just less and less going on. Sad to see these little towns dieing. My little town used to have several car dealerships, several implement dealers and 3 grocery stores. Now there are zero dealerships and one grocery store left. :(:(
 

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csfi, our school system in Canada is the same. My parents often ranted about thousands per year to support the school system and then paying for all the supplies to teach me at home.
I'm in the same boat, high property taxes, plus thousands a year for the program my kids are in. I feel good about the education that they are getting though. I also feel good about the one that they aren't, to me that's whats important.
 

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I'm not sure how it works in Canada but here in the US it doesn't matter if you send your kids to school or not we still pay for them through our property taxes.

We personally don't send our kids to public school for the following reasons:
1. Their standards are substandard, the curriculum is at least 3 years behind.
2. I want my kids to get an education so that they will be productive when they reach adulthood. That means they need to know how to read, write, and do arithmetic WELL. That doesn't mean they need to learn "alternative lifestyles", "Cultural diversity", "Social justice, or "PC Psychology". All basically underwater basket weaving classes IMO.
3. Want them to be able to carry on a conversation with a group of adults and look them in the eye without having to be around their "friends" to relate.

Anyway other than supporting the school system I agree. A person needs to be a presence in their community, support the shops and stores locally. Unfortunately the fact of life is that as the farms get bigger and more people move to the bigger cities there are just less and less going on. Sad to see these little towns dieing. My little town used to have several car dealerships, several implement dealers and 3 grocery stores. Now there are zero dealerships and one grocery store left. :(:(
The public school system is a joke. Saying that they are 3 years behind is giving them credit that they in no way deserve. I am 36 years old, graduated high school in 1997. Our history classes were so ridiculously bad that we learned nothing of the Vietnam war. I took it upon myself to learn the rest of American history from WW2 to present day. It is sad, but it gets worse. My wife is 10 years younger than me. Learned nothing about WW1, let alone WW2. Your tax dollars at work. Enjoy your "outcome based education" and wonder why 30 year olds are still living with mommy and daddy. There needs to be a major overhaul with the education system, starting with the removal of government control form it.
 

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I have a theory on this and i feel hutterite colonies are going to lead to the end of rural canada. Say what you will about btos but they provide employment for local families. Local families that shop local use community rink and so on. Our local hutterite colonies contribute very little if anything to local economy outside of agriculture. They dont use the local store, rink, school the list goes on. Once land gets bought up by colonies alot of unseen benifits are gone with it.
I agree with this 100%. Colonies are killing rural economies. Colonies are not supporting local economies outside ag purchases whatsoever.
I must ask the question, since the Hutterites presumably aren't on here to defend themselves....: Do your Hutterite neighbors go to the doctor/dentist/optometrist? Do they give blood regularly? Do they participate in the local farmer's market? Do they shop at the local shoe store? Do they come help when there is a fire? Do they employ local people at their school? etc. etc. etc. Because my Hutterite neighbors sure do!:)

As you already mentioned they do account for lots of ag purchases which is basically all there is in a small rural town unless you have a tourist/oil or value-added industry of some sort. So in that regard they are pretty much involved as much as many other people would be.

I think you guys are way off base blaming Hutterite colonies for the erosion of small towns IMO. Truth be told they kind of are their own small town.;)
 

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I must ask the question, since the Hutterites presumably aren't on here to defend themselves....: Do your Hutterite neighbors go to the doctor/dentist/optometrist? Do they give blood regularly? Do they participate in the local farmer's market? Do they shop at the local shoe store? Do they come help when there is a fire? Do they employ local people at their school? etc. etc. etc. Because my Hutterite neighbors sure do!:)

As you already mentioned they do account for lots of ag purchases which is basically all there is in a small rural town unless you have a tourist/oil or value-added industry of some sort. So in that regard they are pretty much involved as much as many other people would be.

I think you guys are way off base blaming Hutterite colonies for the erosion of small towns IMO. Truth be told they kind of are their own small town.;)
I'll play devil's advocate. Do the colonies allow their sons and daughters to leave and become doctors, dentists, and optometrists and come back home to keep the hospitals and other services alive?
 

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I'll play devil's advocate. Do the colonies allow their sons and daughters to leave and become doctors, dentists, and optometrists and come back home to keep the hospitals and other services alive?
Although many different colonies offer a broad range of services(many are actively involved in value added businesses around here) those are typically done through the colony. The fact that they aren't leaving the colony to become part of our wonderful government-run medical system really should come as no surprise to anyone. They do, however, pay taxes for their services. Some will argue the tax codes aren't completely fair but who made the rules? And although I have read it I don't completely understand tax-law...

I am not completely comfortable with this discussion right now but do feel that we are starting to split hairs at this point.;)
 

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I must ask the question, since the Hutterites presumably aren't on here to defend themselves....: Do your Hutterite neighbors go to the doctor/dentist/optometrist? Do they give blood regularly? Do they participate in the local farmer's market? Do they shop at the local shoe store? Do they come help when there is a fire? Do they employ local people at their school? etc. etc. etc. Because my Hutterite neighbors sure do!:)

As you already mentioned they do account for lots of ag purchases which is basically all there is in a small rural town unless you have a tourist/oil or value-added industry of some sort. So in that regard they are pretty much involved as much as many other people would be.

I think you guys are way off base blaming Hutterite colonies for the erosion of small towns IMO. Truth be told they kind of are their own small town.;)
Yes they can be good neighbors and participate and support all the things you have pointed out. Not questioning that. But simply look at an economic point of view regarding supporting rural communities, and keeping rural communities thriving economically.

The colonies simply do not pump as much money back into local retail that the many farms that they have displaced would have. Their farms do not purchase or support consumer items or luxury items that other farmers and families would purchase. Its really that simple. How many times have you seen a Hutterite mom buying the latest set of bling jeans for her daughter to keep up with the cool kids at school? New skates for their son in local hockey? How about a new flat screen for the man cave? Orthodontic work for their kids (as mentioned in a previous thread)? Its date night with the wife tonight, we better get to town early so we can beat all the Hutterites at the local restaurant taking up all the good tables, oh and eat quick and beat the rush of Hutterites going out to a movie.............Being a smart ass here, but I know my farm pays for all these things from revenue generated on my farm.

You could question the obvious as to where farmers make there consumer purchases? In small town, or the big city Wallmart? Not the point I'm trying to make here. Money generated from the colonies goes back into the colony to grow and eventually buy out more farmers. They have a lower labour cost than I could ever have. Don't think I could ever compete with their cost per acre spreadsheets. They are efficient and very good at what they do.

Not here to attack them at all, they are good Neighbours and help out the community whenever they can. Just looking at how much money recycles back into the community from the colonies, you cannot deny that it is less than the farmers that they displaced. :cool:
 

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For arguments sake.

Their farms do not purchase or support consumer items or luxury items that other farmers and families would purchase. Its really that simple. How many times have you seen a Hutterite mom buying the latest set of bling jeans for her daughter to keep up with the cool kids at school? New skates for their son in local hockey? How about a new flat screen for the man cave? Orthodontic work for their kids (as mentioned in a previous thread)? Its date night with the wife tonight, we better get to town early so we can beat all the Hutterites at the local restaurant taking up all the good tables, oh and eat quick and beat the rush of Hutterites going out to a movie.............Being a smart ass here, but I know my farm pays for all these things from revenue generated on my farm.
Well consider me guilty then too because most of my $$$ gets re-invested in the farm. I think we sort of dis-agree on how real wealth is created in this world. You can't spend your way to success and ultimately somehow someone has to actually build wealth through growing or building something. Hutterites for the most part can't be faulted for being lazy!

If I may ask how has the value of the land you own been affected by the Hutterites competing and raising land values? And has this increase in your net worth affected your ability to spend on luxury items? Things are not as simple as they seem...
 
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