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Daily Life, As Life Goes On

Back in the 1970’s my mother-in-law, from Toronto, came out in April and “oohed and aahed” over the marvellous crops. We had to tell her they were weeds. When the wind blew she inquired how far Banff was from Kindersley.

My father, who took over the family farm his father had homesteaded in 1909, always wished they had the mineral rights for the farm. Some figure that was the land agents fault. I’ve spoken since with those who work with oil companies seeking out land rental agreements – living with the results of those decisions.

Both businesses are increasingly complex. This year I sat in on two thoughtful meetings about those industries.

The first was the Ag/Oil Forum on February 6th.

I realized in a new way the great ideological battle that is being fought in our country. A federal government is seeking alternative energy sources – an oil and gas industry wants their oil and gas to be as much a part of those energy sources as wind and sun! Disputing climate change has become a matter of each side proclaiming their experts correct based on their evidence and their coherent arguments.

Will oil and gas triumph? Not with the current federal government. Delivery has been restricted, global trends have been negative, and there is a decided downturn in the economy of oil and gas without the expectation of effective subsidies.

Next was the AG Outlook meeting on March 13th.

Canola was just being shut out of China – at least Richardson’s marketed canola. Now that ban has been expanded (a bit of politics may be present). Soybeans markets are volatile, along with many others. The further advancement of mechanization/ digitization of farms continues to come with a cost. These are not the farms of my father – who was a large farmer in the 1950’s with three sections of land owned or rented. Most farms are now incorporated and run on a highly sophisticated business model.

What Next?

Next is March 27th. I will present a research paper at Ambrose University in Calgary on the Rural Church. Once again, the landscape is changing. Depopulation of our countryside means the thriving rural church is now bracing for extinction. Societal changes have played against religious values and traditions. The rural church is reeling.

As I completed my paper, with all these and other thoughts swirling in my head, I wondered – How then shall we live?

What we are missing in a highly charged political, economic, religious and social era is a respect for others. We need to deliberate together on questions of concern – rather than yelling at each other. And maybe we need to give our heads a shake and remind ourselves that we are all created with dignity, equal before God and before each other.

For more, visit KindersleySocial.ca/Ron-Baker

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Ron Baker
Ron Baker is a recently retired (2005) member of the Kindersley community. His roots run deep – his grandfather homesteaded just outside Kindersley in the early 1900's. Ron was born in the old Kindersley Hospital, has made his home in various other communities over the years, but keeps coming back. Committed to the community, Ron has found his local involvement has proved to be great fodder for some hilarious tales and tragic events. His experience in administration and working with people, along with his love for a good story, ought to help to bring daily life to life! Ron blogs at ronbaker.ca, and is pleased to be a part of the writing “crew” at Kindersley Social.