Advertisement

Lanigan area farmers till same soil for more than a century

Lanigan area farmers till same soil for more than a century
WATCH ABOVE: In the province, 4,300 farmers have received Century Farm awards including the Wildeman family near Lanigan, Sask.

Few businesses in Saskatchewan have the distinction of being in operation for a century, but there’s an exception to the rule.

In the province, 4,300 farmers have received Century Farm awards including the Wildeman family.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan government commemorates century farmers

Maurice and Amy Wildeman farm near Lanigan. The original land title was signed to Maurice’s grandfather Tobias Wildeman in 1909.

“This is the quarter that they homesteaded,” Maurice said proudly.

“When grandpa was on the farm, his guidance system was a set of reigns attached to the horses and today with GPS, my guidance system is a satellite that’s 36,000 miles above me,” he said.

Amy and Maurice Wildeman proudly holding the official land title signed to Tobias Wildeman (Maurice’s grandfather) for the home quarter which Amy and Maurice occupy.
Amy and Maurice Wildeman proudly holding the official land title signed to Tobias Wildeman (Maurice’s grandfather) for the home quarter which Amy and Maurice occupy. Wendy Winiewski / Global News

Maurice’s great grandparent’s made the trek to Canada from Europe in 1901. Both great grandfather Carl Wildeman and his son Tobias received their official land title in the same year – making Maurice a fourth-generation farmer.

Story continues below advertisement

As a multi-generational farm, many families have been raised on the home quarter including Maurice and Amy’s two daughters.

“They learned a lot on the farm. They learned how to drive a stick with three on the floor. They still drive water trucks with three on the floor. They can both drive skid steers, and they can do fingernails and hair too,” Amy said.

READ MORE: Families honoured for farming longevity in Saskatchewan

Despite that experience, neither daughter will be taking over the operation.

“It was something that interested me, but never as a career,” Dixie Kiefer, the youngest of the two children, admitted.

In the province, 4,300 farmers have received Century Farm awards including the Wildeman family near Lanigan, Sask.
In the province, 4,300 farmers have received Century Farm awards including the Wildeman family near Lanigan, Sask. Wendy Winiewski / Global News
This abandoned farm directly across the road from the Wildeman's serves as a reminder of the past when more people made a living in Saskatchewan, as farmers.
This abandoned farm directly across the road from the Wildeman's serves as a reminder of the past when more people made a living in Saskatchewan, as farmers. Wendy Winiewski / Global News

According to Statistics Canada, 3.2 million Canadians farmed in the early 1900s. Over the next century 91 per cent left the industry, with just 300,000 people still working the land today.

Although fewer people are tending more land, 97 per cent of Canadian farms are still family owned and operated.

“My daughter who is seven says she wants to live here when she grows up so I can only … if that’s right for her that would make me so joyful,” Kiefer said.

While the abandoned farm across the road may have seen its better days, the Wildeman farm may continue receiving fresh coats of red paint for years to come.

Story continues below advertisement