Life Long Learning in 2006
Last month I had the pleasure of speaking to the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters who have a fabulous website at www.acchi.com. I met folks who are professionals who harvest a variety of crops on a contract basis for other farmers throughout the North American grain belt. Many of these farmers have their own fields in Canada, but travel to the tip of the states and work their way north with a well-tuned crew.
Are you 20 and looking for work? Are you 50 and wanting to use your farming expertise?
ACCHI offers a 7-week custom harvesting training course in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.
They also have some out-of-province participants. Last year a fellow from New England joined the training crew, and this year a fellow from Ireland is likely coming!
Once you are certified, you are practically guaranteed a job on the crew of a custom harvester. You might like to know that your cost of living issues will be taken care of, and “you’ll be so busy you won’t have a chance to spend much of your hard-earned cash” according to Grant Payant, a custom harvester who hires young adults for his crew. Payant says ” that the “oil patch” is competing for labor, but when you figure out your cash-flow, you are actually financially ahead to be working in the air-conditioned combine, not with the oil rigs.”
Many of the ACCHI members will pre-hire the folks who take the custom harvesting certification course. So if you have a 1A learners license, a medical certificate, can cross the Canadian/US border, and have a clean driving abstract…think about signing on.
You call 306-642-7218 to talk to Sheri-Lynn BeBeau as the course starts March 6, 2006 and runs for 7 weeks. If you are on Employment Insurance this winter you may be able to get funding for tuition, books, and a living allowance while attending the program. Check out www.acchi.com/certificate.htm.
Last November I presented my first webinar from my farm computer. Ninety-five folks from across Canada logged on their home computers to see the video and powerpoint presentation…learning at home! This concept used by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council (www.farmcentre.com) is now being using by OATI, the Ontario Agriculture Training Institute. You can sign up to be part of their web classroom, and learn on your home computer this winter, without having to brave prairie storms and icy roads.
I’m signed up for their farm succession planning course which is taught by Peter Coughler. Web based learning allows you to read the presentations on your screen, and then join an on-line group at pre-assigned times. This succession course starts in late February and occurs one night per week over four weeks. OATI is also offering commodity marketing, and managing for high performance (human resources issues).
Call Lee Davis at 1-866-618-0694, extension 222 to register (firstname.lastname@example.org).
January is typically the month that people set new goals or put deadlines on their dreams.
Life-long learning is a ticket to new opportunity, and possibly more income.
What’s your excuse for not learning something new this year?
Elaine Froese coaches farm family businesses through transition. Elaine drives a red combine on her family’s seed farm near Boissevain, Manitoba. She is part of the Expert Speaker’s series of www.farmcentre.com.