The source of information for western Canadian farmers for the past 89 years has been the weekly farm paper, The Western Producer. Every now and then, our farmer friend, Louis, passes his copy of the paper on to us when he finishes with it. Often there’s a specific article that he wants us to read, usually related to some topic that has come up when we’ve been working for him. Occasionally, however, he simply tells me “I think there’s something in this one that you’ll enjoy.” He knows me well and he’s usually right. Most of the time, I can figure out which article he’s referring to but this time I’m not quite sure. The latest issue has several possibilities but if he thought that the one entitled Immigrant farmer takes long way to farm would catch my fancy, he was absolutely right! It might be the gypsy in me but the story of Eduard Bomers has definitely captivated me.
Several years ago, Bomers, a Dutch dairy farmer, decided that he wanted to leave that profession and try his hand at grain farming. Dairy farming is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year commitment. He wanted more out of life than that and so began the transition. He put his dairy farm in the Netherlands up for sale and set his sights on buying land on the Canadian prairie. He visited Alberta in 2008 then spent last year working on a Saskatchewan grain farm to gain experience. Last month, he took possession of his new farm near Sheho in southeastern Saskatchewan.
A century ago, western Canada was populated by European farmers looking for new beginnings. What makes this one any different? The adventure of a lifetime, that’s what!
Last month Bomers returned to his home at Eesveen in the Netherlands, packed his household belongings into a trailer, hitched it to his Fendt 936 tractor and set off for the port city of Antwerp, Belgium a long day’s journey away. There the tractor and trailer were loaded onto a ship destined for Halifax, Nova Scotia. After some delay, the ship docked in Halifax the day before yesterday. In the meantime, Eduard had flown back to Saskatchewan and driven his pick-up truck over 4000 km to Halifax picking up his friend, Jakob, on the way.
Early yesterday afternoon, the tractor and trailer were released from customs and an amazing cross Canada trek began! Yes, while Jakob drives the pick-up back to Saskatchewan, Eduard will make the trip behind the wheel of his Fendt tractor! What an audacious undertaking! Some might think he’s crazy but I think the world needs a few more people like Eduard Bomers! Why not join me as I follow the Boer on Toer here!