Fulfillment From Farming
For Glen and Pat Fehr, farming fosters a sense of personal fulfillment that stems from providing fresh and healthy food for others.
And this year marks a milestone moment for the farming couple, who are celebrating 25 years since they launched GNP Farms in 1992.
Nestled along the U.S. border south of Plum Coulee, GNP Farms specializes in growing multiple varieties of mouthwatering table potatoes. In addition, they also keep busy growing wheat, edible beans, grain corn and occasionally canola.
“We’ve definitely increased our production in fresh potatoes over the years,” Pat says of their farm, which now spans hundreds of acres and continues to expand. “But, at the same time, we’re a very small cog in a very big wheel.”
This year, the husband-and-wife duo are growing two kinds of red potatoes called Dark Red Norland and Sangres, as well as some yellow potatoes such as Musica and Colomba.
“I like all the different types of potatoes, but if I had to pick a favourite right now, I’d pick the Norland potatoes,” Pat says. “I really like the flavour of them.”
No stranger to the farming lifestyle, Pat grew up north of Winkler where her dad and uncle grew wheat and canola. Meanwhile, Glen was raised on his family’s farm close to where he and his wife now live. He’s been working with potatoes for nearly five decades since his dad grew his first potato crop in 1968.
“Glen farmed with his dad, and when we got married, we started our own family farm,” Pat says. “It never even felt like we were making a decision. This is just a continuation of what he has always done.”
Over the past 25 years, the Fehrs have continued to find enjoyment in all the hard work that goes into running GNP Farms, which takes its name by combining the initials of both Glen and Pat.
“There’s always great satisfaction when it comes to harvest time. You get to harvest your crops and see what it yields, knowing that you’re supplying good food to the world around you. It’s very satisfying,” Pat says. “We always try to do our best — and I don’t think that sets us apart from anybody else because I think that’s what everybody wants to do. We just want to supply the best products that we possibly can.”
Peak of the Market helps to facilitate that process, and Pat is quick to acknowledge the pivotal role the non-profit organization has played in their successful operation. They have a long-standing relationship with the grower-owned vegetable supplier, since GNP Farms got its first quota allocation more than 20 years ago.
“When you’ve got someone else working out the markets for you, that’s a big help,” Pat says. “We appreciate everything that Peak of the Market does for us and for the other growers too.”
And, of course, the Fehrs value the hard work of their dedicated staff members, who remain an essential element of their farming operation.
“We would like to acknowledge the teamwork within our employee group,” Pat says. “We cannot do this on our own.”
Jennifer McFee, MyToba News