Leduc family – Wanna Make It Farm
By Lilian Schaer
When Alain Leduc first started his farming career, he let his farm name express his dream: “Wanna Make It Farm”.
That was almost 30 years ago.
Times were tough in the farming sector then, and some farmers were having a hard time making ends meet.
And although Alain and his wife Sue both grew up on family farms, they started their own farming business from scratch.
As they worked to build their farm, Sue worked full time as a nurse and Alain worked in a local agri-business for 17 years.
Today, that first 150 acre farm has grown into a diversified farming business with several thousand acres of crop land, where the Leducs grow conventional and food grade soybeans, wheat, corn, dry beans and peas.
They also run a seed dealership, a commercial grain drying facility, and a trucking division, as well as offering grain marketing services to other farmers in the area.
“Everything you see here is basically a dream for me. We started with nothing and it wasn’t easy,” says Alain.
Another part of the Leduc farming business is a land improvement service, which means taking land that is no longer being farmed and bringing it back into production. This includes clearing brush, removing fence rows and rocks, and installing drainage.
“Everything we do generates an income, but that has allowed us to grow our business and add new facilities,” says Alain. “We are always looking at new things to add value and generate a profit, but not everything you touch makes you money.”
And although business diversification is a big focus for the Leducs, the family also puts a strong emphasis on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
They use minimum and no-till practices, which means working the soil as little as possible or not at all in between crops, to prevent soil erosion and plant cover crops to help improve soil structure and return nutrients to the ground.
All their farms have tile drainage, which removes excess surface water from the fields, and allows the plants’ root systems to get a better hold and pull nutrients out of the soil.
They’ve also done soil analysis on all of their fields, and mapped their farms using GPS technology. This allows them to apply exactly the amount and type of fertilizer that the soil and crops need to flourish.
“There’s a lot to ag, it’s not as straight-forward as before,” says Alain, adding that they make a point of going to conferences and education events to stay current with new practices and technologies.
Ten employees work alongside the Leducs and their two grown children Erin and Patrick, who both work in the family business in addition to farming their own land.
Patrick is responsible for helping Alain manage the farm’s day to day tasks, while Erin manages grain merchandising, logistics and sales, and Sue, now retired from nursing, handles the farm’s books.
“It’s a dream to have both my daughter and son working in the business,” says Alain.
Wanna Make It Farm has definitely made it.