Featured Grower

Meet Steve Wikkerink!

Hi, my name is Steve Wikkerink, I farm with my wife Sonja and we operate as S4 Over Bar Farms.  We have been farming north of Bow island since 1998.  I am also part of Wikkerink Farms which my two brothers and I operate.
What crops do you grow? 
We grow sugar beets, 5 varieties of dry beans, some hay, as well as some spring wheat and durum.  We sold out of cattle about 10 years ago.
Why do you grow sugar beets? 
I grow sugar beets because my dad did, so it was a natural fit for me to continue that.  It is also a good rotational crop for our farm.  It has proven to be a long-term stable crop.  When we still had cattle, we would save the beet tops for them.  Growing sugar beets also opens up the seeding and harvest windows.
Why did you choose farming as your career? 
I grew up with it and got used to the lifestyle.  There is a lot of freedom in being your own boss.  What you put in is what you get out.  I was off the farm for 9 years and did some different jobs but ultimately decided to come back to the farm.
How many generations has your family been involved in agriculture? 
In Canada we are in the second generation.  My sons are going to become the third generation.  Farming has always been in our family, though starting in Holland.
What do you think is the coolest/most interesting thing about farming?  
It is very interesting that you start with a bare field and you put seeds in the ground and then all spring/summer you watch it grow into something.  I also really like the night sky views and lightning storms, they aren’t as good in the city.  It is also really cool that you are growing a food that is an essential that people need.
I think that the sugar industry stays strong because of all the grower’s commitments and investments in it and in the European equipment. I would like to see the industry continue, as well as continue to be successful.

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Alberta Sugar Beet Growers

5220 – 50th Ave, Taber, AB
P.O. Box 4944, T1G 2E1
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