b'SEED GROWERAn aerial photo of Wagners Seed Farm near Lacombe, Alta. PHOTO: TERRY WAGNERPlanning for the FutureAs Terry Wagner nears retirement from four decades spent growing seed, he is sharing his knowledge with a new generation.FOR TERRY WAGNER, seed growing was a way to have aThe farm currently has 1,000 acres with wheat, barley, canola, second job on his farm without ever having to leave the farm. oats and peas grown on it. When Wagner started farming, he During the 1970s Wagner found himself working off the farmworked closely with his father who let him use equipment until to keep the farm afloat. As the 1980s hit he was struggling toWagner could afford to buy his ownbecoming independent sell his grain. Strikes at the ports on the West Coast were leavingas a farmer later on. Prairie elevators full and not buying, so Wagner started lookingWagner used to have a small finish hog operation and 70 head at becoming a seed grower. of cattle, but over the years as he neared retirement, he sold off We had land payments that had come up and we werethe livestock and downsized to focus on the pedigreed seed struggling to get rid of our product, Wagner explains in abusiness. Before the pedigreed seed business, Wagner worked phone interview. I started selling seed, deciding that I neededas such jobs as at the municipal seed cleaning plant and doing another alternative to shipment to the elevators. construction work. In 1981, Wagner officially became a seed grower and WagnersOver the years, Wagners family has helped on the farm. Seed Farm was born. For the last four decades he has spentHis wife Loree has worked at jobs off the farm, but she is a countless hours in the field caring for his seed crops, and thenregistered select seed grower herself and helps Wagner around winters cleaning the seed at his on-farm seed cleaning plant. Asthe yard. His daughters, Kathy and twins, Janice and Janelle, he nears his 40th year as a seed grower he is preparing to retire,helped out on the farm growing up, but have now moved away but not before helping out a young seed grower in the area. and have their own careers away from the farm.We didnt push them to try and come back to the farm or Starting the Farm anything, they pick their career and away they went, Wagner Wagner grew up on his family farm next to his current farmsays. As I can I keep farming, you never know somebody might near Lacombe, Alta. Growing up on the farm he worked withdecide to get out of the city and move out here.his family on it. After high school he attended Olds College for agriculture mechanics. While there the neighbour from hisBecoming a Name in the Seed Businessfamily farm reached out to him, he was selling his farm andWhen AC Morgan oats were first released in 1999, SeCan wanted to know if Wagner was interested in buying it. reached out to Wagner as their first seed grower to grow them. In 1972, a long time ago this farm came available, a half sectionMorgan oats were developed at the Agriculture and Agri-here and I bought it when I was 18, Wagner says. Once I finishedFood Canadas (AAFC) Lacombe research station not far from at Olds College, I pulled right in I think in 78 we boughtWagners farm.another quarter and 1980 we bought another adjoining quarter. We had seven acres in I think, and they went 196 bushels to 14seed.ab.ca'