b'GROWER SPOTLIGHT |SUPPORTED BY: Moving the Family FarmAndrew Cummings has been growing potatoes his whole life, but he isnt farming the same land his parents did. BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONFOR DECADES, fifth-generation farmer Andrew Cummings family had worked the land on their family farm near Johnville, N.B. Andrew had started farming himself when he was young and over the years had dreamed of expanding the farm, but land wasnt available in the areain 2016, that changed.I had an opportunity to buy another farm. Its almost 40 miles away from where I grew up. I ended up selling my home farm and moving, Andrew says in a phone interview.He had been running late to a grower meeting for McCain Foods when he got talking to another grower who was also running late. The man mentioned he was looking to retire, one thing led to another, and a few nights later the two met. A plan was quickly made for Andrew to buy the retiring growers farm in Bloomfield, N.B.That wasnt the only farm Andrew bought. He also bought a neighbouring farm, and in the end, was able to double his potato acreage and triple his contract volume with McCain Foods. Some changes had to be made though. On his old farm he had raised beef cattle, but the new farms didnt have the infrastructure(L-R) James, Andrew and Evan Cummings stand around a potato conveyor at their farm in Bloomfield, N.B.PHOTO: DALE CUMMINGSfor livestock, so the cows were sold.Ive moved to an area with better- or Innovators or something else thatsummers on the farm, while his wife Dale quality topsoil than I had where I grew(McCain) wants us to try, we buy thathas a job off the farm but does the farms up. The ground is better, and I do have ausually from them, he adds. bookwork also. His daughter Claire, whos neighbour here that is a large dairy farmer.His father James was the one whoin high school, helps during planting and I swap ground with them, he explains. started growing seed on the farm. Atharvest on the farm. They hire four to Andrew now plants 450 to 500 acres ofthe time, Andrew had just joined thefive seasonal workers during the growing dryland potatoes annually with rotationfarm full time and James saw there wasseason, with 15 hired for harvest.crops of soybeans, wheat and hay. Heopportunity for them to expand theirDuring the winters when field work mainly plants processing potatoes forproduction into seed growing.slows, they cut wood for a softwood McCain Foods, but also grows his ownOther people were doing it at the timelumber mill.Russet Burbank seed. and he kind of picked up on it, and he feltWe also have a lot of wood, its not a We grow between two and threeI was eager enough to grow potatoes tobig business for us but weve always cut different varieties depending on theget started, Andrew says. a little bit of wood every winter, Andrew yearthe Russet Burbank being likeAndrews father is retired, but still helpsadds. Were not a producer or anything, 85 per cent of what we grow. So, weon the farm at times. His son Evan attendsjust gives us something to do to keep a grow that seed but if we grow Shepodysthe University of New Brunswick workingcouple of us busy. 64SPUDSMART.COM Spring 2022'