b'GROWER SPOTLIGHT | SUPPORTED BY: (L-R) Casey, Brent, Max and Leo Bydevaate in one of their potato storages on their family farm Bydevaate Farms JV in Vauxhall, Alta. PHOTO: ANNALISA BYDEVAATERunning the Family FarmBrent Bydevaate has taken over the family potato farm and is now running it himself. BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONGROWING UP BRENT BYDEVAATEcontinued working as a farmhand.where everyone had their own company always knew what he wanted to do In the mid 1970s he bought his first farmand brought their assets to the joint farm. He grew up working on the familyin Grassy Lake, Alta. where he startedventure company, which then became farm, Bydevaate Produce in Taber, Alta.,farming potatoes. In the mid-1980s hea two-person venture after Joel passed with his father Casey and brother Joel. moved to Taber, Alta., the family ownedaway. At the start Casey brought most of I fell in love with the lifestyle and thethe Tabor farm until 2020. They hadthe assets to the company, but as the years livelihood. I like the challenge of beingmoved to Vauxhall, Alta. about 20 yearshave passed Brent has bought most of your own boss and directing your energyago as there were more opportunities forthe new equipment and land. The joint wherever needed to improve the operationgrowing potatoes if they were locatedventure allows them to be flexible and at any given time. It was something I knewcloser to processors. adjust annually. I wanted to do as a young child, Brent saysBydevaate Farms JV now grows 800Casey has slowly eased his way into in a phone interview. acres of processing potatoes for McCainretirement as Brent has taken over full His parents Casey and Jane encouragedFoods, Cavendish Farms and Lambfarming operations. With Brent farming him to look beyond the farm after highWeston, 450 acres of seed canola and athe land now, hes paid management fees school. He could return if he chose to,mix of other grain crops, all on irrigatedfor working Caseys land. However, his but they wanted him to have off-farmland. In 2012, Brent returned to work onfather isnt completely out of the game and experience just in case things didnt workthe family farm. Brent, Casey and Joelis still interested in whats happening on out on the farm. Brent got his license forstarted the farm transition process, sadlythe farm. heavy duty mechanics and worked at anthough Joel later passed away in a farmingHes very passionate about farming. agriculture dealership long enough to getaccident.So, hes still really likes to see whats going his trade ticket before returning to theIt was very important (to Casey) toon, he always comes by to visit, he gets family farm. have his children that were going to takeparts. Hes a very good advisor for me Bydevaate Produce was founded byover the farm, be experienced runningtoo, Brent adds.Casey who immigrated to Canada fromthe operation early. He had seen farmsBrent is married to Annalisa and Holland in the 1970s. He had been rentingwhere the parents would not give uphas two kids with another on the way. land in Holland and wanted the chancecontrol early enough, Brent explains. HeAnnalisa does the bookkeeping on the to own his own farm, so he moved towanted us to be very much in say of whatfarm and helps with food safety work. Canada. When he first arrived, he workedwas going on with the business and whyWith two kids and another on the way, on a potato farm in the Alliston, Ont. areawe were doing things at a very early age. it already has Brent thinking of the farm before moving out to Alberta where heThe three farmed in a joint venturetransition to the next generation.68SPUDSMART.COM Winter 2022'