Located five miles southeast of Winnipegosis, Winn Man Farms is structured to stay in the Beyak family for generations to come.
"They don’t make more land … so you have to work with what you’ve got and make it a little more profitable," Jeff Beyak said, adding they’ve implemented a number of measures to ensure its longevity.
Cattle are rotated across their acreage to make the most of their organic fertilizer, they try to limit the number of waterways they cut into the land and "try to keep things as natural as we can."
They also grow cover crops and strive to employ as proactive a crop rotation as their operations allow.
"When you start it, nobody plans to run it for a couple of years and have a Ritchie Bros. auction and get out of it," Jeff said. "You kind of want to see it prosper for years and see the things you’ve built up over the years."
The farm was founded by Mike and Audrey Beyak in 1973.
Although Mike is still active on the farm, albeit to a lessened degree, it’s largely run by the couple’s two boys, Jeff and Kevin, and their respective wives, Ashley and Sherry.
Jeff and Ashley have three kids — Kassi, Rigg and Kruz — aged four to eight, while Kevin and Sherry have two boys, Tyson and Bryce, who recently graduated.
"They’re a big help on the farm, so now they’re full-time as well; they’ve come out of school and have been brought into the corporations," Jeff said, adding he and his brother also hit the ground running at the farm upon graduating from high school.
"By the time we graduated from school, we’d built up a fairly decent herd of cattle ourselves, and we just liked the passion of doing it," he said. "We enjoyed the way of life, and enjoyed the … challenge of farming."
It’s not always easy, he said, adding it’d be nice if a lot of the risk were taken out of it.
"You have to rely on world markets so much, and the weather," he said. "I’ve always joked, why doesn’t a guy pick a profession where you don’t have to rely on the weather 100 per cent?"
Even so, it’s a lifestyle he said suits him, and one he’s proud to see the next generation of the Beyak family adopt.
"I hope to see it continue on, and hopefully the kids can learn from us and pull some ideas from different styles across the world," he said, adding their operations have taken on various forms over the years but now focus mainly on commercial stock cattle.
"I just hope it continues on and continues going."
Looking at land prices and how the agricultural industry is headed, he said there are likely to be fewer agricultural families in the future, which he said is a shame given how rewarding he’s found the industry to be.
This, he said, lends further credence to the importance of retaining Winn Man Farms for his and his brother’s children.
The farm was named one of six included in this year’s 2021 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair Farm Family Awards, which Jeff said has been a great honour.
"To be recognized for the work you do is pretty humbling, really, as far as just being recognized for the effort you put into the land for sure."
See next week’s Westman This Week for the fourth part in this ongoing series on the 2021 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair Farm Family Awards.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB