By Lacey McCrae
Meet Raoul Drost, a second generation Canadian farmer. Born in Holland, Raoul’s family moved to Canada in December of 1989 and began farming near Lacombe. A couple years ago, they expanded and started a farm near Rolling Hills, AB. This is the farm that Raoul now manages. Raoul loves farming for many reasons, but one of the big ones he noted is that there is never a dull moment.
At the farm near Rolling Hills, they grow Hard Red Spring Wheat, Canola, Peas, and Seed Potatoes. Raoul often has as many as fifteen staff that harvest, clean, and sort the potatoes. It is a five year process, starting first with tubers bought from a green house, and finally in the fifth year shipping seed potatoes across the country. They ship their seed potatoes across the western provinces, out to PEI and New Brunswick, and all the way down to Idaho, Oregon, and California. They grow up to fifteen different varieties, and the quality is held at a very high standard. Every load that is shipped across borders is inspected closely for disease and variety mixes.
Raoul went to Olds College and took the Agriculture Production Management Program and majored in Forage and Crop. He followed that education up with multiple business courses along the way. At 32 years of age, Raoul is optimistic about the future of agriculture. “The opportunities are there. There are so many ways we can broaden our horizons, with the quality of products we can produce here in Alberta. That along with the new technologies allows us to continue to pick up new efficiencies. “
About his involvement with being on the board of AYFR, Raoul says he believes it’s a good organization to be a part of. He likes that it’s an organization that brings the voice of the future together. He would like to see AYFR continue to grow and gain a real voice to government and policy makers in the future.
Lacey McCrae is passionate about Ag, cows, horses and people. She raises cows and grain with her husband near Vermilion.