From Farm to Table
By OPI Integris

Proper grain management hits home for today's farmers

For Pat Ottmann, farming is in his DNA. As one of 10 siblings growing up on the family farm in Northeast Saskatchewan, he learned early in his life about hard work, early mornings and the importance of what was on his plate at the end of the day.

And while he has gone on to pursue other more urban adventures — notably as a magazine publisher of Farming for Tomorrow — he has never strayed too far from the field.

"There's something about growing food for the world that is rewarding for me," says Ottmann, who along with his brother Tim, run the family farm.

"A lot of people don't understand where their food comes from when they sit down to enjoy a meal. For me, it means something to feed as many people as we do off a small farm such as ours."

While wheat, barley, peas and lentils are common crops in the area, Ottmann focuses on canola and gluten-free oats. He also has a healthy garden that feeds his own family — a tradition that has been passed down from father and grandfather.

"There's something about the taste of a ripe tomato off the vine, or a carrot fresh out of the garden, that you can't compare to anything else," he says.

Ottmann's not alone. More farmers today, while still born into the business, value their role in providing the world with food.

"It's becoming more typical to see farmers who see it as a passion — who value the concept of ‘farm to table,' what it means and how they factor into that," says Kent Wingert, Product Manager for OPIsystems, a global leader in grain temperature monitoring and moisture monitoring solutions.

"They're saying, ‘hey, what I do really does mean something. It's not just a business. And if I'm going to do my part, I want to do it well.'"

In fact, doing it well is what led Ottmann to invest in a grain storage monitoring solution. It came after the seed in one of his bins suffered significant spoilage.

"In our case, we didn't lose it completely, but it definitely downgraded our commodity. We thought about all that waste, and decided that if we were going to continue to do this, we were going to do it right," he says.

OPI works a lot with farmers like Ottmann, who are not willing to store grain blindly anymore and are interested in more efficient and effective monitoring solutions such as the OPI Blue system. The easy-to-use and cost-effective wireless monitoring solution can monitor the temperature and humidity within storage bins, automatically turn on fans if needed and display results hourly to any device, anywhere.

"Today's farmers are not willing to waste tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars to spoilage," says Wingert. "It costs too much. It means too much."

To learn more about OPIsystems or schedule a demonstration of OPI Blue, visit | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter!

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