Written by Mark Luymes, OPACA Vice-President | November 30, 2020

There’s something so satisfying about sitting back in late November watching the winter weather roll in, washing and winterizing equipment, knowing the field work is all done. For most of us, the winter is a season for repairs, fabrication and catching up on all the paperwork and meetings we’ve been putting off for the year. It’s also about looking ahead to the next year, researching new equipment, restocking parts – working now to save 5 minutes in peak season when it really counts.

The 2020 season started out with some big unknowns! Great that our work is acknowledged as essential, but nonetheless, fears of labour shortages and supply chain breakdowns had some of us proactively stocking up on parts & supplies, as we made strategies to keep our family and employees healthy. On the bright side, I think we all enjoyed some relief in prices at the fuel pumps. But as we head into winter again, there are still many unknowns: a second wave and a new President in the US. Still, the resilient spirit of the entrepreneur marches on.

And as for OPACA, we need an organization for us to network and bring our voices together, now more than ever. The Board of Directors would like to thank you for supporting the association thus far. As our membership grows, so will our voice, resources and knowledge base.

We’d like to thank Jenny Bilenduke from CropQuest for her work over the past year and welcome Melisa Luymes (my sister) who will be running our events this winter. We’ve got a lot of interesting (online) meetings this winter for you all: a shop meeting series December 15-17, five manure workshops in conjunction with Timing Matters February 3-5 and an all-star panel discussing off-target movement of pesticides on February 12. Online meetings aren’t quite what we envisioned for this year but it’s a good way to network across the province, so we hope you’ll be able to join!

This winter, don’t forget the most important part: recharge yourself, take time for hobbies and professional development. Reward yourself and your employees for a job well done, for another year of long days and nights … and finally clean the truck cab.

Take time to spend with your family and show appreciation for all the behind-the-scenes labour of love: deliveries of meals, parts, tools, coffee … And maybe someone has offered you kind words of encouragement to get you through a dark day, be sure to return the gesture.

On behalf of the OPACA board, Merry Christmas and have a prosperous 2021!

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