Matt Enns actively farms in a multi-generational grain operation alongside three other owner-operators near Rosthern. The 10,500-acre grain farm has a rotation which includes canola, wheat, peas and barley, and the Saskatchewan Valley area is a well-known producer of malting barley. Matt attended the University of Saskatchewan earning a B.Sc. in Physical Therapy while playing out his athletic eligibility with the Huskies, the highlight of which was a national championship in 2004. After graduation, Matt worked as a physiotherapist in Saskatoon and farmed with his Dad. This continued for 10 years until a neighbor’s farm went up for sale. At that time, the current partnerships were formed, and Matt was able to join the farm full-time.
In 2016 Matt happened upon the world of craft beer and saw an avenue to capitalize on their farm’s ability to grow premium malting barley. This led to his attendance at the “Malt Academy” at Winnipeg’s Canadian Malting Barley Technical Center, the touring of malting facilities and the production of feasibility studies involving Saskatchewan’s end-users of malting barley. The result was the eventual founding of “Maker’s Crafted Malts”. “Maker’s” is in Rosthern and is Saskatchewan’s only craft malting facility. Matt produced the first commercial batch in January 2018 and together with co-maltster, Steven Maier, “Maker’s” serves brewers and distillers across Saskatchewan and the prairies. “Maker’s” is a member of the Craft Maltsters Guild and in 2019, Matt attended the Craft Malt Conference in Montana where he presented on the agronomics and philosophy of growing malt barley and was able to exchange ideas with industry experts. The malting facility provides numerous opportunities to educate and further the connection between the farm-gate and the public. In the last year “Maker’s” created the Bow Project to showcase Bow Barley developed at the U of S. Matt has spoken at numerous events including CropSphere and Sask Ag’s Crop Walks, and has been interviewed by several mainstream media outlets. “Maker’s” recently hosted a Farmer/Brewer day which offered tours to end-users of a field of agronomic and variety trials and of production fields.
Matt is passionate about the production of and uses for high quality malting barley and believes there are many upcoming opportunities for Saskatchewan growers.
I am currently a fourth-generation farmer in the Cabri and Stewart Valley areas, north of Swift Current, and it is my real hope that a fifth-generation farmer will follow. Our farm’s crop rotation includes primarily barley, durum, lentils peas and canola. I started farming right out of high school and shortly after that, also sought to become a Journeyman welder. As a result, I worked many winters off the farm early in life. In addition to farming and welding, I’ve taken on other endeavours such as franchise restaurant ownership and oilfield/pipeline welding and consulting. All of these opportunities have provided me with valuable life experiences and I’ve made some terrific, lasting friendships as a result. My family is very important to me, and I have been enthusiastically involved over the years in coaching and managing my children’s hockey and lacrosse teams.
We have consistently grown both malt and feed varieties of barley on our farm for many years. I believe that it is extremely important to keep improving barley varieties, as well as finding new and effective ways to meet the continual change and challenges that are always present in today’s ever-evolving markets.
Keith Rueve, together with his brother Kent and their families, operate a third-generation farm south of Muenster, where they grow barley, wheat and canola.
Keith studied at the University of Saskatchewan before returning to the family farm in 1985. He spent his winters working at various manufacturing facilities. In 1991 he began working at Pound-Maker Agventures, where he has since worked as a power engineer, ethanol plant manager, and currently occupies the position of Director of Ethanol Production, Safety and Environmental Compliance.
Keith was elected to the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) Board in 2015 and is the current co-chair of the Research Committee and representative to the Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan Board. He is also the current chairman of the SHL Rural Water Pipeline Association, past chairman of the Saskatchewan Biofuels Development Council and sits on the Board of Directors of the Muenster Curling Club.
Keith’s situation is unique because of his involvement in both the grains and livestock sectors. As a barley grower for over 30 years, he understands the challenges faced by farmers when growing malt barley. And as an employee with Pound-Maker, a feedlot purchasing over 2 million bushels of barley annually, he understands the daily challenges of the livestock sector and the need to continue barley research within the province.
Keith believes that a vibrant barley industry is necessary for primary grain production, including both the malting and livestock industry. Levy dollars collected through SaskBarley must be directed to improved genetics and higher yield for both barley producers and the industries in which barley is so important.
Keith hopes to continue to serve on the SaskBarley Board to further the research initiatives currently underway by the Commission.
Glenn Wright and his family live on a farm near Vanscoy, SK. Glenn moved out of the city in 2004 and began a grain farming operation from scratch. He didn’t grow up on a farm, but the farming seed was planted in his mind at an early age. All of Glenn’s extended family farmed, and he was always envious of his cousins.
Glenn has grown cereals, canola, lentils, and alfalfa (both seed and forage) for many years and has more recently become interested in regenerative agriculture. He has been doing more work with intercropping, reducing input costs, and trying other specialty crops such as camelina. Glenn has been growing hulless feed barley for seven years and understands the demands that face barley growers in meeting the needs of distinctive markets. He is broadening his understanding of innovative farming practices as he “learns to do by doing” on his farm.
Glenn grew his farm using off-farm income, working as an engineer in resource extraction for 20 years before leaving to focus on farming and returning to school. He is passionate about continuing his education and is presently pursing a law degree.
“I am running for the Saskatchewan Barley Commission because I am interested in advocating for policies that benefit barley farmers. I know that farmers carry tremendous risks – input costs, weather, buyers defaulting on payment, and export/trade disruptions. I think about the importance of fair regulations to protect farmers every time I buy canola seed for $700/bag. I wonder why farmers should have to buy seed for 70 times the price of what we are able to sell if for? I worry that the proposed changes to farm saved seed rights and proposed end point royalties will hurt farmers. These changes have been pitched as ‘value creation for cereals,’ but I ask: value creation for who?”
“I would be a strong farmer voice, focusing on issues that impact our bottom line. I will consistently ask the question: does this policy benefit the farmer? I welcome the opportunity to work for farmers on the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission and ask for your vote.”