Despite a pandemic, there were positives in 2020


2020 has been a year to remember. It has brought upon a tonne of negatives as we all navigate through COVID-19, but as we look at the negatives, many forget to reflect on the positives as well. So, our content team here at RealAgriculture decided to finish up the year on a positive note.

We all took turns to really reflect on the positives of 2020, and what some of our favourites of the year were.

Kelvin Heppner

“This is an easy one to answer. Our daughter was born in October. She’s healthy, and everyone’s doing well. Not sure there are many things that compare with having and holding a baby to put the priorities and things that stress us in life in perspective.”

Lara de Moissac

“I defended my master’s thesis in soil science in April, and then I got a job here with RealAg in May. So those are more wonderful things. More debatable about positives and negatives — there’s pros and cons to this one — that I moved to Calgary. So there’s definitely pros — I do miss living at the farm (west of Biggar, Sask.) though, but I think it’s a pro.”

Lyndsey Smith

“I will say on the farm front here at home, we were super lucky to have two summer students to help us out. We had a great summer — we had great help, and they’ve become friends, too, which has just been fantastic. Also, one of the other things I do is I also teach at Algonquin College, where they have a new agriculture diploma program. This year was my second year teaching the first-year course, and had to do it all online. Some pros, some cons, with learning to teach online — its not exactly ideal, but I think it went as well as could be. I really do enjoy teaching, it’s a neat way to reach people and to interact with people. While it was challenging teaching over Zoom, overall I think it turned out okay! So looking forward to doing that again.”

Bernard Tobin

“I’m going to say walking. I — with my wife Karen, and my two girls — we have walked so much. Especially in the spring, and even now. I got to see so much of my community that I didn’t know existed, that I’ve never seen. I learnt so much and had so many great conversations with the girls. We also got walking sticks, we all had our own walking sticks and our own pet names. We learnt a lot about eachother, and really made some great moments in some really tough times.”

Kara Oosterhuis

“I’ve been back and forth with RealAg for a couple years now, working summers, and finishing off schooling. But I’ve now had my first full year — I’m coming up on one “official” year in January with this team. I feel like we have grown in some really incredible ways, and that has been just such a positive in my life. As Shaun has said before, we’ve always done these conference calls regularly — as we are all spread out across Canada — but for some reason it took us until COVID-19 to be able to get together on video, and we see eachother a lot now. Although as I get closer with my team, I feel the distance between us more, which is maybe a negative, but overall that’s probably been my most positive part of 2020. As well, I moved out of the city — I could not wait to get out of the city — and I’ve had my eyes on this house that I live in now for a couple of years, and I moved in in January, and I just really like where I’m at right now. So that’s probably the best things of 2020.”

Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson

“2021 is going to be amazing! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Some good things about COVID-19 changes: Every Wednesday night, I get to play Euchre via Zoom with my three sons. And I look forward to that so much. And we do Sunday morning video calls with whoever is around; I have grandkids that live far away and I look forward to those days now!”

Shaun Haney

“For me the best thing that has happened in 2020 is the amount of time I have been able to spend with family. Prior to COVID-19 I was constantly on the road, going from conference to conference across North America. In 2019, I travelled 50 per cent of the time which abruptly changed in early March 2020. At first not getting on an airplane every week felt strange and odd. After nine months, getting on an airplane would require a significant readjustment. This year has allowed me to spend so much quality time with my wife and kids and that has been so special. My ability to stay home has allowed me to be more productive during the day and enjoy some great consistent family time that I have had not had in the last 12 years of RealAgriculture.”

Did something great happen to you in 2020? Let us know!

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