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Jennifer Strudwick stands in empty dairy barn.

Across Saskatchewan there are a number of farms for sale. Some have been on the market for years and others are snapped up right away.

 

Alan Gieselman, a 55-year-old farmer from Davidson, Sask. has had his farm on the market since November. He is selling it because he hasn’t had the chance or money to expand over the last few years.

 

“All the big guys are eating (land) up and you can’t buy a decent piece of machinery to farm your land. You either gotta buy a great big one and I can’t afford to buy a half-a-million dollar combine for two sections,” said Gieselman.

 

His eldest son has shown interest in farming but Gieselman says there is no way his son could make a living doing it. “I can’t afford to just turn it over to him and he can’t afford to buy it at the price today,” said Gielselman. “(He) would be at a worse position than I am.”

 

According to Sheldon Froese, a farm realtor with Canadian Farm Realty, trying to buy a farm is all about the initial money you have. “It depends on what kind of backing you have from family. Obviously for land you need a fair amount of land to make a living so it would depend on what type of equity someone has,” said Froese.

 

Harley and Jennifer Strudwick have had their dairy farm at Balgonie, Sask. for sale since 2012. “It’s just that diary is a lot of hard work and we don’t have any kids... So there’s no one to pass it along to and we worked really hard at it,” said Jennifer Strudwick.

 

Initially they saw a lot of interest in it but since last fall they haven’t had any inquiries at all.

 

“It’s really tough even to buy land. It’s gone up in value a lot and any of the industries that are agriculture industries that are good steady income, industries like dairy, which is a good steady income because we have a quota system...but you have to have a pile of money to invest in the quota,” said Strudwick.

 

Last summer the Strudwicks sold their milk quota and their cows. Since then Harley has been working at a job outside the farming industry and Jennifer has been working on a neighbour’s dairy farm.

 

According to Froese the land around Regina is the most expensive in Saskatchewan. “I think the quality of land is part of it and the population there is just ... more population around Regina and those would be the main factors. Obviously there’s a few bigger farms that are expanding there,” said Froese.

 

Yet the Strudwick’s farm, which is located 20 minutes from Regina, has been on the market for years now.

 

“We’ll try it this way probably till the end of this year and then if we don’t have anything happening as a deal real-estate-wise we’ll probably take it off the market,” said Strudwick.

 

However Froese thinks the market will get better. “I think it’ll be strong now that the prices have maybe leveled out a bit...There will be more interest than maybe there was last year,” said Froese.

 

Meanwhile the Strudwicks are looking forward to moving on with their lives.“I guess that’s probably why we got out when we did...My dad was a dairy farmer, Harley’s parents and grandpa dairy farmed and we just felt like they went well into their sixties or longer...They’ve worn themselves out. We didn’t want to do that, so I’m 44 and I’m looking for a new career, which is OK. I’m OK with that,” said Strudwick.