By Tom Collins
OTONABEE — One of the keys aspects to running a successful family farm is ensuring everyone has a say in decision-making, says the newest recipient of the Peterborough Farm Family of the Year.
Brian Haass said that he and his father Ed, brother Neil, son Tanner and daughter Taylor are all consulted on decisions from buying equipment for the family’s 1,600-acre farm to increasing the amount of custom trucking.
“You might get an idea thrown out there that’s not the best one, but it leads to a way better one,” he said. “Through discussion, we usually come up with the best option for getting where we want to be. We try to do that more as a team than a singular dictator.”
Haass is the tie-breaker and has the final say. If it’s something Haass doesn’t agree with, his family has to show what it costs, why the farm needs it and prove that it will pencil out, based on their monthly budget and slim profit margins.
“It has to work on paper,” he said. “If it doesn’t work on paper, it will never work in real life. Everything is about efficiency these days. If you’re not right on the cutting edge of efficiency, then boom, you’re done.”
Besides running their own 1,600-acre farm, the Haass’ also custom farm another 1,600 acres, run a hydraulic business and perform some mid-range trucking.