Farm life on Oakwood Grange

First things first! We’ve had to change our email address.


I’ve often wondered why people change these rather personal symbols of ones electronic make-up and now it has happened to us. We have always been on dial up and with little opportunity of ever having anything faster and so we decided to inherit our daughter’s high- speed dish when she relocated to Alberta just recently. Our new address is martin [at] ruralroutevideos [dot] com Please delete our old one as it will soon be terminated. For those of you who already use martin [at] ruralroutevideos [dot] com, you don’t need to change anything.

Sheep barn

Oakwood Grange's sheep barn

Lambing and calving are about finished up and a new year of farming and video production work is about to begin.

2007 saw the completion of one of our more major projects, that of the 10 community videos. These were independent productions for these different Manitoba communities and were written and produced to promote each of these communities to anyone, or any business, interested in relocating. Retiring couples, city people who were looking for a quieter and more rural way of life, doctors looking to emigrate from some far off country to start a practice, business people, etc.. I believe that all of these productions have been met with great excitement and many hundreds of these DVDs, if not into the thousands, are now circulating the globe.

Neepawa-south west manitoba

Sleeve for Neepawa-Southwest Manitoba

DVD duplication has certainly replaced our bank of VHS machines, now sitting dormant at one end of our office area, no longer waiting for another batch of tapes to be duplicated, because it’s just not going to happen. It’s really time for these machines to be moth balled or at least taken to the dump. DVDs have simplified our lives here. From the simple duplication, storage, cost savings, reliability and ease of mailing, the DVD is a winner for all our customers.

clip of angus ranch sale video

Image from Rural Route Video's video from the Angus Sale in Saskatchewan

2007 was the beginning of a new production possibility for us. In November I received an anxious call from Pat Ottmann and the OT Angus Ranch in Saskatchewan. They were planning and preparing for a complete dispersal sale of their nearly 500 head of registered Angus cattle. It would appear that their plans for their DVD catalogue came to a nasty ending when their camera technician was unable to complete their wishes and so they found me on the web and gave me a call. Within only a few days I was up at the ranch working with the Ottmann family and filming each of their animals and preparing for the production of their DVD catalogue. 4 days of travel and filming and then a solid 5 days of “round the clock” editing, by which time Jane and I had the 2 hour video completed and couriered out to Calgary. 1000 copies were duplicated and inserted into their printed catalogues and sent out to potential customers. We also produced the 5 hour video which was broadcast on sale day on the Lonestar Channel, a part of their “on air” phone-in bidding opportunity. Buyers from all across North America had the opportunity to watch these Angus cattle as their numbers came up throughout the sale day. Close to a hundred of the nearly 500 head were sold this way, from the Lonestar broadcast, and many more of these phone buyers helped raise the price before becoming the runner up bidder. It was an enlightening opportunity to work on this DVD sale catalogue and a chance to be involved with a terrific family ranching operation. ….. From the success of that video I was offered another bull sale, that of Eastondale Angus, another Saskatchewan Angus operation. Both of these DVDs were met with great enthusiasm and, I was told by both ranches, that they were a significant part of their successful sale. The “proof of the pudding” was when I met one of the ranchers at the Eastondale sale. A calving situation had delayed him and his wife in getting to the sale and so only arrived in time for the start of the bidding. He told me that it didn’t bother him as he had watched my DVD a number of times and had already made his mind up as to which bulls to be bidding on and to what price. I don’t think a printed catalogue can ever do that! ……….. So, if you’re planning on having a bull sale please give me a call and we can discuss some possibilities!!

Martin and his grandson

Martin and his Grandson, Lukas

On a more personal note – Jane and I have watched as our family, our 3 daughters, have found new experiences and taken on different challenges in the past year. Our daughter, Bethan, her husband, Ron, and their son, Lukas have moved to greener pastures in Alberta. They have rented a small home in Olds and Ron has found his new career as an apprentice electrician. Bethan has been able to take her work with her, it’s all done through cyberspace apparently. She has just a few courses left before finishing her mathematics degree. We are all really looking forward to her graduation as it’s been a hard struggle juggling between work, being a mother and taking classes. We sure miss seeing them all and having our grandson around! …………… Ceri, who is our 2nd daughter, married Darren Johnson last Summer. Darren is a really great guy. Darren and his family operate a family farm in Western Manitoba with several thousand of acres of crops and then close to 500 head of Bison. Ceri continues to teach but has found it a real challenge to secure a permanent and full time position. They just don’t come up very often in rural Manitoba……………. As for our youngest daughter, Katherine, who recently turned 21, she has been continuing her studies at Brandon University and her music degree. Although she had planned on moving to a different university to complete her studies, she has now been offered a scholarship to remain in Brandon and so will be here for another year. Jane and I get so much enjoyment from her concerts and gigs, so we were a little “down in the mouth” at the prospects of her going to universities in either Toronto or Vancouver. Last summer she won a $25,000 prize in a Jazz contest and so for this summer she is living in Winnipeg and working on her first CD.

And so for 2008!! I’m about to start into a number of new video productions, pretty well all of them are contracts. These will take me through this next summer and into the winter, editing. The farm continues to stagger along and have just finished a great lambing and, with a few cows left to calve, a really decent calving. It’s been pretty dry and so we could really do with a good rain to set us up for a decent hay crop and a start to our cropping season.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about Rural Route Videos or if we can be of any help with an DVD idea that you may have.

Until next time!

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