Meet Kim Jo Bliss
BFO's Northern Field Representative
Hi there! My name is Kim Jo Bliss and I live in the far west corner of Ontario in the District of Rainy River. I am pleased to be working as a field representative with BFO and I would be happy to answer ANY questions you may have about northern life and farming in Northern Ontario. I am well prepared to chat with you about land prices, heat units, crop yields, social life, and access to care and education – you name it, I would be happy to help you find your answers!
But first, let me tell you a little bit about me.
The Rainy River District, where I live, borders Minnesota and Manitoba. We are located four and a half hours west of Thunder Bay, three and a half hours east of Winnipeg, and a stone's throw away from Minnesota.
Our District (Rainy River) is truly a well-hidden secret when it comes to agriculture. We have warm days and cool nights which make it ideal for growing forages, but our grain crop acres are also on the rise again and we are seeing increased soybean and corn crops each year. Land prices are reasonable and we have many underutilized acres. We are also fortunate to have a considerable amount of infrastructure available to us including Emo Feed & Farm Service, the Rainy River Regional Abattoir, the Stratton Sales Barn, North-land Fertilizer, the Emo Agriculture Research Station, and OMAFRA still has a large presence in the North. That is just a short list!
Other than travelling away for school, I have lived in the District my entire life. The love of the farm was instilled in me at a very young age and it all started with my grandmother. Sadly, my grandfather passed away at a young age, so my grandmother was left to run the farm operation. I spent all my time with her and only dreamed of a life in agriculture. I was proud of my farming background through all stages of my life and was quick to promote what I did, and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Today, I own and operate a 50 head cow-calf operation and a small sheep flock about 15 minutes from the community of Emo, Ontario. I raise purebred Hereford and Herford Angus cross cows and my calving season begins on February 10th each year. As a sole proprietor, selecting herd sires for calving ease tops my list. I also market some of my animals (beef and lamb) through the popular local food market. With growing demand for local food in our area, I could certainly increase my supply through this marketing channel.
Summers are the busiest season for me. In addition to managing a beef operation, I also work off the farm at the Emo Agricultural Research Station. I have to manage my time very carefully to ensure I complete my job at the Station and get my haying done at home. Fortunately, we have long days in the North which allows us more time in the field.
I look forward to supporting and educating farmers who are interested in learning more about the agricultural opportunities in Northern Ontario. Hope to hear from you!
Kim Jo Bliss
BFO Northern Field Representative
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