After 32 years providing Peace Region farmers with the best equipment available, Rod Kiddine has retired from his role at Sexsmith Farm Parts.
“I feel great, it was all my decision. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right time in my life to make it,” he said.
Instead of serving the customers and clients he’s come to know for the past three decades, Kiddine will be spending his time on his own farm, with his family and parents, and on a small-business he runs out of his home. “I’ll actually be busier," he said when asked if he’s looking forward to some extra downtime.
“Sometimes you spread your wings too thin. That’s kind of been my problem, doing a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing."
Kiddine said the hardest part of leaving the store is not being able to stay as in touch with his clients.
“That’s a big disappointment, not being able to keep in touch with your clientele that you built over 32 years. All the customers, the staff and employees we’ve had, they’ll be missed.”
He said working at Sexsmith Farm Parts has been one of the best decisions of his life.
“To leave here is hard. The company came from nothing, and we built an empire out of it.”
Over the past three decades Kiddine has witnessed first hand the drastic change in the farming industry.
“As the farming industry has gotten bigger, so has the machinery. At the same time, there are fewer and fewer farmers, farming more and more acres,” he said.
“We had to change to where the business was going. If farmers went to bigger combines, that’s what we had to bring in. Farming with a 410 (Massey Ferguson Combine) compared to modern combines is a whirlwind of change. GPS wasn’t heard of 30 years ago, and we’ve come such a long way from selling the old, ancient parts to the modern technology today.”
Sexsmith Farm Parts used to deal more in land tillage tools, and farmers would spend a lot more hours on tractors. Now, that’s changed completely.
“There is zero tilling now. Guys used to wait until the season dried up, but now farmers want to harvest right away. Farming is much more of a science these days, and more of a fulltime thing."
Heading into his last day on the job was bittersweet for Kiddine. His last day was Sept. 17.
“It’s been a whirlwind here the last couple weeks. I’m torn to leave, but the goal is ahead of me. You see the light, and hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish some of the things I want to.”