My name is Graham Racz. I'm co-owner of Turfpro Inc - along with my wife Kate.
I grew up in Southern Alberta and graduated high school in June 2005. That October, I moved up to Sylvan Lake, AB and was immediately hired on with Calfrac Well Services - Cement division.
Now how did this go for an 18 year old kid - green as grass, straight out of high school ?? Well, great, looking back! They trained me. Paid for my Class 1 drivers license. Air brakes. Supplied the truck to do so, as well as a driver trainer. Did I mention I was also making over $5,000 a month as an "inexperienced" green hand??
I was literally in Alberta Economic heaven. The learning curve for the "patch" was rough, but I met a pile of awesome people along the way. People that would literally give the shirt off their back just to give you a shot (and sometimes a second or third go...). Lots of these people are still my friends to this day, some 14 years later.
While launching this company, I've spent every winter working seasonally in the Alberta oil patch. I froze my ass off with the rest of you. Literally driving from one side of the province, to the other, back to the bottom, just to head to northern B.C - in the middle of the night. Drilling rigs, service rigs, trucking. I've seen a lot of it.
Its not for the faint, at the best of times.
However, for me - it literally kept this dream of being a small business owner alive.
Then something happened. Albertans fell under attack from poor markets, climate change agendas, foreign economic interference, political changes and motivations, in-fighting and squawking from the other side of our very own country, railway and pipeline blockades as well as a lot of "false truths" from our media. The dream suddenly became a lot harder, if not impossible to achieve.
Where am I going with this ?? I'm not exactly sure. Being a Red Deer based business owner, I've seen drastic changes in my city during this downturn. But not just Red Deer. All over Alberta.
Calgary, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, Whitecourt, Edmonton, Consort, Peace River, Camrose, Rocky Mountain House, Edson, Taber, Drayton Valley, LLoydminster, Fort McMurray - it's everywhere. We feel you.
Yard spaces are empty. Shops closed. Businesses folded. Friends and family have lost jobs - with replacements just as hard to find. Property values are down. Economic uncertainty is everywhere. Its become MUCH harder for the average family to get by, let alone "get ahead".
Our revenue has dropped drastically over the last two years. People, business and government just don't have the cash in their pocket like they used to have, in better economic times. We understand the frustration and like you, we're doing our best to hang on in this economic climate we've been forced into.
The internet can be a pretty noisy, and dreary place lately when it comes to positive economic news. However I wanted to spread a positive message to those that have supported us in our journey.
We support Alberta Oil & Gas. Our friends support it. Our customers support it. Our extended family supports it. Because its supported us.
Thank you for the years of loyal service, Red Deer.
Turfpro and its staff look forward to serving you again in 2020.
So, a big THANK YOU to the Alberta Oil & Gas industry for keeping our dream alive - and for keeping our f&*king houses WARM in the winter!
Graham & Kate