October 27, 2022
Midland Radio spoke with third generation farmer Riley Slivka about the difference between business band radios and GMRS two-way radios during harvest.
Riley Slivka is a third generation farmer on his family's farm, Slivka AG. However, his extended family has been farming beyond this farm for several generations.
“This particular farming operation was started by my grandpa. He is actually still out there today. When my brother and I are out there helping there are three generations on the farm," he said.
Located in Winifred, Montana, Slivka AG grows wheat, barley, and pulse crops like dry peas; lentils; and canola. Riley Slivka's parents also run the cattle side of the farm with about 150-200 Black Angus Cows.
The farm in Central Montana is located in the Missouri River Breaks area amid a landscape that Slivka describes as a beautiful country landscape.
"It’s almost like inside-out mountains with rivers that carved out canyons. We graze some pasture in that area and some of the farm goes right up next to these 1,000 foot cliffs. It’s just so awesome out there, the beautiful country. It’s just a blessing to be able to farm out in that sort of stuff.”
While Riley Slivka appreciates his time on the farm, he doesn't work there full-time. His full-time job is his agriculture video business, AgriStudios.
Slivka founded the business several years ago after purchasing his first drone in 2015.
“We were harvesting out there in the Missouri River Breaks. Nobody ever really gets to see what the views are like especially from the air or what it looks like when you have a combine up against those 1,000 foot cliffs. It’s absolutely breathtaking scenery."
He posted a video to Youtube and several potential clients reached out.
AgriStudios provides agriculture-focused clients with solutions in marketing, promotion, education, and video.
Much of harvest has been completed on the Slivka operation by October.
During a normal October on the farm, the family ships out their calves after they reach a certain weight. However, this year that took place in September. This October, they’ll be doing some fall seeding on the farm.
“Winter Wheat is the main crop on the farm so we actually use an air seeder to plant in the fall rather than the spring for that particular crop. It’ll emerge in the fall, but continue to grow in the spring.”
Slivka AG has previously been using business band radios on the farm. The family-run operation knows just how important reliable communication is.
“We’re using comms all the time. They’re extremely important for us because we don’t have cell service in a lot of spots out there. It’s often the case that radios are the only way we can communicate.”
They used Midland's GMRS radios during harvest season.
“They are very impressive units especially the 50 Watt. During harvest for example, having a 50 Watt for your grain cart operator is great because they are in the center of the operation. They need to be able to talk to everyone at all distances. With the 50 Watt, they can reach everyone they need to.”
Slivka said GMRS two-way radios are a more affordable, mobile communications solution.
“In the case of the 15 Watts, those are easy units to swap between vehicles that normally don’t have a mobile radio. The handy thing with the Midland handhelds specifically, they are a much smaller footprint than the business band options. They’re so easy to grab and stay connected."
Watch Slivka's video for more on the match up between GMRS and business band radios.