In 2012, Ben Heenan was selected first overall in the CFL entry draft by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. This was a rather convenient situation for Ben because his family farm—in Grand Coulee—was less than 30 minutes from Mosaic Stadium.
As a fourth generation farmer, Ben knew from an early age that he wanted to carry on the family tradition, but life took a slight detour in high school when his friends talked him into joining the football team.
He spent three years as a member of the Riders, including the 2013 season when he won his first Grey Cup in front of a hometown crowd.
When I asked about the similarities between football and the farm, Ben said, “…team skills that you learn in football (working together and communication) carry over to the farming operation.” But in comparison, “running a farm is probably more of a general manager role than a player role.”
In my short chat with Ben it was clear that his passion from one field has carried over to the next. He wants to be the best at what he does, whether he’s in a green jersey or a green tractor.
In regard to the Riders upcoming season, Ben said, “I hope they do well, I think they’ll do better than last year. They have a lot of good players on the team, it’s just a matter of coming together now. Once you get on that field anything can happen.”