Ontario OYF to be Recognized at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show
Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers have partnered to recognize dynamic, innovative farmers at the show this year. Finalists make presentations to a panel of judges at the Farm Show. The provincial winner represents the province at the national recognition event.
The day will begin with the finalists giving a presentation to a panel of judges, and then a lunch reception will be held for alumni of the program, finalists and Ontario OYF sponsors in the Special Events Tent. At 1 pm, farm show attendees are encouraged to visit the Special Events Tent to listen to the finalists public presentations. The Ontario OYF award will be presented at 3 pm in this tent.
“By hosting the event at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, we hope that more people in the industry will be able to watch presentations, engage with finalists and learn about this amazing program.” – Dana Thatcher
Hear more about each of these farmers on September 11th at 1 pm in the Special Events Tent at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.
Darold and Kara Enright
The Enrights own and operate the Enright Cattle Company, a 95-acre farm near Tweed, Ontario. They are both fourth-generation farmers and hope that their children, Corben and Evelyn, will become the fifth. The Enrights are strongly committed to preserving rural life and improving agriculture by innovating and leveraging new opportunities.
Kara has been deeply committed to agriculture since her earliest years on her family’s farm, which is just down the road from Enright Cattle Company, and stared buying her own beef cattle in her early teens. A past director of the Canadian and Ontario Simmental Association, and with both a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, Kara currently serves as a director of the Beef Farmers of Hastings County Association.
Brought up on his own family’s farm near Read, Ontario, Darold has superb cattle-handling skills, as well as a strong sense of stewardship of the land that led him to study Integrated Resource Management at Sir Sandford Fleming College. He is an outstanding carpenter, maintains the farm’s buildings and equipment, and can trouble-shoot no matter when a problem strikes.
Enright Cattle Company is a true family effort. After weaning, cattle are finished at the farm of Kara’s parents, Don and Chris Langevin. Darold’s parents farmed for decades , and although his dad is now retired, he and his team of horses are frequently called upon for special events. Kara’s siblings and their spouses also pitch in when times get busy. And Corben and Evelyn also do their share of chores every day, from cutting the grass to feeding the kittens.
Derek & Marie Brouwer
Derek started farming in high school after he purchased his first tractor. With a passion for everything farming, and a desire to learn more, he took on any farm-related work; from custom round baling for neighbors, to renting an empty dairy barn to custom feed organic heifers to growing organic crops and finishing organic stockers. In 2009, Derek sold his beef cattle and focused on growing and selling organic grains and hay. He purchased his farm in 2010, and kept increasing his rented land base to approx. 1,000 acres by 2013.
In 2013, Derek and Marie were married. With a degree in Small Business Management from Redeemer University College, Marie was eager to put her organizational skills to work in the farm office.
The following year, an interesting opportunity presented itself to the Brouwers. Their largest hay customer was moving and offered his business to Derek and Marie, and the couple decided to purchase the company. Along with a few assets, the company included the list of hay customers in Florida that were currently purchasing 30,000 small squares each year. The couple has increased sales and customers in Florida over the years, and is now trucking close to 50,000 small squares annually.
In 2015, the couple were also successful applicants in the Organic New Entrants Quota Assistance Program with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. Renting a diary barn a few minutes from home, purchasing a herd of certified organic milking cows, and passing all inspections was the goal for February 1, 2016. Marie looks after the herd’s health at the dairy, manages all of the breeding, and organizes all of the milking and feeding staff.
As of today, the Browers are milking 60 organic cows, cash cropping 1,600 acres of organic grains and hay, and thankfully have six very talented full-time employees. Derek and Marie have three children, Aleta, Darren and Stacey. They look forward to welcoming their fourth child in November of 2018. The Brouwers are thankful to the Lord for His continued blessings and providence.
Alex McKay and Jordan McKay
A brother team, Alex and Jordan McKay, were born and raised on the farm working alongside their family and learning the rewards of living off the land and raising livestock.
Alex always planned to return to the farm after university, but it was important to him to get an education and work for someone else to gain other experiences. This time away from the farm made him realize and appreciate what he had growing up and reinforced that he wanted to return to farming and grow the business. Upon graduation, Alex came home fresh, young, and with a burning drive to reach for the stars when it came to growing the production side of the business.
After high school, Jordan left the farm and attended the University of Guelph, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce in Agricultural Business. He came back to the farm full-time in the spring of 2007 after having spent a few years as a ski instructor after University, working in British Columbia, the US, Japan, and Australia. When Jordan came back to the farm, one of his long-term goals was to build a new market. This market would be on the farm, open year-round, have a fresh butcher shop to process their own meat, and a kitchen for adding value to the family’s own products.
In November of 2015, the family closed the old store and began construction of this new venue. The new market opened in June, 2016, and includes a commercial kitchen, fresh butcher shop, storage, offices, and 4,300 sq ft of retail space. People come from all over Ontario to stop at their store that is set in the country and on their farm property. It is beautiful,constructed with old beams from one of their old barns, and a wood staircase milled from the family’s own forest. The store tells a story about shopping local.
The brothers are very creative with the products and services they offer at their store. For example, they take a crop, such as their famous sweet corn, and sell it as produce. They also take it to the chef and kitchen team to make Corn Chowder to serve hot in the café. The store staff sit and shuck crates and crates of corn that they flash freeze for use all throughout the winter months to make a variety of delicious products. They also vac-pak the corn kernels to sell to customers throughout the winter months so that they too can enjoy farm fresh corn even when it’s not in season. These brothers are taking the idea of local, farm fresh Ontario Produce and pushing it to a whole new level.