New 2016 calendar features faces of Ontario's farmers.
January, 2016 - Patricia Taber, Jennifer Smith & Sylvia Megens – Goodwood, Ontario
Sisters Patricia, Jennifer and Sylvia are show stars – cattle show stars that is. Whether it’s volunteering with their local 4-H club, competing at fairs with prize-winning beef cattle or working with their parents and spouses on farms in the Durham Region, their love of cattle pervades both their work and hobbies. All three also have off-farm careers in agriculture. Patricia works for a livestock nutrition company; Jennifer’s a livestock veterinarian and Sylvia is a crop researcher.
February, 2016 - Walt Freeman – Battersea, Ontario
Walt is a mink farmer from Eastern Ontario who loves music, working with his neighbours and the fact that his job is in his backyard. He and his wife Heather live on land first purchased by Walt’s grandfather in 1921, and they are proud that their farm meets the highest care standards for their animals. Walt briefly worked in radio but ultimately decided agriculture was the life for him. He has been the organist at his church for 24 years and is a past member of a Scottish Pipe Band and Dance group.
March, 2016 - Wanda Snobelen – Ripley, Ontario
Wanda grows corn, wheat, soybeans, barley and hay on a farm in Bruce County with her husband Sam and his family. With the help of her constant companion Dixie, she also cares for 120 Charolais cattle and provides a practice space and training expertise to young 4-H beef club members. Her favourite time of the year is calving season – when the first calf is born – and she loves being her own boss.
April, 2016 - Ian Laver - Warkworth, Ontario
Ian and Sara raise laying hens, crops and their children on their fourth-generation family farm in Northumberland County. They just finished building a new barn for their birds, and are excited to start expanding their flock. Ian enjoys fishing and curling and is president of the Northumberland Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Sara has a career working off the farm and is an avid runner. Both see the farm as a great place to raise a family.
May, 2016 - Diane Cook - Lambeth, Ontario
Farming came naturally to Diane, a nurse-turned- farmer who was very involved with her husband’s family farm near London even before the two married. They grow a wide variety of crops – from soybeans and corn to sweet corn, peas and black beans. She likes golfing, biking, gardening and spending time with her granddaughters. Her work on the farm ranges from driving tractors and combines to keeping the farm’s financial records.
June, 2016 - Andrew Henderson and family - Spencerville, Ontario
Andrew knew as early as high school that dairy farming was the career for him. 25 years and one agriculture diploma later, he farms near Ottawa with his father and wife Tracey – a math and science teacher. The couple have seven children – Anna, Sam, Lily, Grace and triplets Claire, Kate and Luke – all who play sports. Andrew is also involved with many agricultural organizations and recently incorporated a milking robot into the farm, which enables his cows to be milked whenever they choose.
July, 2016 - AmyBeth Brubacher – Elmira, Ontario
It’s all about family for AmyBeth and her husband Colin. The couple are the parents of Stella, Zoe and Mercedes and are proud turkey farmers in Waterloo Region. Colin’s father is still involved with the family farm and helps out when possible. Both AmyBeth and Colin enjoy gardening, entertaining and visiting relatives from all parts of the country. They see the farm as the best place to raise their children.
August, 2015 - Rick and Curtis Van Laecke – Courtland, Ontario
Growing, processing and selling their own corn and soybean seeds might take up the bulk of their time, but Rick, Angela, Curtis and Candice still manage to head south whenever they can – to Lake Erie that is. The family loves boating with friends and family, and enjoys being together both on the lake and at their farm near Woodstock.
September, 2016 - Sandy, Katelyn and Kelsey Vader – Picton, Ontario
Farming and sports are what inspire Sandy and her daughters Kelsey and Kaitlyn. They are proud of how diverse their Belleville-area family farm has become. Whether growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and other products to sell at the local farmers’ market, raising farm animals or playing hockey, family is a theme central to all of their lives.
October, 2016 - Norm Lamothe – Cavan, Ontario
Norm brought his love of the sky with him to the farm. He is a long-time pilot who uses drones on his Peterborough-area farm to inspect his crops including corn, soybeans and vegetables. Norm and his family are always looking for more ways to improve the environment – whether by producing green energy, managing woodlots, improving soil conservation or promoting biodiversity. He is also fluent in French, teaches part time at a local college and volunteers with a number of farm and community organizations.
November, 2016 - Joseph Zantingh and Andrea Veldhuizen – Smithville and Wainfleet, Ontario
The brother and sister team of Joseph and Andrea are third generation farmers that credit their start to their parents, who continued the proud farming heritage of ancestors that immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Each works with their spouse to manage their own branches of their family’s chicken farm in Niagara Region. Andrea has degrees in psychology and religion/theology, is an active leader in her local church and is the mother of four children. Joseph, a welder by trade, enjoys volunteering with church youth programs, fishing and baseball. He and his wife are the parents of three daughters.
December, 2016 - Rob and Julie Eby and daughters – Ayr, Ontario
Rob and Julie are fourth generation dairy farmers from Waterloo Region who have a keen interest in their family and their cows. While Julie works full-time on the farm and volunteers at the local preschool, Rob also owns a farm machinery business. They have three daughters – Presley, Brinkleigh and Rilee. The entire family loves showing their award-winning dairy cows in competitions all across North America.