“Raising animals and livestock requires time, patience and a true commitment to the process, with an end result being our best quality product.”
That sums up the commitment Dana and Adam Thatcher, of Thatchers’ Farms in Rockwood have for their farm operation. The Thatchers received the top honour at the provincial awards ceremony held in Guelph on March 26. Winners of the award are chosen based on career progress; environmental and safety practices; crop and livestock production history; financial and management practices; and contributions to society.
The Thatchers were chosen from a group of farmers including Mark and Sandi Brock (Shepherd Creek Farms, Staffa), Brianne and Chris Brown (Beslea Farms,Yarker), Deb and Ian McGregor(McGregor’s Produce, Braeside), Curtis and Heidi Fielding (Fielding Estates Winery, Beamsville) and Collin and Tanya Walker (Walkhavern Farms, Stayner).
For information on all of the finalists, visit the OOYF website at www.oyfontario.ca.
The Thatchers altered their operation in 2007 from being a struggling hog farm, to now a thriving 250 ewe sheep operation and farm gate retail shop that features their own naturally raised meats, including hormone and additive-free lamb, beef, pork and chicken. In addition they sell Mennonite-smoked summer sausage, Omega-3 eggs, honey, maple syrup, fruit jams and Dana’s ever popular home-baked meat pies.
In the spring of 2012, thanks to a grant from the Ontario Cattleman’s Association, they were able to add an on-site butcher shop providing them the ability to cut and package their own meats – ensuring they had complete quality assurance and control.
Dana and Adam will now represent Ontario at the National competition being held in November in Regina, Saskatchewan, where they will meet the winners from the other provinces, one of whom will ultimately be named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
The 2013 event was sponsored by Farm Credit Canada, Dupont-Pioneer, Better Farming, OMAFRA, GROWMARK and the Grain Farmers of Ontario.