Farming is our History

Agriculture has always been a strong business sector in Dufferin County. Our prized Honeywood silt loam is a better than class 1 soil and as this region is home to the headwaters of four rivers, water is available for all your farming needs. Dufferin’s gross farm receipts grew from just under $104 million in 2006 to over $131 million in 2011 according to the 2011 Census of Agriculture. That’s a 26% increase which shows promise for this industry in Dufferin. Dufferin is experiencing the Canada-wide trend of farm consolidation, but acres in production are generally increasing demonstrating the strength of the sector in Dufferin and opening opportunities for value added industries here.

We are well-known for our potatoes with over 16% of the province’s total acreage currently producing potatoes, but cows are also prevalent here in Dufferin. The combination of dairy and cattle production injects over $31 million in gross farm receipts each year into the local economy. Dufferin is cultivating a local food movement too with new market gardeners and new farmers markets across the County. In addition, Dufferin’s exotic animal population has been increasing as more farms are raising emus, alpacas and llamas.

Peter and Elly Van der Veen considered a couple of different areas of Canada to set up their farm, but decided on Dufferin County. They choose Grand Valley for a variety of reasons and now the Van Der Veen Farm is 300 acres, with another 300 rented. Although it hasn’t been long since they arrived here, the Van Der Veen family has fit right into the flow of life in Dufferin County. Read their story…


Woolwich Dairy is Canada’s leading maker of goat cheese and has chosen Dufferin County as their home base. The operation continues to grow as consumer taste for goat milk products increase and this strong member of the community continues to choose Dufferin to house their operations. Read their full story here.



The Besley family has been in the farming business in Dufferin County for generations. The new generation has put a twist on the family business and thus Besley Country Market was born. Read on for the full story–>.



Simon Silander and Danielle Hampton are a couple of high-energy entrepreneurs who sold everything to begin again with their family in Dufferin County. Their working philosophy is at the heart their aptly named business: 100-Acre Bakery. Read on to discover their journey–>.


Headwaters Horse Country

The equine sector is particularly vigorous both in size and economic impact.  The growth of the horse population in Dufferin provides exceptional opportunities.  Agribusiness and entrepreneurs should see in this expansion room to start and grow new business to serve the industry.


Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance

The strength of the agricultural sector and the local business community are the building blocks for a successful local food movement. Dufferin has both and is a full participant in the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance, a group working to build a stronger local food system in the Headwaters region.

We have a long history, so agribusiness is one we understand well and there are many resources to help you in your search for land and ideas.


Dufferin Federation of Agriculture

The DFA is the local chapter of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture whose mission it is to enables prosperous and sustainable farms. The DFA works with the OFA to champion the interests of farmers through government relations, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more.

Visit the website to learn more about the Dufferin Federation of Agriculture.