Grand Valley Area Provides the Right Balance for Van Der Veen Farm
Peter and Elly Van Der Veen began their search for Canadian farmland in Alberta, where members of her family had emigrated from Holland. The Van Der Veens were raising ducks in what had been the first dairy free stall barn built in northern Holland but a presentation about farming in Canada had piqued their interest. “I didn’t want my neighbours to know I was thinking about moving,” said Peter. “So I went to a presentation two hours away. I walked through the door and there sat all my neighbours. They were interested, too.”
He made up his mind as soon as he saw Alberta. “We were only there six days,” he said, “but when I saw all the room… I saw what I had been looking for all my life. On the way home I said we were going to sell.” Peter and Elly had friends in Ontario, so he decided to look there, too. They considered a couple of different areas, but decided on Dufferin County.
Cost Effective Farm Land in Dufferin
The land in Grand Valley was about the same price as in Alberta and somewhat less than the other places he had looked in Ontario and there were other advantages. “We never have drought here,” he said. “The number of heat units are lower than some places but the moisture is good. So it balances. We always have a crop.” The Van Der Veen Farm is 300 acres, with another 300 rented. Peter and Elly raise sheep as well as grain, beans and corn. “We’re close to the market. Everything we want is no more than an hour away. I have colleagues who are two or three hours away and that adds to their costs.”
4H and Fall Fairs for the Farm Family
The area is good for their kids, too. “We have seven kids. They’re interested in the 4H. My daughter was Fall Fair Ambassador in Grand Valley. They all played soccer in Grand Valley. Two of our sons are still in soccer and another plays American football in Orangeville.” The parents also enjoy themselves. “We have great neighbours… Dutch, Swiss, German, Portuguese… Last summer we went to a U2 concert at the Rogers Centre and a football match.” There’s plenty to do close to home, as well. “We both enjoy all the good restaurants, and pubs in Grand Valley and Orangeville. We often enjoy live music and go dancing.” 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 up on agribusiness, agriculture and how farming is part of Dufferin’s History.