Meet the Metcalf Family
Second generation egg farmers, Ron and Brenda Metcalf have been farming in the Durham Region of Ontario for the past 40 years. The home farm has been in the Metcalf family since 1921. They raise 19,000 white and brown laying hens in a conventional barn, milk 50 purebred Holstein cows and grow 900 acres of crops. Ron’s favourite crop is White Beans.

They have five children (Sara, Michael, Nancy, Kim and Emily) and six grandchildren. The whole family loves to share their passion for farming. In fact, the grandchildren are the 5th generation of the family involved in 4-H, one of Canada’s longest-running youth organizations for young people between the ages of 9 and 21. Brenda has been the 4-H coordinator of Durham East 4-H Association for 17 years and has been involved for over 25 years. All the kids have been involved in 4-H as members and leaders over the years. “It’s a family affair,” says Brenda, “and it’s where our children learned their sense of responsibility.”

In addition to their volunteer work with 4-H, Brenda also works with a local agricultural education program called Farm Connections as a committee member. Farm Connections is designed to have the farming community share their story with the students and all who attend “It’s really important here because we farm in a

very urban area of Ontario”, she says. For the past seven years, they have a three-day presentation in a local arena for Grade 3 children and two years ago, they started a one day program in the local high schools. More than 100 volunteers help to educate 1400 children and young adults each year.

Bringing the third generation of farmers into the fold is important to the Metcalf family and Nancy and her husband Dan are now involved in the operation. All of their children, partners and grandkids help out on the home farm when needed. Sunday night suppers are still an important weekly gathering for their children and grandchildren.

The Metcalf family believes that “Canadian farmers are honest, friendly, hardworking people, who believe in what they do and believe in the humane and responsible care of animals. They take pride in watching their crops grow, seeing the newborn calf take its first breath and sharing their love of farming with others.”

 

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