Faces of farming

FARM & FOOD CARE RELEASES 2014 CALENDAR

TAKE A GLIMPSE into Darcy Smith’s world and it is hard to believe he has time for anything extra. He is a proud dad to four young children, full time farmer, sportsman and active volunteer with several community groups.

He is also now the face of October and appears on the cover of the 2014 Faces of Farming calendar published by Farm & Food Care Ontario. The ninth annual “Faces of Farming” calendar, featuring the theme of Real Farmers with Real Heart, is designed to introduce the public to a few of Ontario’s passionate and hardworking farmers – the people who produce food in this province. Smith was nominated by Grain Farmers of Ontario for the honour and participated in a photo shoot this past summer with his family.

FARMING WITH FAMILY
Both sides of Smith’s family have farmed for generations. Until the recent passing of his great-grandmother (in her late 90’s), there were five generations of his family still living in the Pembroke area. He now farms with his dad, milking 50 cows and growing corn, soybeans, wheat, canola, sweet corn, pumpkins and hay on 1,500 acres of land.

When he was younger, Smith was not sure that he wanted to farm and, to help him make up his mind, his parents insisted that he try other careers. He worked in construction for a while and then attended Kemptville College to study agriculture.

It was there that he realized that he did want to continue the family tradition of farming. “I realized if I was going to be working hard, I might as well work for myself on the farm,” says Smith. He has never looked back from that decision.

It was at Kemptville that he met his wife, Lyndsay. Raised in Ottawa, Lyndsay had no farm background but was an avid equestrian who adapted well to the rural way of life that her husband introduced her to. The two married six years ago and are now parents to Austyn, aged four; Oliver, aged two; and newborn twin daughters Sadie and Dylan, born last June. Smith chuckled as he commented on the timing of his daughters’ birth. “They were born just after planting season. That worked out well.”

When he is not farming, Smith likes to hunt and plays hockey twice a week.

What does Smith like best about farming? “Growing is my main passion,” he said. “I love planting something and seeing it come up.” He also enjoys tackling new skills, recently taking on the renovation of a farm shop as a project.

A video interview with the Smith family is available at: http://youtu.be/k64uonUbE_g. You can order your copy of the 2014 Faces of Farming calendar online at: www.farmfoodcare.org.  A list of retailers selling the calendar is also located on that website. •