James Reesor with sow producer, Stan Brubacher | Rfw Farms
As a former swine specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, James Reesor knew the challenges facing the industry were daunting, but when he ‘hopped over the fence’ to devote himself to the production side, he understood that in order to be financially sound, a sustainable business model had to be built specifically for Ontario production.
In the two decades since he established a 300-sow farrowing herd, Reesor’s RFW Farms has grown into one of the larger hog operations in the province, producing 2,000 market hogs a week. RFW Farms produces these hogs through a multi-site farrow-to-finish production system that includes over 30 farm families throughout the counties of Huron, Perth, Middlesex, Wellington and Waterloo.
“There’s a lot of satisfaction starting a farm business that models what can be accomplished when things are done in a spirit of collaboration. This includes regular meetings with producers. As well, a summer evening pig roast is regularly enjoyed with producers and their families.”
The RFW Farms production system is based on mutual respect and accountability. It was forged through challenging times where the constant need to improve to meet evolving market demands required a diligent and methodical approach. Everyone in the system needs to be “all-in” for it to work.
“Ontario is a very good place to farm, but we need everyone in the supply chain to understand what’s involved in producing quality food at a competitive price,” says Reesor. “As farmers, we need to continue leading, moving the industry forward and setting high standards of production and animal care. Our customers know our product is safe and the animals are well cared for; we also know they’re looking for value.”
For a proponent of sustainable farming such as Reesor, to see everything coming full circle seems like the perfect analogy.
Dale and Louise Weber and their family,
sow producers with RFW Farms Ltd. in Wellington County