Birchwind Holsteins - The Vice Family
Ron and Debbie Vice are third generation farmers who, over the years, had developed an acute awareness of environmental issues that were threatening their existing way of farming. In 2000, they made a decision to grow crops without the use of herbicides and commercial fertilizers. With the help of farmer friend Harry Peeters, the Vices began their transition to organic certification.
“Each day we are convinced that our decision to adopt the organic system has benefits for our land, our animals and for sustaining our family farm,” says Debbie. "These days the walk to the barn is more enjoyable,” Ron says. “We feel much more positive about our future and the fun has come back to farming for us. Farmers often forget how blessed we are to enjoy a lifestyle where we can live and work with our families.”
On January 27, 2011, Ron and Deb won the Organic Council of Ontario's (OCO's) Dairy Producer of the Year Award! For photos and more information about the event visit our facebook page and OCO's page. Congrats Birchwind Holsteins!
Ron and Deb wanted to share some videos of the comings and goings of their organic dairy farm. Here are a couple of them for you to take a look at.
Ron Introduces Birchwind Holsteins Farm
Birchwind Holsteins out to pasture for the first time in 2011!
Birchwind Holsteins out to pasture for the first time in 2010! April 24, 2010.
Birchwind Holstein cows coming into the barn April 10, 2010.
Its a hot sunny day in July and Deb is in the hay field to describe what's going on, while Ron drives the tractor.
This is a video that was produced by Sustain Ontario that showcases Ontario Organic Growers and their thoughts on the food system and how they are trying to change it one small step at a time. Both Ron and Deb are shown in this video. For more information about Sustain Ontario visit: www.sustainontario.com