In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, we’d like to share a director’s profile for Chloe Duffy:
A little bit about me
In our family being a girl growing up wanting to farm was encouraged.
I am a 7th generation farmer along side my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, sister, brother-in-law, cousins and brother. I feel I have inherited the “farming gene” because of my love for animals and crops.
Both sides of my Duffy grandparents’ families have farmed since they have arrived in Canada in the 1830s, my grandparents are 5th, my dad is 6th, and I am 7th generation farmer.
From an early age I was always involved on the farm. I participated in some 4-H clubs. When I settled at home to start my own sheep herd of Suffolk Dorset in November of 2019, I had been working with family on the cash crop side of the farm, Duffy Farms. We farm around 1000 acres a year. We grow and harvest wheat, soybeans and corn along with fields of hay to feed our livestock.
When farming activities are in full swing everyone is involved whether that is hauling wagons, running seed to the planter, having meals prepared and delivered to the field or just being an extra hand when needed. It takes a team.
As well as my involvement in farming I have also competed in the sport of Eventing since the age of 13. Even though my parents were busy on the farm they still made it work for them to get me to my mentor Jessica Phoenix from Cannington, Ontario.
In 2017 I had the opportunity to compete at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships for the Junior Canadian Team in Kailspell, Montana. I along with three other teammates came home with Team Bronze and I personally placed individually 5th in all North America. I have had the honor to receive awards during my Eventing career such as The Harold Martin Memorial Outstanding Achievement Award from Wallaceburg Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, Ontario Horse Trials Association Young Rider Champion Award in 2017, Ontario Horse Trial Association Young Rider Preliminary Division Award in 2017 and the Ontario Quest for Gold Athlete Award in 2018.
I am sighted in the book called RISE The Jessica Phoenix Story. While travelling and competing with my horses I gained valuable knowledge and confidence. I always tried to be home for summer and fall harvest so I could be involved in the family farm operation. When I was competing somewhere in North America my heart was still at home.
Our family has always shared meat with families in our community that we have raised on our farm. When COVID-19 hit we had an abundance of people asking if we had any extra frozen meat in our freezers to feed their families. From there my mom had a vision of renovating an old pony barn, set it out at the road and fill it full of food to serve our community families.
With research my mom Sandy found that OMAFRA was offering a Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agri-Food E- Business grant which assisted with minor modification to a structure and to create a website for an online business. At the time when all this was going on, I was working for an equine/pet supplement company out of Wheatley, Ontario plus working along side my parents and family.
Even though I was working off the farm I knew that I needed to be at home on the farm doing what I love to do everyday, building the family farm operation. Then adding the farm store made it noticeably clear to me that I needed to be at home to assist with the growth of the vision.
Since March 2020, our little family farm store has supplied local families with meats, eggs, sweets, breads from Maple City Bakery, dairy and ice cream from Wallaceburg Jersey Dairy, Goat Cheese from Great Lakes Goat Dairy, produce from Prodenchuk produce in Chatham and sourcing out caned goods from Sunshine Farms in Thamesville, Ontario.
I have been inspired by my grandfather Jim Duffy’s involvement in many Local, Provincial and National Agricultural Boards.
His many years of serving has allowed many personal connections that has helped me on my agriculture journey. I have recently accepted my offer to attend Ridgetown College in the Associate Diploma in Agriculture program for the Fall of 2021.
I look forward to learning and investing into the Agriculture industry for my family and as its an honor to sit on the LFA board like my grandfather did to serve our community and their families.
Director, Lambton Federation of Agriculture