Virginia Ambler

Keene, Ontario

What do you grow / raise on your farm?
We raise organic chicken, as well as grass fed beef (Black Angus/Devonshire). We grow hard red winter wheat, soybeans and corn. We also produce maple syrup. All of our farms are organic.

What is your role within the farm?
Technically, I’m the President but I don’t like to call myself that. I refer to myself as the nucleus that takes all of the loose ends and ties them together with skills of Banking, Human Resources, Payroll, Accounting, Health and Safety etc.

What is most important to you about farming organically?
We all share ideas of sustainability and being responsible to the environment. On our farm, we see certified organic farming as a challenge. There is always an interesting aspect to research and set standards for. We are very excited that our crops can be harvested and returned to our farms as feed. Organic farming can be very rewarding both economically and ethically.

What do you enjoy most about being part of your family farm operation?
We all enjoy working together and working outdoors, particularly my son Wray, who is involved in all farm operations and management. Our daughter Jessica, a CA, CPA in Toronto provides accounting advice and support when needed. Our one common goal of farming organically unites us and keeps us moving forward. We take this quite seriously! Our farm is self sufficient with each person bringing special skills to the table. Whether this might be business skills, real estate skills, accounting skills, management, operational or mechanical skills.

Our farm is constantly evolving – each day differs from the next as we strive to perfect our practices and processes. This makes for a lively discussion at Sunday dinners! We also love and respect animals, on our farm that is a given. Our family has grown to a group of outstanding employees who also share our beliefs and offer their skills.

What advice would you give to women interested in working in agriculture?
Traditionally there have always been jobs in agriculture where the wife worked alongside her husband. Today there are so many opportunities for women, including being an owner/operator. I would encourage women to analyze their skill set, and follow their passion. Whatever that is, there is a career for you in agriculture! In the past we have hired female summer students and would recommend this as a great way to learn about working in agriculture.

What is your favourite chicken dish?
I now have numerous recipes that I enjoy but my most favouite, keeping it simple, is a fresh Yorkshire Valley Farms chicken on a rotisserie with a little salt, pepper and thyme.

What is your favourite way to enjoy eggs?
Again, keeping it simple I love a great omelet with numerous vegetables added and perhaps a little cheese.

Our commitment to organic

When our founding farmers started farming in Ontario many years ago, they chose to grow organically because they knew it would provide the best products for their families and friends.

Our Commitment to Organic

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Yorkshire Valley Farms

Peterborough, Ontario

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