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EASTERN ONTARIO: Dairy farmer ditched hydro bill by going solar

Posted on Dec 29th, 2017 by Jennifer Hannan

CASSELMAN - Crop farmers are already familiar with harvesting the sun and turning it into cash. But with increasing complaints about hydro bills and outrageous delivery charges, some dairy and poultry farmers are turning to the sun for their own operations. Casselman-area dairy farmer Thomas Meyerhans, who milks 130 Holsteins in a freestall parlour, paid $300,000 to install solar panels in July. Since then, he hasn’t paid a hydro bill, and he expects the panels to pay for themselves inside of 10 years.... 

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EASTERN ONTARIO: Ontario farm couple built robot dairy barn for next generation

Posted on Nov 20th, 2017 by Jennifer Hannan

FOURNIER - An Eastern Ontario farm couple constructed a dairy barn designed for the future. But whose future is still uncertain. Ken and Peggy Wilkes of Wilkridge Farm at Fournier, a half-hour west of Hawkesbury, erected the new barn even though it’s possible none of their three kids will take over the farm: Leigh-Ann, 27, is an agronomist researcher of canola with Bayer Canada in Saskatoon; Hannah, 26, is a social worker in Edmonton; and Andrew, 22, is finishing his fifth year of civil engineering at Ottawa’s Carleton University. Andrew has shown interest, but is focusing on school and his career for now.... 

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WESTERN ONTARIO: Dairy farm hosting open house after milking in rental for 10 years

Posted on Nov 6th, 2017 by Jennifer Hannan

Mike Bechtel rented an aging dairy barn for 10 years. But with a growing family and a desire to expand the farm it was time to move on. Bechtel had been renting from a neighbour, about 10 minutes from the home farm, north of Cambridge, since 2007. He grew up on a dairy and broiler chicken farm run by his father and uncle. But when the two went their separate ways, Bechtel’s uncle took the cows and his father kept the broiler chickens. “I had always enjoyed working with the cows, so it was never really a question of what industry I was going to get into,” Bechtel said.... 

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