Meet the chicken farmer who is Mr. July
Wim Duizer 2012 Faces of Farming calendar
by Patricia Grotenhuis
Land availability and farming opportunities beckoned to Wim Duizer, a former dairy farmer, when he and his family left their native Holland for Canada in 2003. Now he is running his broiler chicken (meat chicken) farm and becoming involved in his new community.
Duizer now farms in the Woodstock area with his wife Caren and their three young children. His brothers, sister, and father are also farming in the area. Duizer is one of the farmers featured in the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar published by the Farm Care Foundation. His page is sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods.
“Over here, it’s easier to farm. We only had the barn and the cows in Holland. As a farmer, there are more opportunities (in Canada) – agriculture is a big part of this economy,” says Duizer.
When Duizer came to Canada, he chose to raise poultry rather than dairy because it offered more flexibility, allowing his family to have the occasional vacation where they could return to Holland and visit his wife’s family. Although chickens are the main focus on his farm, Duizer also keeps pigs and some sheep.
Duizer, like the majority of Canadian farmers, is committed to keeping his birds and animals healthy and comfortable. He follows an animal care program which includes involvement from his feed supplier, his veterinarian, and the supplier of the chicks that arrive on his farm at a day of age. He makes sure proper documentation is used, and also that animals and birds are treated humanely throughout their life.
“I always try to be around so I can make sure the animals are comfortable,” says Duizer.
Two HACCP-like programs are fully implemented on Duizer’s farm. HACCP is the abbreviation for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and is a food safety program that ensures all checks and balances are followed. In the chicken barns, he follows On Farm Food Safety Assurance Program and in the pig barns he follows Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) program. These programs require Duizer to have a third party auditor review all documentation kept on what has happened with the animals. If Duizer fails to meet requirements, he could lose his certification.
Duizer spends each day ensuring conditions are right for bird and animal comfort. Air quality, ventilation, temperature and water and feed systems are monitored, and visual checks of the animals are completed on a regular basis. Duizer is always looking for improvements he can make to keep his birds and animals healthy and comfortable.
Although Duizer is busy with the farm and his family, he is an active member of the local Rotary club and his church. He is also a proud supporter of his children’s hockey and soccer teams. His wife helps on the farm part time while holding an off farm job as well and when it comes to field work, Duizer has help from his brother.
Happy with the choices he and his wife have made, Duizer is looking forward to continuing to farm in Ontario.
“We really enjoy the family farm. It’s a privilege to grow up on a farm and have a farm. I want to give my children the values of rural Ontario and possibly see them farm one day,” says Duizer.
Posted by Farm and Food Care on July 5th, 2012 :: Filed under Agricultural Advocates,Animal care,animal handling,Animal health,Chickens,Faces of Farming,Farm life,Uncategorized
Tags :: agriculture, animal care, animal welfare, Canada, chicken, farm, Farmers
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