Janet & Daniel Roelands
Ontario Pork Producers | Middlesex County, ON
Janet and Daniel Roelands operate a farrow-to-finish farm, raising pigs from birth until they are ready for market. Currently, they’re in the process of taking over the farm from Daniel’s parents. It helps that Daniel was raised on the farm, so he has plenty of experience, and he is already passing on his knowledge to his own six children who work alongside their parents in two teams, with the older children helping their younger siblings. Every day, one team heads out to the barn for chores, and the next day it’s the second team’s turn. In this way, Janet and Daniel are instilling a strong work ethic and creating opportunities for their children to learn lessons that reveal their strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, where their food comes from.
Janet and Daniel view their day-to-day routine as key to their family bond. “Our family life has improved by being able to run our own independent Canadian business. We can take the time to have a flexible lifestyle of working when we need to work, but also being able to spend time with our family. Some of the best quality time I spend with our family is working together. We truly are a family farm and everybody has a role. You can take the time to go and have a coffee at 3:00 when your kids get off the bus. Those life lessons are important too.”
Janet and Daniel are proud to carry on with Daniel’s parents’ membership in the Progressive Pork Producers co-op, which owns Conestoga Meats. Belonging to the co-op provides stability and strength through a sometimes-tumultuous market and ensures farmers have a voice at the table through every step of the journey from farm to table. This is important to Janet and Daniel, “One thing we wish consumers would realize when they’re enjoying Ontario pork is how much passion goes into that pork being made… When we go on social media, we’re talking about pigs and when we go out and socialize, go to a party, it’s a bunch of pig farmers together talking about pigs. It’s not just a job; it’s our life. So, what people are eating – there’s a lot of passion behind that.”
The Roelands are clearly passionate about what they do and continue to innovate and improve their farm and the quality of life of their animals. They care deeply and take great pride in the quality of the pork they raise. “Our favourite way to enjoy pork would probably be anything with bacon in it – bacon and eggs or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin or bacon on a hamburger. It doesn’t really matter to us as long as it has bacon on it. Our Saturday lunch special is Macaroni and Bacon, so…anything with bacon.”
Recipes from the Roelands
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