Philip & Kyla Wiedrick
Ontario Pork Producers | Norfolk County, ON
The Wiedrick family has a long history of farming. “There’s a story about my ancestors that they were bringing a herd of cattle to Canada for their new farm, and the ship ran out of food, so they slaughtered one to feed everyone,” says Philip. The first family members settled in Haldimand County. Over the years, they moved to neighbouring Norfolk County. As the fifth largest agricultural region in Ontario, Norfolk County is a community centered around farming. “It’s why local food matters to us,” states Philip. “These local farmers are our friends, neighbours and coworkers. We like to support them.”
“Throughout the generations, our family has been in and out of pigs many times. We had the opportunity to buy 250 pigs a week and eventually moved it up to 600 a week,” Philip recalls. In 2014 he bought a nearby barn and since then has worked to improve and grow production. He now runs a 4,000 sow farrow-to-part-finish operation on 900 acres. “We also built a chicken barn for 55,000 broiler chickens in 2018 and at the time of construction might have been the largest single-storey chicken barn in Canada. We try to be leading-edge with everything we do.”
Farming is a way of life and one that makes Philip proud. “We wish everyone knew about pork grown in Ontario because each farmer has invested multiple hours of time and energy into their pigs. They have endured vigorous paperwork and government regulations to grow their pigs and it results in quality meat, humanely grown and nothing added.” The best way to enjoy Ontario pork? “Anything on the barbecue!”
Philip is hopeful for the future of his farm as he looks to his oldest son. “When I finished high school, my dad started giving me more and more responsibility, so the transition was pretty gradual,” Philip notes. “Mom and dad are still fully involved, and it’s priceless to have that experience available. My wife works on the farm, and my sisters used to. My oldest son is pretty interested in the farm, so one day, I hope we can do the same for him. It can be a tough business and there are a lot of external factors that are out of our control, but I feel very excited about what we’re leaving for the next generation.”
Recipes from the Wiedricks
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CONNECTIONS, TRUST, AND LOCAL FOOD.
Meet the people behind the Ontario food supply chain.