Beef Farmers in Niagara are few and far between. Les and Andy Klodnicki, brothers and members of Beef Farmers of Niagara moved to this area sixty years ago with their parents. The family farm was split, Les has 100 acres and Andy has 20 acres. Andy rents 300 more and grows all his own hay and buys his corn for the cows.
How many cows does Les have?—0—now! Although he still loves field work that he does with his brother Andy, he no longer has any beef. “I am retired from beef farming,” he explains.
How many cows does Andy have? “I have 12 cows,” Why? “Cause it is less work than 20,” he jokes. “Every morning I go out and put up one round bale, so therefore the number of cows equals the number of bales I have to put up each day. I need 365 round bales for the year, and oh yes about 1 bale a week for the bull.” 30 Herefords he used to have but now Andy is raising Red Angus, “they are easier calving’” he says.
Les worked in the steel mills and Andy worked for a cable TV company, but they both always did some farming. “I like field work,” says Les, “I always enjoyed going out on the tractor.” Andy like his brother also enjoys working for himself, “you make your own mistakes and pay for them, but you are always fixing the combine.”
Andy still shows his cows. He started showing before the 1980’s and he is planning on taking a 2 year old bull to the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair this year. He was recently given an award from the Smithville Fair for the longest exhibitor showing at the fair. This year with the help of Steve Dawson he is showing a heifer calf, a yearling heifer, a 2 year old bull, a bull calf and a yearling bull. Craig Lymburner was the man who first taught him how to show cattle.
When he isn’t in the fields Les likes antique cars and traveling. He has been to Brazil, Europe the USA and plans to continue seeing Canada. Les also volunteers with the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture.
Andy is not into traveling as he traveled extensively with his job, he does however enjoy vintage cars. “Perhaps I would like to drive Route 66 in a Vintage Car,” he says. Andy is enjoying his 12 cows and being treasurer for the Beef Farmers of Niagara.