Darryl Haanstra likes to joke around, but not too much. He is pretty serious, as he has a serious job. He has a wife Leah, three children Connor 5, Olivia 3, and Ally 1, two full time employees and 3 part time employees all depending on him. His job is cash cropping. With over 1000 acres to plant and harvest in corn, soy beans, wheat and red clover the weather plays a significant role in his well being. And the weather is something he has no control over.
The Haanstra’s purchased a dairy farm just outside of Smithville in 2010. After some renovations to turn the dairy barn into warehousing he was able to locate his cash crop business, now operating under the name of Twenty View Farms on this site. Custom spraying, planting and harvesting are also offered as are sales of Alpine liquid fertilizer. Darryl has also taken over some of the Pioneer Seed Sales of corn, soy beans, wheat, alfalfa and inoculants from Brian and Alice Heaslip.
As a boy he grew up on the family farm Jodieville Dairy. He always helped in the barn, picked berries, worked in a greenhouse and had part time jobs. Upon graduation from high school he attended Ridgetown College and graduated in 1999 with Honours from the Agriculture Diploma Course. He always enjoyed working outdoors and although farming is very challenging this is what he wanted to do with his life. “I like working outside, working with people and exceeding customer’s expectations,” he shares. “It is a lot of responsibility and it is often hard making decisions as the answers are not always clear but that’s ok. I plan to be here (in farming) for a long, long time.”
What does he see in the future? “More technology and continuation of the work we are presently doing, more mapping and more use of GPS,” he says.
There is a bit of time for some fun; camping and spending time with his kids are how he enjoys his free time and a bit of volunteering too. A Board member of the Ontario Soy Bean Growers Association and volunteer with the West Niagara Fair and Poultry Fest fill up his days and there is always a bit of rest in the winter.