The Wiedrick family has a long and prosperous history locally and they recently held an open house to allow visitors to get an inside look at their operations at 1816 Conc. 8, Townsend. Having driven by their farm a number of times I found myself curious to learn more.
Stepping into their state of the art facility it was evident that you didn’t have to be a farmer to fit in and everyone there was more than happy to give you a tour and explain their operation.
Through 7 generations the Wiedrick’s have been a local farming family and it all began in 1868 when Jacob Wiedrick moved into a farm at Lot 24, Conc.7. and developed a good herd of Holstein dairy cattle. Jacob and his wife were blessed with a son, Mahlon, who was born and raised on that farm. Mahlon eventually purchased land next door, in or around 1912, and worked hard and prospered greatly. He was well known to all around for raising not only
Holstein cows but Silver Foxes as well. The foxes were shipped to Quebec for their fur. He later diversified and added pigs and chickens to his farm.
Mahlon and his wife were blessed with 3 sons and Mahlon wanted to pass his farm onto one of them but was not about to leave out the other 2 sons so he went on to purchase the farms to the west and south of his home farm to provide each with their own farm. In 1956 newlyweds Arthur and Norma Wiedrick moved into the farm to the south, Lots 23 & 24 Conc8, where they raised their two children – Marvin and Marline. It was decided that they needed a name for their farm that would represent their family so the name Mae-Mart Farms was ‘born’ – Mae for Norma’s middle name, Mar for Marvin and Marline with the Art for Arthur. The small, family farm has since grown and they have delved into a number of diverse enterprises from Charolais cattle to dairy goats to chickens. The odd time a horse or sheep would be thrown into the mix.
In 1997 Mae-Mart Farms decided to expand their operations and a large pig barn was built. This was in addition to their chicken crop at that time.
When Arthur and Norma’s son, Philip, graduated University in 2004 he was able to work full time on the farm so, yes, it was time to grow again. In 2005 they were able to purchase the original home farm from Mahlon’s son Norman and in 2007 a Feed Mill was started at this location. But they were not done expanding operations. In 2010 they purchased land on Conc. 11. and the seed cleaning business that came with it. In 2014 they would once again expand operations and purchased land and a 1500 head sow barn on Conc.12.
They recently held an Open House to showcase their new feed mill and to let the public see first hand what they do there. They began production at the Mill in April of this year and, hopefully, will process about 20,000 tonnes of feed per year – all for their own use and their 38,000 pigs. Pigs are housed in several locations. They have a barn on Conc.12, 2 farms on Conc.8, one on Hwy. 3 and also Haldimand-Dunnville Townline, Dunnville. They also have a few contracts where they own the pigs but not the facility.
Today, with all the land purchases and land rentals they have, Mae-Mart Farms has seven hundred acres of land and raise about 200,000 chickens and 30,000 pigs each year. “We’re members of the Co-Op of Conestoga Meats and truck about 800 pigs there weekly”. There is definitely no time for grass to grow under their feet!
An operation such as theirs requires a fairly large staff of dedicated workers. Mae-Mart Farms employs about 50 people, all full time and all year round. Conveniently their offices are located just across the road from the Mill on Conc. 8.
The vision of Mae-Mar Farms is simple – ‘to grow into a self-sustaining agribusiness ensuring that their products always exceed quality and care standards’. They strive to make each of their employees feel that they are a part of their family and that together they can help each other reach their own personal and professional objectives