In 1953, the Brandsma family moved from Alberta to Abbotsford, BC, where they had purchased a small dairy farm. What began as a 15-cow operation has grown over the years, and today, the Brandsma Dairy Farm milks nearly 200 cows and is true symbol of traditional family farming.
Fred, the youngest of the nine Brandsma children, was just six months old when his family relocated to BC. Although he was familiar with dairy farming from his childhood, it wasn’t until he graduated from high school and worked on the farm with his dad that Fred really took an interest.
After getting married in 1975, Fred took over the Brandsma family farm, much to the joy of his parents who were proud to pass the business along to their youngest son, something that Fred himself would only fully understand once he had his own children.
Around the same time that the Brandsma family purchased their dairy farm, Clearbrook Grain & Milling was just getting its start. While it produced poultry feed for the first forty years, the company branched out in the mid-90s to include the dairy feed market and Fred Brandsma was one of their very first customers.
Recalling his longstanding relationship with Clearbrook Grain, Fred says, “They’ve been good and loyal to me through the years. The quality and price has always been there and it doesn’t hurt that the mill is just down the road. Clearbrook Grain has always been a really good outfit.”
Fred Brandsma’s oldest son, Chris, recently moved his family into the Brandsma family farm home to assume greater responsibility. Their other son, Richard, who lives nearby, also works on the farm. With Fred and his wife relocating to the house next door, and having lived at the same address since 1953, the move marks a significant milestone for Fred and his wife.
“I thought it would be a big adjustment but I am really enjoying watching my two sons take over the farm. They have more energy than I do these days, and it’s nice to watch them grow the farm for their family,” Fred shares.
Continuing with the family tradition, Chris and Richard Brandsma, in their increased roles on the farm, plan on staying with Clearbrook Grain as their primary feed supplier. Echoing the sentiments of dad, Fred, they too believe that Clearbrook Grain & Milling is, “…a real good outfit.”