The Etsell family’s history with Clearbrook Grain & Milling began with Garnet Etsell’s role as CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for the company, a position he held for nearly a decade.
Garnet’s dream, though, was to own and operate his own farm – a dream he’d had since he was 15. “I told myself that if I didn’t own a commercial farm by the time I was 45, I’d stop trying,” recalls Garnet. “Two months before I turned 45, I purchased a turkey farm from the Friesens (owners of Clearbrook Grain & Milling).”
Today, Garnet Etsell owns 67 acres of land where he and his two sons, Nathan and Andrew, operate a turkey farm and loading business and also produce wine. While Garnet no longer works for Clearbrook Grain & Milling, the company has remained an integral part of his farming operations.
“We wouldn’t be farming without them,” says Garnet simply. “We recently sold off some of our quota to reduce density, and between that and improved feed, we increased our return. Clearbrook Grain’s feed is good quality and [has been a significant reason why] we have had the best results ever over the past couple of years.”
For Garnet, his favourite part of the agricultural business is resource management. His two sons are each responsible for managing a division of the farm. Andrew has always been interested in the grape and wine industry so, after receiving a diploma in Agriculture, he took over the cropping and loading division of the business. Nathan, the youngest son, handles the turkey operation.
Garnet Etsell has come a long way since his days of dreaming about owning a farm. He’s very thankful for the enjoyment and success he’s found with Coligny Hill Farms, and the role that Clearbrook Grain & Milling had in making his dream a reality.