When you first meet Steve and Kahley DeVries, it is almost impossible to not fall in love with their family. Their picture perfect home sits atop a small hill, surrounded by farmers’ fields. In the faint distance, you can hear their three energetic kids playing outside as their family dog roams freely around their property.
Steve has been farming his entire life. Originally from Goderich, Ontario, his parents moved their dairy farm to Listowel, eventually transitioning into chicken farming and selling their dairy quota. Steve grew up not intending to take over the family farm until much later in his life, however, when his father passed away in 2010 his life plans were accelerated. Kahley and Steve have reinvigorated this family farm through hard work and dedication, and are proud to call it home.
Since taking over the farm, Steve and Kahley have each been able to sustain their own businesses and raise their kids, all while taking care of 175, 500 birds a year – a busy family indeed! Not only that, but both of them are deeply involved in the community – Steve is a part of a committee for their municipality, a member of their leadership at their local church and a District Committee Representative for Chicken Farmers of Ontario. Steve’s business, Gotham Electric, also helps fellow farmers with their electrical needs, while Kahley is a successful interior designer at Ambiance Interiors.
With three young kids, their own businesses, community work and a chicken farm, the DeVries say supply management is the driving key towards achieving all these goals and more. “[Supply Management] offers stability in pricing for us and consumers, consistent production. If I manage my business properly, I will be able to ensure my kids will have a chance at farming too” says Steve. The stability that supply management brings helps them schedule their work-life balance, and provides them with a stable income.
When it comes to the future of chicken farming, Steve has some wise words to share. “[It’s important that we] continue to represent its 1300 family farms, ensuring that consumers are presented with safe, high quality chicken at a reasonable and consistent price” Steve explains. “[Also, it is important to protect] supply management system by being vigilant with policy and government interactions to ensure that the privilege of supply management isn’t eroded or lost.”
Steve and Kahley reside in Atwood, Ontario with their three kids Noah, Lexie and Solomon along with their family pets, Biscuit the dog, and Gerty the cat.
FUN FACTS ABOUT STEVE