150 years

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

Canada’s ear­li­est dairy farm­ers left be­hind all they had ever known to pur­sue a new life in a vast and of­ten harsh new world. In most cases, the de­ci­sion to im­mi­grate meant they would never again see their fam­i­lies or take com­fort in fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings. Some had left farms in their coun­tries of ori­gin; oth­ers had never farmed be­fore they pur­chased land and live­stock in the New World. How­ever, the ba­sic sur­vival in­stinct was com­mon to all. These small home­steads sus­tained their fam­i­lies and fed their com­mu­ni­ties through­out two world wars, the Span­ish In­fluenza, and the Great De­pres­sion.

To­day, there are 11,280 dairy farms lo­cated in each prov­ince across the coun­try. Dairy farms were never es­tab­lished in Canada’s ter­ri­to­ries due to colder tem­per­a­tures.

Some of Canada’s dairy farms in op­er­a­tion to­day were founded long be­fore Con­fed­er­a­tion. These her­itage farms, along with their fam­ily tra­di­tions and knowl­edge of the land, have been passed down through gen­er­a­tions of de­scen­dants for over 150 years.

Through­out the tur­bu­lence of the 20th cen­tury, four gen­er­a­tions of the Wert fam­ily have pro­vided suc­cor to the vil­lage of Avon­more.

Although the Werts’ farm is older than Canada it­self, the forces of his­tory that shaped the na­tion also shaped the fam­ily’s own her­itage.

In 1864, Rod­er­ick McLen­nan pur­chased a 100-acre par­cel of land that would be­come Stan­lee Farms. Rod­er­ick passed the farm down to his daugh­ter Hat­tie and her hus­band Stanley Wert. Their son Se­sel and his wife Mavis bought the farm in 1953, and passed it on to Jim and Nancy Wert, the cur­rent own­ers. Jim and Nancy have four sons, Nick, Patrick, Chris, and Ryan. Ryan cur­rently works full-time on the farm.

The for­tunes of the Wert fam­ily and Avon­more were in­ter­twined through two world wars, the Great De­pres­sion, and per­sonal

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