We have been involved in the vegetable industry since the 1980s, when we first worked 90 acres of romaine, celery, onions, and carrots in the Holland Marsh, Ontario. In 1991, we started working in the poultry industry in Gorrie, Ontario, where we operated a broiler breeder operation with 6500 chickens. Three years later we purchased another broiler breeder farm, R&B Geertsema Family Farm Inc., in Thamesville, Ontario. This farm began with 22,000 breeders and 10,000 replacement pullets. In 2005 we sold our entire breeder quota and replaced it with pullet growing rights. We now grow 60,000+ chickens a year, from one day old until 20 weeks, for other growers who will then raise them for hatching eggs. R&B Geertsema Family Farm Inc. runs on twenty-six acres of land with three state-of-the-art pullet-growing facilities.
In 2001 we had a vision to expand our horizons and build a six-acre hydroponic greenhouse of red, orange and yellow sweet bell peppers; the greenhouse more than tripled in size in 2003, 2005, and 2007 to become a twenty-six acre operation. Today, it is 33 acres, with another 8.6 acres expansion set to begin. It is a family-run business, with our son-in-law Dave as grower, son Justin as operations manager, and three daughters Kristen, Rachel, and Leah involved in various aspects of production. Rob’s parents, Bill and Nell, also play a vital role in our family-based business.
Chickens and vegetables have been the livelihood of our family. We have developed careful and focused strategies, including maintaining new technologies, expansion projects, and various efficiencies. As a result, we have been able to grow and be a viable, profitable business that continually strives for excellence and integrity.