Talking with Ont. farm moms before Mother’s Day

Talking with Ont. farm moms before Mother’s Day
May 07, 2020

Raising kids on a farm teaches them invaluable lessons, one mom said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

With Mother’s Day approaching on Sunday (don’t forget!) reached out to some farm moms in Ontario to find out what they love most about being a farm mom or growing up with one.

Teresa Van Raay raises cash crops and hogs with her husband Martin in Huron County.

Their four children are adults now, but Teresa remembers having them around the farm as youngsters and watching them learn important lessons they would carry with them as they got older.

“Anything that’s worth doing is challenging and you’d get to see them learn about the highs and lows of what it means to work on a farm,” she told “Then as they got older, they started to understand and appreciate the difference between working on a farm and their friends who didn’t have that opportunity.”

Van Raay also holds the title of farm grandma.

With six grandchildren at the farm at different times, the little ones have taught her how to appreciate the little things in life – especially in the age of COVID-19 when the number of visits has been reduced.

“When I do see them, I remember how blessed I am,” she said. “There are so many experiences the little ones can enjoy like riding in the tractor or the Gator. They love you no matter what and they just enjoy the moment. I think sometimes we can forget to do that, but the grandkids always remind me of how much I have in my life.”

Jackie Kelly-Pemberton is a beef and cash crop producer in Dundas County.

Like Van Raay, Kelly-Pemberton enjoyed watching her two daughters grow up on the farm and absorb important life lessons.

“They learned so much about life, hard work and having a good work ethic and selflessness,” she told “I believe these are traits that children raised on a farm learn from a very young age.”

One set of memories that stands out for Kelly-Pemberton is how much time the family spent in the barn when the girls were babies.

“The kids were with us in the barn all the time,” she said. “We had a playpen, a swing and other stuff in there. Picture a 45-head milking herd, a two-year-old in a swing and a six-year-old helping to feed calves. There was so much togetherness and those are strong memories for me.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms from!

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Comments (1)

I worked off the farm to help subsidize our income when our children were young - my wife did the chores at night often I had to work late (our kids did the same). Now retired I collect money for my IGWM walk for Alzheimers - last night in Wingham ON I did an interview with> from Vancouver as I have been collecting pledges for a total of $84,000.00 in 10 yrs. May God Bless all mothers who raise their kids & support their husbands each day!! My wife helps balance all the money I receive (thousands) each year when I go door to door in Grey/Bruce & Huron Counties (Ont). The interview is on Zoom Sun. May 31st Alzheimer Walk.
Peter Carter |May 8 2020 5:34AM

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