Ricky Sanderson

Every day on the farm, Ricky Sanderson is close to his roots. His grandfather, Fulton Sanderson, started the farm just outside of Cornwall, PEI in 1947 just after World War I. Today, Ricky and his wife, Shirley, live on the same family farm a stone’s throw away from his father John’s house along the North River of Charlottetown. He farms with his father, John, uncle Robert, brother-in-law David, and 3 brothers: Randy, Rodney, and Robby. Shirley and his sister, Tracey, also support the farm by keeping on top of the bookkeeping, and of course, keeping the family in line. When it comes to doing the work on the farm, everyone is a team.

“Everyone in the family knows what’s got to be done and is willing to put in the extra hours,” explained Ricky.

Ricky started farming after he graduated school. He remembers his father, John, pulling him out of school at an early age during the busy times to help out with whatever was needed on the farm. Now 84 years old, John is still very passionate and involved in the operation.

“He just loves it,” explains Ricky, “He can’t stop farming and still spends 12-hour days on the farm. It’s in his blood, and he’s happy doing it.”


The Sanderson farm raises beef cattle, but also grows a variety of crops including potatoes, corn, barley, and soybeans. Corn is a long-standing crop that the Sandersons have been growing for over 30 years. They use it as a feeder for their feed lot to add nutrition to their grass and barley mix. DKC30-07 RIB are just one of the hybrids that they plant and use for cattle feed on the farm.

“It’s done quite well on PEI – it’s a good yielder and has good starch.”

When it comes to soybeans, Ricky likes his fields clean and his hybrids to finish early. One of the biggest challenges he finds with soybeans is that they can sometimes compete during harvest with potatoes and it becomes hard to manage both crops late in the fall, but the Sandersons manage to make it work. On their farm, they grow a few different varieties with higher CHU’s to help spread out harvest, like DEKALB® 25-10RY, 27-12RY, and 27-60RY.

“They’re fairly easy to grow,” explains Ricky, “soybeans were a learning experience in the beginning, and it still is, but there’s not a whole lot to them once you get them figured out.” Both Ricky and John appreciate the advice they get from their local DEKALB® Dealer, Shawn Kerry.​

“We’ve got a super guy here,” said John, “He’s terrific! He’s a top notch salesman, he looks after everyone, he never growls, he never complains, you can talk to him anytime you want… which I do quite a bit!”

Shawn knows the Sanderson’s crops so well, he sometimes notices changes before the family does.

“Last year they weren’t cutting beans around here,” John recalls, chuckling, “I said to Ricky, why aren’t we cutting the beans yet? I told Ricky to phone Shawn and ask him if they’re ready. And Shawn told us, ‘that field was ready last week’. So we went right at it!”​

Just as enthusiastic about farming are Ricky’s sons, Dylan and Brodie, and daughter, Jaime-lynn, who are all close to home to help out on the farm. Even keener are granddaughters, Reese and Reagan, who can regularly be found picking potatoes and rooting in the dirt when visiting their Grandpa. Reese is already boasting that she wants to be a farmer when she grows up. With great-grandpa John still riding the tractor around the farm, the kids have a pretty good idea of how deep the love of farming can go. And with a love that deep, it’s no wonder the farming gene has stayed strong in the family for 60 years.

We thank the Sanderson family for choosing DEKALB® brand seed for their farm and wish them a safe and successful harvest this year and for many generations to come. Check out the results of farmer-managed DEKALB Market Development trials on DEKALB.ca this fall.

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