The Van De Riet Family

Farming runs deep in the Van De Riet family, but Joey Van De Riet thinks he really “got the bug” to go into farming during his year abroad in Australia where he lived and worked on a local farm. Not long after he returned, Joey went back for a second term, bringing then-girlfriend Sarah, now his wife, along with him.

“We did 10,000 acres of wheat, lupins, and barley with one combine,” explains Joey, smiling as he recalls his last Australia harvest. “It took us three months, but we loved it.”

Fast forward to today and Joey, along with his brother, Thomas, have a large hand in the farming operation with their father John. Both Joey and Thomas came back to the family farm in Shubenacadie, NS after attending school. Joey took AgBusiness at Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie University), and Thomas studied to become an aircraft mechanic.

“The end goal was always to come back to the farm,” says Joey. “We all find a way to work together and everyone has their own specialty and passion.”

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The Van De Riet’s work with their local DEKALB® Dealer, Nicholas Juurlink at Truro Agromart, to help make decisions for their operation. They appreciate the realistic advice they get and explained that the entire team at Truro Agromart have been really helpful to them – especially with soybeans. Soybeans have been on the Van De Riet’s land for over 5 years. Candidly, Joey commented that the genetics have really improved over the years, part of the reason they continue to choose the DEKALB® brand soybean varieties.

“Beans are forgiving,” says Joey. “We get good yields from them on marginal land.” This allows Joey, Thomas, and John, to spread out their harvest workload. They’ve grown DEKALB® 25-10RY and DKB008-81 to help spread out maturity on their acreage, but DEKALB® 25-10RY variety has become the gold standard. “It dries down well, nice to combine,” Joey says. “It’s a good ‘ole bean.”

In addition to soybeans, grain corn and silage corn are prominent crops on the farm. They look for corn with high yields and high energy—valuable crops to sell to local farmers. But they also look for these qualities in the hybrids that they grow for their own herd of over 100 cattle.

When it comes down to it, farming really is a family affair for the Van De Riet’s. Their mother, Angela, and Joey’s wife, Sarah, provide a lot of support, making meals and helping with chores and farm work. Their sister, Lindsay, also operates a dairy farm with her husband just 3 kilometres away.

“The best thing about being a farm family is that you’re always home together,” says Joey. “And I also get to spend a lot of time with my kids.”

Thanks to that precious time together, Joey and Sarah’s kids are already showing an early love for agriculture. Their daughter, Elsie has already developed a strong passion for animals. And if that’s not enough of a sign, son John’s first word was ‘tractor.’

We thank the Van De Riet family for choosing DEKALB® brand seed for their farm and wish the entire family & operation a safe and successful harvest this year and for many years to come. Check out the results of the Van De Riet’s corn trial and other farm-managed Market Development trials here… 


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