Third generation County farmer spreads wings into pastured poultry business

IN THE PEN Third generation farmer Wyatt Brauer sitting in one of his five chicken tractors on his family's 200 acre farm where he has started a pasture raised chicken business called Opa's Acres. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

Wyatt Brauer, a 23-year-old third generation farmer, is taking care of the land his grandfather purchased in 1956 and has started a new poultry venture called Opa’s Acres.

Launched this spring, Opa’s Acres in Ameliasburgh produces locally grown pastured chickens which are raised using the healthiest and most humane practices in the industry. 

For the first three weeks after hatching, the chickens are raised in batches of fifty in warm, spacious and well ventilated enclosures with unlimited food and water. Once the chickens grow their adult feathers, they are moved to mobile pens called chicken tractors. Here they get access to fresh grass everyday. The entire pen is moved every other day to ensure the chickens always have a fresh pasture to roam on.

The farm also has sheep, a few cattle, some ducks and four dogs and are planning to expanding their produce operation next year focusing on an assortment of fruits and vegetables.

Continuing his family’s farming legacy, Brauer also plans on using the farm on County Road 28 as a testing ground for new methods of sustainable agriculture.

“The farmland my family resides on has been in our family since 1956,” Brauer expressed to The Gazette. “My Opa made his living on this land and was able to provide for his family and his community with it. I wish to do the same. I also plan on using the farm as a testing ground for new methods of sustainable agriculture. The raison d’être for Opa’s Acres is honouring the past and shaping the future of agriculture. “

The name Opa’s Acres comes from Brauer’s late grandfather, Gerry Brauer, who was the first of his family to immigrate to Canada from Germany.

“I wanted his legacy to continue with the land he started my family on,” stated Brauer. “He was a farmer, and this was his land. As the generations continue on, the title of Opa will be passed along. Eventually, I will become an Opa. The name will live on as will this land. “

Brauer added how honored he is to be a third generation farmer and how future generations need to make sustainable agriculture a normal thing.

“I am enormously privileged to have been born and raised on this land here in the County and I never take a day for granted,” Brauer said. “I work hard everyday to keep the farm operating the way my Opa would have wanted and the way the future needs. My priority is making sure future generations are taken care of by making sustainable agriculture the norm. Methods across many industries need to change and we are doing our part in agriculture to help lead the way. If we are able to establish sustainable and profitable practices, there is no reason other farms and companies in the same sector wouldn’t be able to follow suit. Businesses need to make a profit to stay alive, and things need to change so the earth can stay alive. We want to prove sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand.”

Price per chicken is $3.50 per pound and is pickup only with several processing options available to fit your specific needs

For more information or to order your pastured chicken, please visit https://opasacres.ca