Darcy & Shayna met in 2006 while Darcy was finishing up his last year of Junior A hockey and Shayna was starting her nursing degree. They bought their farm in 2010, south of Rock Lake, and moved there in 2011. They have three very active children, Everley (6), Vaughn (4), and Paxton (2). All kids love the farm life and for the animals on the farm. They follow their Dad and Grandpa everywhere in case the chance arises to get a quad ride, help with cattle, fence, or get a tractor ride, all while they ask a million and one questions along the way. This year, they have expanded their animals to include pigs, geese, and chickens. Everyone has really enjoyed the entertainment the animals have supplied and spend a lot of time with them, just watching.
Darcy grew up playing hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer, when he wasn’t playing sports or going to school, he was learning how to do everything on the farm from putting up fence to driving the grain truck. As a young lad on the farm he had pigs and remembers his brother, Danny’s chickens. Darcy always enjoyed being around the cattle most. When his dad, Greg, transitioned from back-grounding steers, back to cow calf pairs in the early 2000’s, that’s when he bought his first cows, and the passion for cattle grew. In the last couple years, another passion has grown, one of improving the soil and the connection between a healthy soil, healthy animals and how that is connected to the regenerative agriculture movement. Not a great deal has changed for Darcy since he was young, still plays hockey and baseball as often as he can and is still trying to learn something everyday on the farm so it can be applied.
Shayna grew up in Killarney on a cattle and grain farm. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere but a farm. A love for animals has always been present, but never did she imagine having geese, chickens and pigs! Shayna has her Bachelor of Nursing from Brandon University and has worked at Boundary Trails Health Centre since 2012. The freedom of shift work has given her the opportunity to do the job she loves, but also have the time to help out and work on the farm. She loves with working with the cattle, especially during calving time, helping out during harvest in the combine, and more recently loving the new animals on the farm.
Dan has always had a deep connection with farming. As a small boy he spent hours riding along with his grandpas and his dad in the field. When he was old enough to see over the steering wheel he was helping alongside them. He’s worked with the cattle, the grain and he even raised chickens and collected eggs in his youth.
He started with the 4-H Beef Club when he was nine years old and continued working and showing cattle until he was eighteen. He took to the responsibilities of the farm very early on and enjoyed long hours in the tractor or truck. In high school he started his Heavy Duty Mechanics degree with ACC and completed the 2 year program in 2002. He’s always had a very mechanical mind and has been taking apart and rebuilding things since he was little. He worked for Pembina Agricenter which was later bought by Mazer Group for six years and then moved on to Double Diamond in 2005.
In 2007 Dan bought the farmstead he currently still farms and in 2008 Dan and Rheagan were married. Dan continued farming and working for Double Diamond until his brother Darcy joined the farm. Dan, Darcy and Greg amalgamated their farms into GDD Stewart Farms in 2017. Dan’s favourite time of year is harvest. He loves the fast pace and getting to see the yields and quality...the fruits of his labor! The farm has always been extremely important to Dan and he works hard to keep up with the latest farming trends and techniques. Small town living is where his heart is at and his surrounding communities are a huge priority as well. He has joined the sports club in Clearwater and is a volunteer firefighter with Crystal City’s crew.
Dan and Rheagan had Emmett in 2015 and his love of the farm life is strongly apparent already. He loves nothing more than to help his dad in the shop or check the cows and crops on the quad. He tinkers in the yard with his dog Dublin, often recreating ‘getting stuck’! He reads “The Market Book” religiously and plans on all the equipment he is going to buy. He spends a lot of time in the kitchen and the garden helping his mom or fixing things and field work with his dad! He’s got dirt in his veins like Dan that is for sure and someday plans to continue on the family tradition and farm with his dad!
Greg and Brenda both come from farming backgrounds. Greg started farming right out of high school, 40 years ago. Greg grew up on the farm that he and Brenda have farmed for the past 37 years. Brenda grew up on a grain and cattle farm near Mather, MB. Greg and Brenda raised their three children, two sons and a daughter, on the family farm that Greg grew up on. Greg's father bought the land when he returned from the war and this is where the Stewart family has lived ever since.
Farming has long been a way of life for the Stewart family, from Greg's great grandfather who farmed in Scotland to coming to Canada to start a new life farming in this wonderful, new country. From an early age the Stewart children embraced the farm way of life. Dan, Kara and Darcy spent many harvests riding in the grain truck with their dad, while Grandpa Alex drove the combine. It has always been a family affair and continues to be. It is an exciting and rewarding time of the year. The Stewart children were always there to help with the chores, feeding the animals and driving the machinery when they were old enough. Over the years the farm has changed from raising pigs, chickens and cattle to just cattle. They survived the difficult BSE years through hard work, determination, and working together. They have changed from putting up many, many bales of hay and straw to corn silage and now forage silage.
When Dan and then Darcy decided to join Greg and Brenda on the farm they were able to buy land themselves. Since then they have tried to change with the times. But one thing that didn't change was their value and commitment to the land they own, the quality of the animals that they raise, the importance of their commumity and the great pride that their children are following in their footsteps. Greg and Brenda are very grateful to have both Dan and Darcy farming alongside them, as well as having their daughter Kara, her husband, Nick and their family farming near Mather, just down the road from them.
Nothing makes Greg happier than to have at least one grandchild on his knee in the tractor, having a very indepth converstion with any one of the kids, boys or girls, about the way of farm life. Brenda loves to see how excited the kids are to spend some time with Greg checking the animals or a ride in the combine or tractor.
Their family has always come first and both Greg and Brenda are very happy to share this life with all of their kids and their families.. All three kids have dirt in their veins and all three love what they do.