June 30, 2017

Happy Canada150


Canada, 150 Years and Counting

This year we celebrate Canada’s 150 th , marking the Confederation of Canada, on July 1, 1867. As we celebrate this sesquicentennial anniversary, we invite you to look back at the rich farming history of the Hudson family that has been deeply rooted in Canada history.

The Hudson Family Voyage from Scotland

In 1874, seven years after Canada’s federation, Joseph Hudson embarked on a journey from Stranraer, Scotland. Joseph was 17 years old when he boarded ‘The Scandinavian’ passenger ship and began his voyage to the ‘New World’, along with his parents and five of his siblings. They settled in Leeds County in Eastern Ontario.

Burnbrae Farms, from Humble Beginnings

Joseph met and married Jean and welcomed three children. In 1891, he purchased 100 acres of land near Lyn, Ontario to carry on the farming tradition, he named it Burnbrae Farms.

In 1922, the farm was passed down to Joseph’s only son, Arthur Joseph. Arthur Joseph and his wife Mary Evelyn raised their 5 children on the farm, continued to cash crop and expand their dairy herd of Ayrshire cattle.

Burnbrae is a name of Scottish origin, which symbolizes two elements still very present on the farm today; ‘Burn’ is the Scottish word for stream, which flows through the south of the farm, while ‘Brae’ is for hills, which are present on both sides.

Burnbrae Farms a Canadian/Scottish Legacy

Arthur’s youngest of five children, Joseph (Joe) was born in 1929. Joe and his four siblings grew up working on the farm and attending the local one room schoolhouse. The children were no strangers to hard work and were involved in farm work, starting each day milking the cows before school.

The Beginnings of Egg Farming at Burnbrae

In 1943, Joe took on an agriculture project in high school with his brother Grant’s help, they raised 50 leghorn chicks to laying hens. When Joe finished high school, the number of laying hens increased to 3,000 which became an integral part of the farm.

The Shift from Cash Crops & Cattle to Full Time Egg Production

Over the years the farm’s focus shifted towards egg production and the first laying hen barn was built in 1952. As demand increased, Burnbrae Farms began buying eggs from other farmers in addition to grading and packaging their own. This era was also marked by Burnbrae’s first grocery store account, Steinberg’s in Montreal. Burnbrae Farms continued to grow and added more barns and further expanded their grading facility. A further processing plant to break, pasteurize and package eggs sold to bakeries , restaurants and industrial customers was also added to meet the demand for egg products.

Passing on the Family Legacy & Looking Towards the Future

Today, the business founded by those two keen entrepreneurial young men has farms and grading stations across the country in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia servicing retail and food service chains across the country. Processing operations in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba ship egg products across Canada and parts of the United States. Burnbrae Farms is a thriving participant in Canadian agribusiness and continues to be a privately held Canadian family business. The 5 th generation of Hudsons (descendants of old Joseph Hudson who immigrated from Stranraer, Scotland) are still actively involved in the business. They are very proud of the thriving legacy built and nurtured by Joe and Grant Hudson that began over 120 years ago on the original 100 acres.

Why is Canada’s ‘Birthday’ Important for Burnbrae Farms?

‘It’s so important for us to celebrate Canada’s birthday, because we’re proud Canadians! This country symbolized so much for my great-grandfather Joseph when he took a chance and emigrated from Scotland 143 years ago, we continue his farming legacy to this day. The eggs we produce are an integral part of the everyday diet and we are proud to supply Canadians with healthy, abundant, affordable food. To all of our farmers, employees and our customers; Happy Canada Day!’  Margaret Hudson, President, Burnbrae Farms.