Members of the Prescott County Holstein Club enjoyed their annual Family Night on Thursday, July 20 at Haspengouw Farm near Riceville, hosted by Marc, Josée, Mathieu, and Deborah Valkenborg. The event attracted about 300 farmers, their families, and other representatives of local agricultural businesses.
The Valkenborg family emigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1980. They have 75 milking Holsteins in their barn. The farm has experienced a series of developments over the past 43 years. In 1988, an addition was built on the original barn for heifers. A new dairy barn was built in 2012, and an extension to accommodate calves was constructed in 2019. In 2020, renovations were made to the milkhouse.
At the Family Night, there was a play area for children and a fine roast beef and barbecue chicken dinner. Marc Valkenborg said hosting Family Night was just a natural extension of their hospitality. On the following weekend, they were to host an annual event where 50 to 70 friends arrive with tents and trailers to camp on their property for the weekend with activities and entertainment for all ages.
“We were having that event, so we thought we would do this (Family Night),” he said.
“We like the fraternity,” Valkenborg added.