“Be realistic. Work hard. Always strive to improve.” Three key pieces of advice from Emma and Sandy Cole of Eloc Farms.
Eloc Farms is a tie stall facility located in Middle Musquodobobit, here they milk 50 Holstein and Brown Swiss cows, grow 60 acres of corn for silage, with an additional 200 acres that is cropped for hay. Sandy works full time on the farm, while Emma runs her own fitness business called E Squared Fitness! She offers classes out of their hayloft on the farm and trains people online from across the country.
During the summer months the cows go out to pasture and are milked twice a day. Sandy’s parents help out on the farm, they also receive occasional help from high school students during the summer. The top 50% of their cattle are bred to sexed or conventional semen from the top bulls, with focus on udders, milk production and components, with show type on a select few, while the remainder are bred to beef.
“We enjoy the variety in each day’s activities. No two days are the same. It’s very satisfying to see the results of your work and knowing the impact decisions made in the past, play a part in the schematics of your operation,” said Emma. “We enjoy working with the cattle, being in the fields, and the continuous challenge to improve the farm and the herd.”
Emma and Sandy have been married for almost two years and have a beautiful baby girl, Pippa! Having both grown up on dairy farms – Emma in Ontario and Sandy in Nova Scotia – they have both experienced agriculture first hand.
“We recognized the sacrifices our families made and the work that has to be put in to be a successful farmer,” said Sandy. “We enjoy working outside, being our own boss, working on the land and with animals. Whether it’s watching your crops grow, or a calf grow up into a cow, it’s very satisfying. Some of our fondest memories growing up are working with our families on the farms!”
When asked what they love about Nova Scotia agriculture, “The agriculture community in Nova Scotia is very close knit and supportive of each other. There are a lot of young enthusiastic farmers out there that have the same drive and passion. It’s great to connect with one another whether it’s about the day-to-day operations, plans they have for the future of their farms or the future of agriculture in general.”
Emma and Sandy plan to continue growing their operation while at the same time becoming more efficient. Other goals for their farm include improving their land productivity, soil health, animal health, and milk quality and production.
Their final piece of advice for young farmers or those looking to get into farming?
“Set goals. Know where your dollars and cents are going. Don’t compare yourself to others; every farm is at a different stage in their journey, focus on where you want to be and how you are going to get there. Be able to adapt. Have patience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. There are many great minds, representatives and people in the field, use those resources, and listen with an open mind. Not every day is going to be a great day, don’t dwell on your mistakes, but learn from them.”