Robert and Gladys Estabrooks of Middle Sackville were honoured as Port Elgin Exhibition Farmers of the Year at a ceremony held last Thursday evening at the exhibition grounds. Shown here, left to right, Robert Estabrooks, Con Rommens, secretary/treasurer of the Botsford and Westmorland Agricultural Society and Gladys Estabrooks. LEBLANC PHOTO
PORT ELGIN, NB – A Middle Sackville couple have been named Farmers of the Years during the Port Elgin Exhibition, held last week in the village.
Robert and Gladys Estabrooks have worked on their family farm for the past 32 years. Their cow/calf operation also comprises some 700 acres of farm, marsh and woodland on which the couple continues to produce top quality calves. The family also includes three grown children, son Ryan and daughters Kourtney and Whitney as well as two grandchildren.
Long-time members of the Chignecto Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the Estabrooks’ are also supporters of the Botsford and Westmorland Agricultural Society. They have also been involved with the local 4-H movement over the years and all of their children have been active members during their growing-up years. In the near future they plan to become breeders of purebred border collies.
The couple noted recently that they grow mainly hay and silage as feed for their livestock and also sell some hay to other local livestock producers.
“We were a bigger operation but over the past few years we’ve downsized to about 100 head of cattle, that’s including calves,” Robert noted.
Several years ago he also began to work off of the farm, with Gladys at home during the day to maintain the farm routine.
Gladys keeps very busy with farm chores as well as growing a large kitchen garden each year.
“I also grow lots of sunflowers. Everybody knows where we live because they know I’m the lady with all the sunflowers,’ she said with a grin.
Over the years the Estabrooks family has been involved in many aspects of agriculture in the region. Gladys is a one-time board member of the Botsford and Westmorland Agricultural Society, convener of the local 4-H show and most recently as judge of cake-decorating for the Chignecto 4-H achievement day.
The Estabrooks’ both come from a farming background and some years ago they assumed operation of the family-owned farm.
“My uncle Herman (Estabrooks) owned the farm before us but it eventually passed on to us. We’ve spent a lot of time and money over the years – we’ve been married for 32 years - building the farm,” Robert said.
The couple are grateful for their uncle’s support, adding that he was confident that they would continue to work hard on the long-time family farm.
“Herman gave us some land, and we bought some too. He gave us a great start and we’ve always been appreciative for that. We wouldn’t have what we have today if it wasn’t for Herman. We actually still have six of his draft horses; they’re old now, but they’ll always have a retirement home here with us,” Gladys said.