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Young couple transitions to dream farm thanks to retiring neighbours

Reference: FCC

Todd and Jennifer Payne bought their first 50 sheep from John and Eadie Steele’s breeding stock farm, Shepherd’s Choice, in 2015. At the time, they never dreamed that one day they would own the operation, one of the industry’s leading genetics farms.

But that’s just what happened. Within five years, the Steeles had shared their objectives with the Paynes and seized an opportunity to construct a non-traditional succession agreement — one that met the “next stage” goals of the Steeles and the farming aspirations of the Payne family.

History of Shepherd’s Choice
Shepherd’s Choice started in the late 1990s on land cleared by Eadie’s family in Norwood, Ont. Committed to genetic analysis, record keeping, industry benchmarks and cost of production, the Steeles built the herd genetics and are widely respected for their quality breeding stock, including purebred registered Texel sheep.

The Steeles attribute much of their success to their focus on profitability and drive to improve. They’re both graduates of the Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) program and were named Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers in 2002.

They believed a prosperous business would contribute to their farm succession plan. They wanted to make the farm attractive to their two children by establishing a thriving business that could make the farm a compelling option... Read More