THIS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON
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Dave Hiscox’s passion for farming goes back to when he was just a child. He was exposed to farming and all things agriculture his entire life. In turn, he has numerous years of experience on both large corporate farms and smaller mixed-family farms, and in cash crops, beef, hog, dairy, horses and ranching.
Dave moved to Huntsville back in 1990 to help a friend with a farming project. His short stay turned permanent when he met his future wife, Meredith. Since then, Dave and Meredith have been partners in both life and business.
“She has been my best encourager in everything we have done over the years,” says Dave. “We balance each other out and push each other to learn and try new things.”
After his move to Muskoka, Dave spent the next period of his life working in the trades doing carpentry and landscaping.
Although I loved that phase of my life, the passion to farm never went away. In fact, the desire to farm only got stronger.
Since meeting Dave, Meredith has learned about numerous aspects of the farming world. She has also worked in retail, started and runs a children’s camp every summer, and was also a Program Director at Faith Baptist Church as she has a degree in Children’s Programming.
After having children, Dave and Meredith decided to buy their own 200-acre farm in Muskoka, and Riverglen Farms was born. They raise lamb, pork, turkey, chicken and eggs, and a black Angus cattle herd.
When the opportunity presented itself to open a store – Valley Feeds North in the former location of the Agro Centre at 223 Main Street West – Dave and Meredith had to act quickly.
“It was only two weeks from when we made the decision to open to when we needed to get it up and running. We worked around the clock to renovate the store and open as quick as we could this spring. Sleep is so overrated!” Dave laughs.
Dave believed his passion and knowledge was exactly what was needed for the couple to run a successful farm store. “With our own farming experience we understand the unique challenges of farming in Muskoka, including climate, logistics and obtaining supplies. We bring practical experience to the table that we happily share with our store patrons.”
Meredith’s favourite aspect of running Valley Feeds North is meeting new customers. “It was so interesting to learn about how many people have their own little hobby farms and backyard animals.”
Dave adds, “We really appreciate our clients who have supported us so loyally already. We enjoy the occasional time we get to sit on a pile of feed and just shoot the breeze with our customers.”
As for what’s next, Dave and Meredith are eager to expand upon many aspects of the business and implement some new ideas. Services coming in the near future include restoration of horse-drawn carriages and sleighs, farmhouse furniture, more saddles and bridles, and even farm-themed toys. Meredith and Dave can’t wait to see what the future holds for Valley Feeds North.
Valley Feeds North opened in May 2017 and carries anything you’ll need for both business farms and hobby farms. Dave and Meredith take pride in ordering as many local Canadian products as they can.
The store’s products include livestock and pet feed, farming equipment and tools, hay and straw, winter necessities such as ice melters and traction sand, stock tanks, heaters, bale feeders, various fertilizers, and fencing and gates. They also have farmhouse decor, muck boots and, one of their most popular sellers, Duray wool socks.