Founder and Owner
Hi, I'm Patrick.
Thank-you for visiting the website. This company is the product of my lifetime interest and passion for design and agriculture. As a young kid, I was one of a handful of cousins who rode around in harvesters and forage trucks on our family's 200 cow dairy operation near Kerwood Ontario. Cows were always a part of my families history, with Dutch cheesemakers on the one side, and a milk tester turned dairyman on the other. However, in 1998, the extended family decided that the best solution was to dissolve the farm and let each partner start out on their own. And so I went from being the son of a dairy farmer, to one of a chicken farmer.
For a long time that didn't sit well with me, as I yearned for the cows to come back, and for the harvests to return, and for the whole wonderful mess that is an operating dairy farm to return. But I was also confronted with the knowledge that part of why the farm dissolved was that the partners involved, my uncles, were tired of working in the run down facilities that were the result of years of renovations on renovations. I took it upon myself to figure out what went wrong, and to try and design a dairy barn that would have kept me as the son of a dairy farmer.
I came to realize that there were aspects of the farms evolution which could have been avoided, or at least better considered. But I also recognized the change of designing a facility to meet a need that wasn't already met locally. Milking 200 cows when most are milking 20 meant that conventional design thinking wasn't going to work. It game me an appreciation for the challenges of innovation, but also the willingness to try and design around those challenges.
Parallel with this whole exploration of farm expansion and facility design, I was always designing my own buildings. Cardboard and tape turned into drivesheds and grain elevators. Carpet farming, as it's now referred to, was the field upon which I got my earliest tastes of true design. I firmly believe that it was the combination of loosing the cows and my love of farm toys that set me on my career path.
Always one to try things a little differently, when it came to career planning, I knew that my specialties weren't going to be on offer at Guelph or Ridgetown. I also felt at the time the best way for me to get into farming myself was to pursue a non-farming career. While I flirted with Engineering, it was Architecture that really caught my attention. This came from a teachers suggestion, and a fantastic part time job working for Lely doing 3D design models for them in the early days of robotic milking. It was a time when this new innovative technology was changing the shape of barns, and i wanted to make sure that this fantastic technology was used to its very utmost potential. Again, this was me trying to help some other farm kid's family stay in dairy farming.
In 2015 I graduated with a bachelors degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture. Architecture school was a mind expanding experience. My classmates were from all around the world, and came with very different life experiences. In the sense of the farming community, I spent 5 years learning and working with the very brightest of agriculture's consumers. I really gained a strong understanding of what it is that the consumer is looking for from their food, or at least what those who deeply care.
After 5 years, coops from Downtown Toronto to Calgary, and a term spent living in Rome Italy, I was ready to bring my knowledge back to the farm. While I spent some time working on a Masters Thesis looking at agriculture and architecture, and how design could help bridge the gap between producer and consumer, i really just wanted to get back to helping farmers design great farms. And so here I am today. Filled with all the experience of the architectural world, an intimate understanding of the process of building and of effective planning and design processes, ready to bring this valuable knowledge to the farmer.
I truly believe that the built form is more important than a curtesy design from a supplier, as well intentioned as they may be. I am not interested in just designing a barn, i'm interested in designing a farm system and strategy that will help usher your farm into a new level of operating. One that makes farming easier, better, more wholistic, more family focused, more environmentally friendly, more community oriented, and more focused at being the best it can be. This is a level of detail and analysis that can't be justified by a supplier, but pays dividends for years and years when properly executed.
Architecture is the belief that design matters, and that the design of the spaces we inhabit has a significant effect on our wellbeing, that that of society at large. For too long, true architecture has been unfocused in the world of agriculture. But I'm here to bring back the focus. I'm here to help facilitate the discussions, decisions, and game plans that will make your farm better, make your life better, and (as cheesy as it may sound) make our world a little bit better too.