A family, a team
The Chevalley family, from the left, Jeremy, Anthony, Annik and François hosted their very first Stormont County Twilight event in correlation with their farm’s major milestone of 20 years in business. Glover photo
MOOSE CREEK – It was a big night for Pomyhill Holstein on Thurs., July 4 – in more ways than one.
For many years, Pomyhill Holstein has been approached to host the annual Stormont County Twilight Family Night; despite being interested in hosting from the beginning, other priorities always kept them from being able to do so.
“We’ve been asked to host this event since 2013 but we would always have to say no,” said Annik Chevalley, co-owner of Pomyhill to the crowd of over 400 attendees. “2013, we were getting married, 2014, we had a baby, 2015, we were building a new barn and 2016, we were trying to finish the construction from 2015. In 2017, we finally said yes but let’s wait until 2019.”
The Pomyhill team decided to wait until a special time to host their first Stormont County Twilight Family Night. They chose this year because 2019 marks the 20 year anniversary of when François Chevalley, Annik’s husband, immigrated to Canada from Switzerland and started building Pomyhill Holstein from the ground up.
“François came to Canada 20 years ago from Switzerland on his own to start this farm,” said Annik. “I think he’s very hard working and has a lot of vision.”
When Pomyhill started back in 1999, the farm had 60 cows for 25 kilos of quota with 120 acres; in 2019, the family still milks 60 cows but they have four times the quota and run 440 acres.
“I think this is a fantastic accomplishment for a first generation farmer here,” said Annik.
Despite this being their first time hosting the Twilight event, Annik mentioned that, while they were setting up for their guests, she was thinking that she should’ve done this years ago.
“As we were getting ready, we were thinking, ‘Ah, I wanted to do this five years ago but never got to it,’” she said. She went on to say that events like these take a great deal of work, that you often don’t fully appreciate until you are hosting it yourself.
Apart from a delicious meal and live musical entertainment being offered to the guests, the 4-H Club was in attendance as well, building birdhouses with the kids. There was also a play area, with a bouncy castle, to keep kids entertained until their bedtimes.
In the case of whether or not Pomyhill Holsteins will be hosting any more Twilight events in the future, Annik says that anything is possible.
“It was a really good experience,” she said. “So, I say that anything is possible.”