From the left, back row: Jos and Francine Melenhorst, Marc Melenhorst. Front Row: Jack, Sonia, and Blaire Melenhorst. Thompson Goddard Photo

NORTH DUNDAS – The weather was wonderful for the 2022 Dundas Holstein Annual Family Fun Night during the early evening of July 14 at Melna Holsteins Ltd. located at 12725 Nesbitt Road in North Dundas. 

The 2022 Dundas Holstein Annual Family Fun Night was a collaborative event organized by the Dundas County Holstein Club and hosted by Melna Holsteins Ltd. Marc Melenhorst, owner/operator of Melna Holsteins, explained that 450 tickets had been sold prior to the event which is a fundraiser for the DCHC.  The evening event featured a tour of the farm’s barn, a children’s play area and the opportunity to enjoy a barbecue dinner while socializing with friends.

“We have always enjoyed going to all the other barbecues over the years, seeing the barns and socializing with friends, neighbours, and farmers.  So, when we were asked, we were honoured to host the event,” explained Marc.  This was the first time the event has been held since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Marc’s mother Francine mentioned they had been scheduled to host the 2020 event which had to be cancelled. 

The evening was quite a success with the youngsters enjoying a bouncy structure, face painting and balloon critters being created.  People were able to visit the barn, including the 2018 addition which features a robot milking machine in the free style barn.  Guests were able to enjoy pulled pork on a bun with sides, and for dessert, ice cream sandwiches.

Marc is the third generation to run the farm since it was purchased by his grandparents from Emmett Shane in 1960 after their arrival from The Netherlands a few years earlier. His parents Jos and Francine operated the farm until he took over in the spring of 2021.  Marc mentioned how his parents have provided support and assistance since  the operation changed hands.

Melna Holsteins Ltd. is situated on 350 acres and currently milks 45-50 cows with 100 head in total. When asked about what he enjoys most about farming, Marc mentioned enjoying all aspects, including working with the cows, field work, being his own boss and the country lifestyle.  He credited his father and mother with providing him much of the knowledge needed to be a successful farmer, before noting he has received advice from friends, neighbours, and professionals in the field over the years.

Guests were still arriving at sunset, and after parking their vehicles, were able to enjoy the hospitality of the Melenhorst family and the delicious meal provided at the event. “The night was a great success, and we’d like to thank the Holstein Club for putting it on and to thank the sponsors.  It was a pleasure to host an event for such a great cause,” commented Marc in a post event email.