In 1957, Donald bought three small farms located at Beaver Meadow, Antigonish County, and started farming at a larger scale with a team of horses.
In 1958, he remodeled a 40’ x 80’ horse barn with three floors for broiler chickens. That same year, Donald went to Hillman’s Disposal Farm Sale in Bridgewater and bought a Nova National purebred Hereford bull that originally came from the Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto.
On February 13th, 1959, at midnight and minus 34 Fahrenheit, Donald received a call that there was a fire at the farm. As he arrived, the cattle and chicken barns were fully engulfed in flames. Donald’s uncle was able to get all the cattle out except for the 3 year old bull. They were able to rebuild and received a shipment of 5,000 birds the next morning.
In 1960, Ronnie MacDonald and Donald went to Truro to buy a bull, where he bought one of the 4 Charolais yearling bulls that had come from Toronto. These bulls were the first Charolais bulls to come into our part of the country and he has been keeping such bulls ever since.
MacLellans Farms is a cow/calf operation with 70 to 85 mixed commercial breed cows along with 30 yearlings that are fed over the winter for the coming fall sale in Truro. They wrap all their feed to make haylage, on average they will make between 11 to 12 thousand five foot bales. Half of the bales are made at the home farm and the other half comes from the other three farms.
Donald has never lived on the farm and always had hired help until his son, Tom, came to live on the farm 25 years ago. He then married and brought up three boys that helped when they got old enough. Over the years, they began sending their cattle to the Camp John Community Pasture where we send 75% of our cattle for pasture.
Donald is very honored to receive this award. His farming life has never been about money. It has been a way of life for himself and his family and would never trade for anything else.