Solid Foundation

Country Portrait: Nick Duivenvoorden

By Richard Banks | Photos By Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Nick Duivenvoorden

Nick Duivenvoorden

This is Claire. The man with her is Nick. They work together.

Claire, provides milk, a few embryos and a certain prestige that comes with receiving an excellent score from Holstein Canada for her appearance and other characteristics. Nick, whose last name is Duivenvoorden, does most of the rest of the work. He owns Claire and the 150-head Shore View Holsteins dairy in Belledune, New Brunswick.

Running a dairy, however, isn’t Nick’s only pursuit. Formerly the mayor of Belledune, a village of 1,600 people on the southern shore of Chaleur Bay, the 20-year veteran of local politics is also running for leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick. The only non-lawyer in the race, which will be held in October 2012, he believes the constituency of his province and beyond can benefit from a farmer’s experience. “Agriculture is the foundation of any economy,” says Nick. “It’s the only industry that everybody in the world relies on every day. Agriculture should be represented in any race that takes place.”

Having raised five kids himself, Nick is one of 10 children of Dutch immigrants who came to Canada in 1952 and started the dairy he now owns. He says it was a big family that remains close today—his sister, Yvonne, took the photo of Nick and Claire. (She also shot the story about Woodbine Racetrack.)

“My parents were teenagers during the German occupation and lived through some hair-raising events,” recalls Nick, who runs tractors from Massey Ferguson dealer Atlantic Tractors & Equipment. “The stories they’ve told have always reminded me how lucky I am to live and work here.”