Summer Spotlight – The Thurston Family

The Thurston family have and continue to make an outstanding contribution to agriculture in the city of Kawartha Lakes and beyond. This family proudly has three Kemptville College grads. Keith and Sandy graduated in 1970 and their son Jeff, graduated in 1998. In 2023 they were the recipients of the “Kawartha Lakes Agriculture Farm Family Award”.

Kawartha Lakes Agriculture Farm Family Award

Their accomplishments and contributions have included 4-H leadership, Interprovincial exchanges and hosting international students. They have been and continue to be active members of many county organizations – Soil & Crop, milk committees. Holstein Club and many more. They also find time to support and coach youth sports and are active members in their church.

Following graduation in 1970, Keith worked as a Federal Meat Inspector in Toronto and GTA. After a couple of years, he realized he wasn’t cut out to be a city lad, at which time he returned home and formed a partnership with his parents at Thursthill Farms. This year 2024 was a special year for Keith. In the fall of 1972, he became a Pioneer Hi Bred Ltd. Sales Representative. This was a sideline to their dairy and cash crop farm. Fifty years later this is now a full-time business with his son Jeff as manager. Pioneer honoured Keith for his service this year. When Keith was asked for a Pioneer Award picture, the shy lad he is, we were sent the picture below.

Sandra ( Miller ) is a farm girl from Renfrew in the Ottawa Valley area. She met Keith at Kemptville. Following graduation, she went to Toronto to work with Versa Foods. She then worked as a Food Supervisor at Glendon College ( York University ). Sandra then transferred to Port Hope Hospital which coincided with married life to Keith at Thursthill Farms.

She eventually became a full-time stay-at-home mom to Jeff, Jeremy and Jessica and also full-time farmer’s wife. Sandy’s outside interests include Women’s Institute, 4-H and church.

This is now a 6th generation farm with Jeff and his wife Nicole and family becoming part of the transitional generation. The dairy operation has moved from tie stall to free stall and now robots. Keith and Jeff are still active in Pioneer sales. Keith and Sandy are also still involved with farm activities as well as being active with their nine grandchildren.

Jeff, Nicole, Sandy and Keith (Left to Right)
Jeff, Nicole, Sandy, and Keith (Left to Right)

Congratulations on a successful road travelled by Kemptville College grads!

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