Our Story

Our family first came and settled in this area of Elgin County long before Canada even became a country. The original Pettit Homestead of 1816 is next door to our current farm. It started out as a mixed farm - as most were in those days - but through the years and generations dairy farming became an integral part of the Pettit family lineage. This picture isn't from 1816, but it is the oldest one in our family photo album!
Our father Murray, being the younger brother, bought the farm next door to the homestead in 1957, when he was only 19 years old. He was still using horses to do much of the work, and would milk up to 26 Jerseys by hand twice a day. Eventually he made the switch to the Holstein breed, and with time, upgraded from milking by hand, to buckets, to a pipeline.

In the mid-70s he met our mother, Betty, and soon they had a daughter and a son.
Growing up on a dairy farm teaches a lot of valuable life lessons. Hard work. The reality of life and death. The importance of community. The beauty and bounty of nature. The fickleness of Mother Nature. We both were committed to following in the family tradition and began the process of becoming the next generation of Pettit dairy farmers after we returned home from Ridgetown College in 1999.

Soon after, Tom met Kris. Kris had farming roots in Chatham-Kent, but her heart was also in geriatric nursing. She spent many years helping elderly patients with dementia, but yearned for a way to come back to the farm and somehow amalgamate both of her passions.

Along the way, Tom and Kris had two daughters - Maddie and Kadie. Both show keen interest in farming, and work alongside us as they have grown into teenagers.
In 2012, a new facility was built for the milking herd. It featured a robotic milking system and was a dramatic change for the cows and their farmers. It provided more flexibility, which is unheard of in dairy farming and that greatly benefitted Tom and his young, busy family.

The concept of an on-farm processing plant (aka the Creamery) started swirling through our minds quite a few years ago. Many versions were discussed but it never seemed to be the right time to pull the trigger on such a massive project. A Creamery would significantly alter the direction of the farm and we wanted to make sure it fit our values and our future goals.
Mistyglen Creamery featuring local milk, yogurt and cheese curds as well as numerous local products from various other local businesses.
In early 2020, the idea reared its head again, but this time we were committed to finding a way to make it fit in our operation. Unfortunately, at 8:31 pm on June 10th, a tornado hit our robot barn and caused significant damage. Then it was hit by another tornado on July 19th when the rebuilding process was getting underway. Yes, two tornadoes. After the initial tornado, all of the milking cows had to be moved to a neighbour's farm, and were expertly cared for there until November 30th.
During this period of the time, the power of our community was evident through all of the support we received. So, undeterred, we continued planning the Creamery project while our dairy barn was being rebuilt. The tornado is the basis for one of our mottos - "Homespun Milk".
Mistyglen Creamery featuring local milk, yogurt and cheese curds as well as numerous local products from various other local businesses.
Once the cows were back home, our focus shifted to the Creamery build. Of course the world was in the midst of a pandemic, so construction was stressful, but on June 18th, 2022, Mistyglen Creamery officially opened for business.

It's been a wild journey to get to this point and we're sure that will continue but our goal of producing healthy, nutritious local food for our community has not waivered. Just as the Pettit's from 1816 relied on this land to sustain them, so do we in 2023, but we have the opportunity to share how food production has evolved through the centuries with our friends and neighbours.