About Us

Gowanlea is located in the heart of Ontario, Canada. Cows were milked here by the Smith family for over 50 years. We are now concentrating on growing grain crops, and running our licensed grain elevator and dryer.

James Smith bought the farm in 1944 from the Leasks. He was the CIBC bank manager in Sunderland, but had a farm background from Scotland. RJ, his son, who was eight years old at the time, traveled to and spent as much time at the farm as he could. The family moved to the farm in 1952 upon James's retirement from the bank. RJ was sixteen. Due to a WW1 injury James could not do heavy work. There was much heavy work to do as the farm was run down and in a state of disrepair. The barn roof had collapsed in 1945 so a new barn was built at that time. The focus was on milking cows. The name Gowanlea became the farm name when a prefix was needed for purebred Holstein cows. The name came from a place in Scotland near James's home there. James suddenly passed in 1957. The same year RJ & Marilynn were married. RJ had just completed two years at Guelph University. Children were born in 1958, 1959,1960 and 1969. More land was acquired as it became available and could be afforded.

Milking cows was the main enterprise on the farm for many years. Gradually more and more cash cropping was done as a secondary enterprise. In 2004 the cows were sold, and the main focus became cash cropping. A storage system and drying facility were built.
Today we are a licensed elevator that has 650,000 bushels of storage. 2 dryers and a 15,000 bu/hr receiving elevator.