By Connor Lynch
RICHMOND — Kent Fraser was touring Western Ontario barns in 2012, on the hunt for a reasonably-priced setup for his own dairy farm at the edge of Richmond, south of Ottawa.
That’s when he discovered the right fit was in Europe.
“We heard about a farmer there whose father was a ship captain, and was inspired by the wheelhouse, where the captain could survey the whole ship,” Fraser recalled. That farmer built his office smack dab in the centre of his barn, and so did the Frasers, right above two robotic milkers.
But it’s not just an office. It’s an observation deck and a play area for his four young children. “The kids are around a lot, and we wanted a place that would be safe and clean for them to play,” Fraser said.
He heard there’s a farm in Leeds County with a similar setup and the Tibbens near Brinston opted for a comparable layout when they built new in 2014 but it’s a rarity.
Said Fraser: “It was cost effective, taking advantage of the open space.”