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Dusty Zamecnik

Age: 27
Career: Farmer (plant nurseryman) and co-founder of Hometown (beer brewing)
Location: Langton, Ontario, Canada
Origin: Same as Location
Dusty Zamecnik

About Me

Hi! My actual name is Dustin but I do not go by that, it is a little serious for my personality so everyone calls me Dusty. I am an only child born into a multi-generational farming family. My agreement with my parents was that I was not allowed to entertain the idea of returning to the farm unless I:

  1. Attended & graduated from college / university
  2. Worked off the farm for a different company

I earned my Business and Economics Degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, the east coast of Canada in 2013. I landed a sales and execution job at Labatt Breweries, a large national brewer here in Canada after graduation which brought me back to my home province of Ontario and to London, a mid-sized city. Working for a beer company in the city was an amazing experience for both maturity personally & professionally. But something was missing… on my vacation days or weekends I wasn’t staying in the city, I was coming back ‘home’ to work in the fields, bring co-workers ‘home’ to show them the beauty of Rural Southern Ontario and our community.

After a year & a half at Labatt I made the conscious decision to leave the beer industry and bustling city life to fields, slower lifestyle and… living with mom and dad.

Rural life

Though moving back in with mom and dad proved to be an interesting situation, it would become one of the best decisions that I have made to date. Through a series of strange encounters, being at the right place at the right time, a little luck and a few nicely sized loans I have begun to be truly proud to call rural Canada, home. I built my first commercial strawberry plant propagation greenhouse & teamed up with my two cousins (Tommy & Matty Devos) to launch the Hometown Brew Co., a craft beer brewery here in Norfolk County. I love my dog, Dierks, the Buffalo Bills, draught beer, fish tacos, live music on patios and golfing.

I am actively involved in organizations/associations at multiple levels. Rurally, I sit on the Norfolk County Agricultural Advisory Board as well our Economic Development Strategy Committee. Provincially, I am a blueberry representative for the Berry Growers of Ontario marketing board as well an active member of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Federally I sit on the National Berry Growers Board for the Canadian Horticultural Council and was recently named one of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers. As well, I have begun working with Chef Jagger Gordon for various ‘Feed it Forward’ community food programs in the Greater Toronto Area.

Pinpointing one aspect of rural Canada that I enjoy the most is difficult to pinpoint. The freedom and flexibility, the community & the ‘it is what you make it’ attitude has always appealed to me. Growing up on the farm and loving being on the land has really harnessed my love for the rural setting and rural Canada.

Rural challenges

Just like everything in life nothing is perfect. At times you can feel very disconnected and someone like me needs to be constantly busy or entertained (hence why I joined associations and have started a few businesses). Internet is incredibly unreliable. Careers are sometimes difficult to come by so living in a rural area can demand an entrepreneurial spirit.

I firmly believe in rural Canada. I want to see a greater appreciation of ‘small-town living’ and continue to bridge the rural-urban divide. Be proud of where you came from, what made you and to give back. It’s tireless work but there are many great things that can come out of living in rural Canada. I want to help broadcast the positives of rural Canada! You don’t want to live here? That’s okay! Come visit, support, eat and enjoy and keep coming back. You’ll stay eventually!

Dusty’s Vlogs