8th Generation Family-Owned Farm
In 1843, Jon Bragg and Mary Smale left Devon, a shire county in England and voyaged to Canada with their eight children to begin a new life. They found themselves purchasing Crown Land, in the price of British Pound, here at Lot 2. Concession Rd 3, Darlington township in Ontario. Thomas Bragg, the eldest of the Bragg children, married Ann Allin and they went on to have ten children of their own. This started a long line of lineage for the Bragg family, as they are now currently sitting at generation eight on this same farm.
The farm has evolved vastly with each new generation, and continues to change and adapt with each new expansion. In 1991, Bragg’s Wild Birdseed was established and since then the farm has grown to become a Pick Your Own Potato, destination. Bragg Farms, enjoyed by the Greater Toronto Area, is now owned and operated by generation six, Barry and Anna Bragg along with generation seven, Mark and Brittany Bragg. These faces you’ll see when you visit the farm.
Meet the Staff
CO FOUNDER & CO OWNER, PRESIDENT
Born and raised right here on this land, Barry is the 6th generation to operate the family farm. In his early twenties, he attended Durham College and meet his future business partner, Anna. In 1974, Barry graduated with his Diploma in Tool & Die and continued to work on the family farm. In 1977, Barry and his business partner started their own corporation for Custom Farming, and seven years later when approached by his parents to buy the farm, they became owners. Barry and Anna, would be the first generation to purchase the farm in full ownership, since the original purchase made in 1843. Wanting to utilize the crops grown on this farm, Bragg’s Wild Birdseed emerged in 1991. As the business continued to grow over some decades, Barry started recognizing that local farm was being sold to city development at an alarming rate. Knowing that this farm had ideal conditions for growing produce and potatoes, he and his son, started to experiment with the growing and harvesting of potato fields. Wanting to move beyond just the wholesale of potatoes, Barry approached his daughter-in-law, to organize a Pick Your Own Potato event. This concept had never been heard of or attempted before in Canada. This catapulted a rebrand of the company, and now this farm is a tourist attraction for seeds, feeds, sprouts and spuds. Aside from Barry continually working on product development, he also manages the seed room, where high quality birdseeds and animal feeds are mixed and bagged. He also hobbies with laying chickens and is the reason Bragg Farms has fresh, free-range, Omega3 eggs, year round.
CO OWNER & VICE PRESIDENT
Born and raised on this land, Mark Bragg is generation seven to operate this farm. Mark was born a farmer, and couldn’t imagine ever doing anything different. As a very young boy, Mark would beg to sit with his father on the tractor and by his early teen years he was insistent on planting and harvesting fields independently. His parents, acknowledging his natural flare for farming, encouraged him to go to post secondary, to aid in all the knowledge he already obtained from hands on experience. In 1999, he graduated from the University of Guelph, with a diploma of Agriculture and returned to the farm to start his career. Recognized for his dedication to the family farm, in 1999, Mark became a partner of the Corporation. As part of the succession plan, Mark purchased half ownership of the farm land in, 2001. Since, this purchase, Mark spends his time orchestrating field production, does all of the plant and equipment maintenance, fabricates seed and field equipment and plans and designs many of the buildings on the property. Mark’s farm equipment is now often accompanied by his own young children, generation eight.
CO FOUNDER & CO OWNER, SECRETARY TREASURER
Raised in Scotland Ontario in an agricultural community, Anna grew up surrounded by farm land, entrepreneurs and business leaders. In her late teens she left her home town and was accepted and enrolled into the Nursing program at Durham College. Here, she met her future business partner, Barry Bragg. She graduated in 1975, as a Registered Nurse and in 1977, Anna and Barry decided to start their own business and thus, Bragg Custom Farming Ltd. was established. In 1984, they purchased the family farm from Barry’s family and in 1991, due to low commodity prices, they started a company to utilize the crop they grew on the land. This was the beginning of what is publicly known as Bragg’s Wild Birdseed. In addition to Nursing and Farming, Anna has sat on many boards including boards representing agriculture. To name just a few, OAFE (1987), she is Past President of Ontario Corn Producers (1998-2001) and more recently appointed to Ontario Agri Corp. (2015-2018). Anna is responsible for all of the bookkeeping for the farm and corporation, but if she isn’t found in the office, you will find her managing the retail store; A true expert in our products and full of knowledge for bird feeding and bird watching.
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Raised just east of Bowmanville, Brittany met future husband, Mark Bragg in 2001, through a family member. This started a long courtship, that lasted through the duration of Brittany’s educational pursuit. In 2008, Brittany graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Arts & Contemporary Studies, from Ryerson University. She then went on to achieve her Bachelor of Education, graduating in 2010, from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In between these two degrees, Brittany married into the Bragg family and moved to the farm. During this time she worked for some of Canada’s largest corporations, having much success in Sales. After the birth of her first child, she opened and ran her own daycare business from the farm house, Little Sprouts Childcare. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the farm daycare was closed and Brittany started switching gears to help the transition, planning the first Pick Your Own Potato event. She assisted in the rebranding of the company from Bragg’s Wild Birdseed to Bragg Farms, and is now responsible for marketing and social media representation of the farm. While Brittany helps organize the Sunflower Experience and the Pick Your Own Potato, she also aids in the development of new products and experiences sold on the farm.