Born in The Netherlands, Evert Beijer was one of five children who grew up on a mixed farm containing chickens, pigs and cows. At a very young age, he started helping on his parent’s farm and developed a passion for dairy. Although he preferred dairy, when he was fourteen, Evert started renting his own chicken barns. He started with selling eggs and later switched to raising chickens. After he graduated from high school, Evert worked in bridge construction for four years, until his father – in – law asked him to manage his dairy and hog farm. So, in 1988 he started managing his father – in law’s farm and married his wife, Jannie. They had two sons within the next two years.
After visiting family in Alberta in 1992, Evert and Jannie realized that there was much more opportunity for farming there than in The Netherlands. So, in 1993, Evert and Jannie made a bold move and started the immigration process. In 1994, after everything was finalized, Evert and Jannie and their two sons moved to Alberta. Soon after they welcomed their third son.
After working for other farmers for two years, in 1996, Evert and his wife were able to purchase their own farm and started raising hogs. Their family continued to grow within the next few years as they welcomed three daughters. Although he put blood, sweat and tears into the hog farm, Evert’s dream was to be a dairy farmer. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that his dream finally became reality. After the first year of dairy farming, Evert stopped farming hogs to focus solely on the dairy. Starting with only 28 cows and wanting to expand, Evert partnered with a friend who leased him quota which enabled him to milk around 100 cows.
2003, Evert was involved in a serious car accident which made it very difficult for him to be physically involved in the dairy. Before this, Evert did the majority of the farm work on his own, along with the help of his two older sons. As a result of his accident, however, his older sons took over much of the work.
Evert and Jannie’s goal was to set up a business that their children could thrive from. Since both of their sons were very interested in farming, and expanding the farm wasn’t economically profitable, Evert started looking for different options. Scanning through a dairy magazine, he found a cheese factory for sale in central Alberta. After a lot of consideration, Evert, with the help of a friend, decided to buy it. They started building a cheese factory in April of 2005. On June 13th, 2005, they made their first batch of feta cheese with the help and guidance of the previous owner. Evert’s role in the cheese factory mainly consisted of management, supervision and sales. He worked very hard to expand his business by finding new customers and making the “Crystal Springs Cheese” brand known throughout Canada.
Today, Evert stays involved in the dairy and cheese factory by supervising and dealing with customers. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and making steak. Additionally, he loves hanging out with his wife, kids, grandkids and his little puppy named Tarzan.