The History of Donnelly Farms Ltd.


Donnelly Farms Ltd. was started in the 1940s when Keith & Elizabeth Donnelly leased 150 acres of land in Lansdowne, NB to grow potatoes. Then as his farm grew, he began shipping his potatoes to National Grocers and soon became the lone supplier in Atlantic Canada. During the summer months he wanted to maintain his supply of potatoes, so he began trucking them up from Virginia. More supply issues resulted from a truckers strike in 1979, so he bought his first truck, and borrowed a trailer to haul potatoes, which sparked his interest in the love for trucking.

During this time, his son Dwayne was driving part time for Day & Ross and working on the farm for his father. He then took over driving the truck while his father farmed, hauling produce for him and other local farmers. The business was beginning to grow so in 1981 they added a second truck and a third in 1983. With the business expanding, Dwayne made the decision to stop driving truck in 1986 and focus on the day-to-day trucking operations, while Keith maintained the farm.

Over the next few years Keith made the decision to give up farming and concentrate on the trucking business, and in 1988 Donnelly Farms Ltd became a full-time trucking company.

From 1988 to 2002, Keith and Dwayne continued to add trucks and hire more staff. However, in 2002, Keith decided to step away from the day-to-day operations and Dwayne became the sole owner. Even through the change in ownership, Keith continued to drive truck until he was eighty-three, and would drop in periodically to see how things were going.

In 2013 the next generation of Donnelly’s arrived, Ashley and her husband Cameron moved up from Nova Scotia to begin the process of learning the family business. Ashley became the General Manager and Cameron took over the shop, with the intent to take over when Dwayne decides to retire.

Sadly in 2022 Keith passed away at the age of ninety-five. He left a legacy that will continue through, from Dwayne to Ashley and well on into the future. Donnelly Farms Ltd will continue the way it started as a family owned and run business.