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Boris - The Onion Farmer
Just off the 400 Highway in the heart of the Holland Marsh – home to Ontario’s finest organic soil, Boris Horodynsky started an onion farm with just under 10 acres. Over the last 45 years, he has built up his farm to be one of the largest onion growing operations in Canada with over 600 acres.
Today, Horodynsky Farms provides over 90,700 tonnes of onions per year to wholesalers and leading supermarkets from his premiere onion farming operation with modern, state-of-the-art equipment for harvesting, storing, packaging and distribution.
Horodynsky operates an integrated system which allows for the complete process to be carried out right on the property. He grows, washes, packs and distributes all his products on-site, enabling him to control all aspects of production carefully and by doing so, ensures the freshest and highest quality onions.
All our sales to the major chain stores are all done over internet. We get our purchase orders; we get our adjustments, we do our confirmations, we do our billing via the internet.

- Boris Horodynsky

This Onion Needs Internet
As Horodynsky’s operation scaled over the years, so too did the technology and demand for a better internet. His previous internet solution, a combination of Satellite and point-to-point Wireless, was not only costly and unreliable, but it also had difficulties providing a secure and fast connection to meet the demands of his operation.

Boris has a complete machine and fabrication shop to help develop and maintain the equipment and harvesting machinery. A large woodworking shop to produce the crates that store and transport his onions. He has several extensive storage facilities that require monitoring and include advanced air circulation systems. An on-site packaging facility receives the onions and prepares them to be distributed. Horodynsky Farms offers living quarters where his staff make their home during growing and harvest seasons.

All these sectors of his farming operation were impacted and held back due to the limitations of his internet service.

Everything from harvesting, storing, packaging and distribution required better internet to help them perform. His challenges included:
  • Poor communications capabilities between all the buildings on his property
  • Unreliable uptime for support from Europe on his equipment to help troubleshoot and perform maintenance on his sorting and packaging facilities.
  • Inadequate bandwidth for his workers to communicate with their families and to use at their leisure.
  • Inefficient, slow and unstable connections to report and upload data and business transactions between wholesalers and leading supermarkets on quantities and harvesting information.
  • Inability to implement research and development tools to improve on farming efficiencies like GPS navigation on tractor equipment, field equipment diagnostics, and maintaining water irrigation systems.
These are just a few of the areas that were being impacted.
Better Internet
Noticing construction being performed along the road adjacent to his farm, Boris inquired about the nature of the work. After being advised by Vianet’s construction crew that they were building a Fibre Optic trunk line connecting Toronto to Barrie he immediately inquired if he would be able to connect to it. With one phone call to the Business Solutions department, a relationship was then built between Vianet and an onion farmer.
Vianet met with Boris on-site to learn about his operation and his individual requirements. From there, Vianet built a network design that addressed his needs. Due to the sheer size of Horodynsky Farms, two separate fibre connections were installed. The first to operate the complex machinery of his entire onion processing plant. The second to connect his administration and employee buildings.

With fibre service installed, Boris is now able to properly communicate between buildings, with wholesalers and allow his workers to easily remain in touch with family. He can take full advantage of the technology his complex machinery offers and maximize efficiency during the busy harvest season and throughout the year. Everywhere he uses the internet operations have improved vastly.

With over 30 years of experience working in the north, we were able to improve the day-to-day operations of one progressive farmer. We listen to the needs of rural communities. We recognize the challenges they face. We understand what it takes to build rural broadband and why this onion needs internet.

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