On February 22, 2022 we will be celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day. Canada - the true north strong and free - what a beautiful country we live in. Canada’s Agriculture Day is a day to celebrate the positive impact of Ontario’s largest industry and one of Canada’s overall leading industries. Agriculture employs over 2.3 million Canadians and adds over $112 billion to Canada’s economy every year.
In honour of Canada’s Agriculture Day, we wanted to highlight some of the wonderful farm families from across our beautiful province of Ontario who are responsible for the high-quality eggs millions of Ontarians consume each day.
Follow along as we take a behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to be an Ontario egg farmer, how they got started in the industry and much more.
The Arthur Family
For egg farmers Chad and Audrée, who met while attending the University of Guelph, egg farming has become a perfect fit. Both grew up with farming backgrounds and an undying love for agriculture. They originally established themselves in the dairy industry but felt that egg farming would be a great way to expand their operation and add some diversity while being able to provide Ontarians with a healthy, versatile and unique food.
As first-generation egg farmers Audrée says “we felt that when we became egg farmers, we became part of a large family that supports each other. These days there is so much more to being a farmer - you now need to be a jack of all trades - from accounting and financial literacy, as well as staying on top of new and emerging technology and industry’s changing trends.”
For the Arthurs, one of their favourite things about being an egg farmer is when they can host class trips for elementary schools in the local community. The smiles and the questions from children and parents and being able to instill confidence that when they pick up Canada Grade A eggs from the grocery store, they are buying a quality food product from a local farmer.
The Leroux Family
For father and daughter Marcel and Mireille, it is all about the hens. Hen care and the safety and well-being of their hens are top priorities for them – just like all egg farmers across the province. At their organic, aviary egg farm in Prescott County, Marcel and Mireille, along with the entire Leroux family, take great pride in caring for their hens. Producing organic brown eggs is not a job but a way of life around this family farm.
Growing up on her dad’s egg farm, Mireille recalls warm-hearted memories of her and her brother as children sneaking away from their parents’ line of sight, only later to be found working together playfully inside the egg barn. Years later Mireille, along with her partner, is actively involved on the farm and enjoy raising their son there too.
Like a lot of egg farmers in the province, being able to spend time together as a family while doing something that they love is one of their favourite things. The Leroux family takes great pride in helping to provide millions of Canadians with an affordable high-quality food choice.
The Vyn Family
Originally starting as grain farmers, husband and wife team Colin and Nicole say that “being able to produce a healthy, sustainable, safe and affordable food with such a great story behind it is one of the reasons we made the decision to become egg farmers.”
Multiple barn walkthroughs are more than just a daily routine for the Vyn family, it is what gives them a sense of purpose in life.
Colin is responsible for caring for the hens and Nicole, egg collection. During the spring planting season and fall harvest, Nicole and the kids run the entire egg farm as Colin is spending long days in the fields growing grain crops for feed.
The Bos Family
As multi-generational egg farmers in Huron County, the Bos family has been egg farming for over 45 years. Aric and Andrea, who have been egg farmers for about five years now, initially decided on this way of life due to their deep rooted passion for providing healthy, quality food for people every day.
“Hard work, and great determination to accomplish one’s goals” Aric says are some of the things he’s learned growing up on an egg farm. With the next generation of Bos children close by, Andrea loves the freedom and space the barn gives them as well as the responsibilities the kids are learning from a very young age.
The Laver Family
Third generation egg farmers Ian and Sara are happy to see their kids grow up on an egg farm. Having grown up on a farm himself, Ian enjoys the responsibility, hard work and sense of pride the kids take in helping out around the farm.
For the Laver family, their day starts and ends with a walk around the barn checking on their hens to make sure they have lots of food and water and are comfortable. As with most egg farmers in Ontario, family is everything and for mother Sara watching her oldest son as he learns how to care for hens and work with farm equipment safely is one of her favourite joys about being an egg farmer.