Tyler and Kaylin Wiens: It’s more important than ever to help educate people on how we do things
This is the eleventh in a series of profiles of young egg farmers. They are all young leaders taking part in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program, and will participate in the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum annual conference in Vancouver February 26-29 under the theme ‘Farm Together’.
Tyler and Kaylin Wiens
Ages: 26 and 27
“It’s more important than ever to help educate people on how we do things.”
Tyler and Kaylin Wiens literally met in an egg barn.
Tyler’s parents–his father had earlier managed an egg farm near Regina–had recently moved to Hague, north of Saskatoon.
They knew Kaylin’s parents, who were egg producers in Hague.
On the day of a flock change, Tyler’s parents sent him over to Kaylin’s farm to help them out.
He’s been helping them ever since. Now that he and Kaylin are married, they are working with her family–her parents Stan and Marie Fehr, and her brothers and their wives – in an operation that includes 60,000 laying hens as well as pullets.
Though they both grew up in families involved in egg production, Tyler and Kaylin had different views of what their future would look like.
Kaylin knew from the start that the egg industry was for her.
“I’ve always loved it,” she says. “After high school, I stayed on the farm because I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Tyler was less certain at first.
“I grew up with the same things she did,” says Tyler. “But I didn’t necessarily plan to become as involved in egg production as I am now. However, it’s something I’ve always done, and I’ve grown to enjoy it.”
What they both say they like about their job is that it offers enough routine to be comfortable, and enough challenge to make it interesting.
“I like the routine of knowing what to expect every morning,” says Kaylin. “I like coming to the barn every morning and I love the animals and I love the business side too.”
“I love the lifestyle that comes with the job,” adds Tyler, explaining that his work focuses on the mechanical side of the operation.
“I’m a jack of all trades!” he says, explaining that he goes where he’s needed.
“I enjoy keeping all the stuff running.”
The challenges, they say, come at several different levels.
On the farm, they enjoy the ongoing challenge of adjusting the birds’ feed so that they lay eggs of just the right size.
They also enjoy the daily challenge of making sure the birds are well cared for.
“There are a lot of birds, and you are responsible for taking care of them,” says Tyler. “That means ensuring that their quality of life is where it needs to be, that there’s feed in the bin and that the water is working properly.”
In the context of the industry, they say the challenges are broader.
“The industry is really changing right now,” says Kaylin, explaining that they have to adjust to new housing systems for the birds, for example.
They both also see consumer education as a challenge.
“I think it’s more important than ever to help educate people on how we do things, and why we do things the way we do,” adds Tyler.
But whatever the challenges, they both agree that egg farming is a rewarding business.
“We both just love it,” says Kaylin.
“We are passionate about what we do, and so grateful for the opportunity to do it. We hope that through the Young Farmers program we can learn how to better communicate with, and educate, the public about farming.”