The young farmer program: no better way to learn the industry


Today’s farmers are the smartest, sharpest generation ever. For some, egg farming is a skill passed down from grandparents, to parents, to their children today. Many in the industry also pursue their education in agriculture, and actively seek ways to innovate and adopt new technology. Egg Farmers of Canada founded the young farmer program as an opportunity to bring together young farmers to learn and share knowledge, experience and expertise in every aspect of the egg industry.

Jon Krahn is an alumnus of our young farmer program. He’s been farming in British Columbia full-time for 13 years. “My parents were egg farmers, and I grew up on the farm,” says Krahn. “We are third generation farmers, and my brothers and I are keeping that legacy going!”

Jon has been passionate about egg farming since day one. “We’re producing a product that everyone wants, and every day is different. There’s real excitement there.” It’s the excitement of the lifestyle, and the excitement of working with the rest of the Krahn family: Jon’s wife Danielle, his brothers and his kids.

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Jon joined the group of young farmers in 2016 as the delegate representing British Columbia. His class came together from across the country for the first time in Vancouver at the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum. They spent two days in meetings and workshops, peering behind the curtain of farm operations across the nation. Live video offered participants virtual tours of farms in many provinces, a chance to see how their colleagues work and share techniques they could bring to their own farms. “An egg farmer does things differently in Atlantic Canada than in BC, for instance,” Jon points out.

In March of 2016, the young farmers visited Ottawa. They got an inside look at the egg farming industry from the perspective of Egg Farmers of Canada, meeting with policy experts and marketing specialists, and watching the Board of Directors in action. Their time together culminated at a national producer conference in Mont-Tremblant, where they met with trade specialists and government relations experts. In between these events, they engaged in year-round webinars and workshops.

Altogether, Jon called it “an eye-opening experience.” But nothing opens your eyes more than building close friendships with 15 young egg farmers from across Canada. “We all stay in touch through Facebook,” says Jon, “and it’s been great to share our experiences.”

“We’ve changed things on our farms because of sharing with one another. For example: I just got into enriched housing, right when I was going through the program. We had no experience with this system, so it was great to chat with people who had used it.” Jon can’t recommend the program enough: “if you really want to learn the industry, and how it works, it’s definitely worth it.”

If you want to hear more from Jon about farming and our young farmers program, you’ll enjoy this video: