Sloboshan Farms, Vanscoy, Saskatchewan
Family is important to Bret Sloboshan. Not just her own immediate family, but her extended family too–her aunts and uncles and cousins.
Her extended family, you see, is actively involved in farming. And her plans to work in the family business and eventually perhaps take over Sloboshan Farms (along with her brother Brock) dovetail nicely with her appreciation for the importance of family.
“It’s what I grew up with,” says Bret when asked what she likes about egg farming.
“It’s not just my immediate family, it’s all my cousins. It’s being a part of a bigger thing. It’s a family business. I didn’t really have a choice! I was born into it.”
At 18, Bret is still a ways away from taking over the business. After one year in a hockey program in Cornwall, ON, (and some forced rest due to a separated shoulder) she has moved back home to prepare for the next phase in her life–studying commerce at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. (Vanscoy is only about 30 kilometres from Saskatoon.)
The studies in commerce will complement her practical knowledge of the farm, knowledge gained from having done various chores at one time or another.
Sloboshan Farms is a sizeable operation, with 64,000 layers, as well as some broilers.
Bret says she would like people to know more about how eggs are produced, and how the hens live.
“Everybody you show a farm to is very interested in how the chickens lay their eggs,” she says. “They like to know they lay an egg a day.”
And she says some people are surprised the farm doesn’t have any roosters.
“It’s an all-hen program.” With no roosters, “it’s not the typical farm scene you see in cartoons,” she adds.
Life on the farm can be quiet but crazy; he father Regan is active in a variety of organizations, and that keeps things hopping.
She already knows what she likes about the lifestyle.
“I like the labour, and I love the animals and I like being able to put out a product that’s good for nutrition,” she says simply.
And while she enjoys city life and its amenities, she also likes the wide-open spaces of rural life, and the people she works with, and the benefits of the rural, quieter lifestyle.
Even though she has yet to start university, Bret is already thinking ahead.
“In 10 years hopefully I can grow the farm.
In the meantime, though, there are chores to do.