Simpson Poultry Farms Ltd., Glencoe Ontario
Early in 2013, life threw Eric Simpson a curve: His father Peter passed away as a result of complications from heart disease.
Eric and his brother Owen stepped into the breach and took over the family egg farm, with its 21,000 layers. Put Eric’s wife and newborn son into the mix, and you have one very busy young man.
But Eric is taking it all in stride. He doesn’t dwell on the problems, or the past. Instead, he talks about enjoying his work and the life he’s building running Simpson Poultry.
Though naturally he misses his father, it was very easy to take over the farm, Eric recalls. That’s because, from the time he and his brother were in high school, they’d worked with their father, learning the ropes.
He taught them what to do. And when he took ill, to make sure the lessons would stick he made a point of reminding them he wasn’t going to be around forever.
When it comes to running the egg operation, Eric lives by his father’s dictum of “one change at a time.” That, he says, is definitely the best advice his father passed on: If you want to make any changes, make them one at a time. “If you make two changes at once, you don’t know which one made things better.”
Eric got into farming early; at age 19, he bought 50 acres, complete with a house, from an aunt. He feels the lifestyle suits him.
Glencoe is in Middlesex County, in the far southwestern corner of Ontario. It’s a quiet rural area not too far from London, Ontario.
Eric likes the quiet. He especially likes being his own boss, and not having someone tell him what to do.
“I just like doing my own thing,” he explains. “I like not having to deal with other people every day.” Working with animals is great, he says, in part because animals “don’t talk back to me.”
He is proud of the egg operation, and wants people to know that at Simpson Farms, the animals are well-treated.
Though to outsiders it might seem that life on an egg farm is routine, Eric doesn’t see it that way.
Every day, he says, is different.
He enjoys getting up in the morning and doing the chores. He enjoys being outside a lot.
“I just enjoy it all,” he says.
He also enjoys the fact that he finds time for leisure.
He and Owen, who is two years younger than him, both inherited their father’s passion for cars, and classic cars in particular.
Peter Simpson had a car collection and liked to travel to U.S. to race them; both sons have continued the tradition.