Maitland, Nova Scotia
Talk to Cory Cox about what he does, and the word ‘pride’ comes up a lot.
As a young egg farmer, he takes pride in being able to work with his family and see the tangible results of his labours.
He takes pride in the knowledge that he produces a quality, nutritious product that serves a local market.
And he’s proud of the fact that, at 22 years of age, his chosen field of endeavour is keeping him in the rural Nova Scotia he loves: “That’s something many people my age wouldn’t be able to consider,” he says.
And he adds, proudly, that he’s able to make a decent living as an egg farmer too.
The Cox Bros. Poultry Farm is in the village of Maitland, near the head of the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia’s picturesque Bay of Fundy region. The setting, says Cory, is magnificent. From the farm, he’s able to see the muddy tidal waters sweep in and out every day.
That’s when he takes the time to look. Because he’s pretty busy on the farm.
Cox Bros. is a family operation that includes himself, his father, two cousins, and about 20 full- and part-time employees.
They manage some 70,000 hens. They also grow pullets, operate a feed mill, and run a hatchery that produces broilers for the Annapolis Valley. And this fall they are building a new breeder barn where chicks for egg production will be produced.
“I’ll be busy putting the cages together for the next month and a half,” says Cory, adding that there’s always something new and different to do.
Like many young farmers, he grew up in the business. But his parents didn’t pressure him into joining the operation, and when he left for university he wasn’t sure what his future would hold.
As he studied at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture, the idea of going into the family business grew on him.
It grew when people reacted positively when he explained that most of the eggs eaten in Nova Scotia are produced in Nova Scotia, thanks to the system of supply management.
It grew as people he met–Nova Scotians who had been used to seeing Cox Bros. eggs in the grocery store–expressed delight in meeting him and linking a food to a face.
“People like the fact that they are supporting local agriculture,” he says.
And so he came back.
“Something I can take pride in is that one day, this will be mine,” he says. “Not many people have something like that to work toward.”