The idea of being her own boss holds great appeal to Laura Buys. It’s one of the reasons she wants to build a future in agriculture.
What is clear in her mind is that agriculture offers great potential–for her, and for any young person looking for a career.
Laura, who grew up on an egg farm in Thorndale, Ontario, near London, is studying crop science at the University of Guelph.
“I always wanted to go to Guelph to study agriculture,” she says, adding that she is studying things like agronomy and business for agriculture.
For now, Laura lives the typical life of a student, dividing her time between classes and extra-curricular activities like the poultry club and some intramural sports.
But the future is on her mind.
“I want to go back and take over the farm,” she says. “I kind of just like being at home and working with my family. I also like being out in the country,” she adds.
The family farm has 25,000 laying hens, plus a farrow-to-finish sow operation and land under cultivation.
Her father, an immigrant from The Netherlands, started the farm as a cash crop operation before moving to pigs and then to laying hens.
She already has firm ideas about what the operation’s future would look like, and is thinking of pullets, laying hens and cash crops.
Laura has three siblings, and if she does take on the farm it will likely be with at least one of them.
“I could see myself working with one of my brothers, but it’s hard to say where we’ll all end up,” she says.
“I think in the future I would just like to be my own boss. I would like to make my own decisions, and stick to what I think is right. I like getting a say in what we get to do, and not just get bossed around all the time.”
“It can be kind of a relaxing job,” she says of egg farming.
“Is it hard work? Yes, but it’s enjoyable. So it’s worthwhile hard work. Plus, I also think it’s rewarding to see your work pay off.”
What advice does she have for anyone contemplating a career in agriculture?
“I would say to go into it,” she says. “The population is growing, and there are fewer people who want to go into farming, so there are tons of job opportunities.”