This is the fifth in a series of profiles of young egg farmers. They are all young leaders taking part in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program, and will participate in the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum annual conference in Ottawa February 24-26 under the theme ‘Growing Canada for 150 Years’.
Will McFall never had any doubts he’d go into the family business.
“I love the family aspect of it and it’s inspiring that my grandfather built this company up over the decades,” he says.
But as a young egg farmer—he’s been working at the family operation full-time only since August 2016—Will knows there’s a lot to learn. All the more so since Burnbrae Farms, the family firm, is a large, fully integrated egg producing and processing company. It has operations in five provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec), and in addition to laying hens, Burnbrae Farms has pullets, a grading operation and an egg processing division.
Will has a business degree, with a specialization in agri-business, from Cornell University in New York. His role in the company is more administrative.
Before coming back to the farm, he spent three years at Compass Group, a large Canadian food services company. He wanted to learn how another business operated, and bring that knowledge back home.
Will’s job as a producer relations representative is to work with the farmers who provide Burnbrae some of its eggs.
“I don’t spend every day in the barn,” he says. “I work with our producers and my job is to make sure everything is going smoothly between the people who are shipping eggs and our grading station.”
Eventually, he’d like to work in other aspects of the business to broaden his range of experience.
If you ask him what he likes about egg farming, Will has a ready answer: “Eggs are nutritious and affordable,” he says. “We’re improving people’s lives by doing what we do. We’re doing good by doing all of this.”
He is concerned, though, that not enough people today know where their food comes from, because fewer people grow up on or around farms.
As a result, he says the agriculture industry needs to make more of an effort to get its message out and educate the public.
Helping others understand how eggs are produced, he says, is all part of telling our story.