This is the fifth of 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 Saskatoon under the theme ‘Our story’.
After graduating from the Ontario Agriculture College’s diploma in agriculture program in 2004, Ontario farmer Ian Laver returned home to work as the 5th generation on his family’s cash crop and egg farm in Northumberland County.
Ian, together with his wife Sara, farmed with his parents Dennis and Janice before buying their first farm 8 years ago. They purchased a second farm 4 years later, and decided to expand the business. Today, the Lavers’ farming operation includes egg production as well as corn, soybeans and wheat.
As the Laver farm has grown, so has their family, adding a 6th generation of young farmers—Jacob, age 6, Amelia, age 4, and Ethan, age 2. For Ian, the best part of farming is “being my own boss, and setting my own daily schedule,” which also means being able to spend lots of time with his kids, who he says love coming to the barn with him. Sara, who works off-farm as an environmental officer, plays an active role in the day-to-day operation of the farm too.
Being a young farmer, with a young family, keeps the entire family very busy balancing farming responsibilities with family activities. Ian jokes that when they’re not working on the farm, “we spend a lot of time at ballet, soccer and martial arts.” Despite this busy schedule, he still makes time to be active as a leader in the farming community, most recently as a past president of the Northumberland County Soil and Crop Improvement Association. He also serves as a councillor for zone 8 of Egg Farmers of Ontario.
Ian is embarking on a new challenge, participating in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program, and he is looking forward to participating in the meetings, learning modules and events with other young egg producers from across Canada. The program is a unique opportunity, says Ian, “to learn the ins and outs of the business.”