This is the sixth 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, participating in the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum annual conference in Saskatoon under the theme ‘Our story’.
Saskatoon native Trevor Pickard has spent a lot of time in poultry barns, growing up working with his parents and uncle on their broiler and egg operations, and later as an electrician specializing in agricultural construction. But more recently, the barn he spends the most time in is his own.
In 2016, Trevor was selected as part of the Saskatchewan Egg Producers New Entrant Program, which helps new producers get their start in egg farming. Trevor was one of two individuals randomly selected from applicants that year. “I was shocked, but also really excited,” says Trevor.
Trevor started from scratch—first he had to find farmland to build his barn, and he says he was fortunate to find a farm just fifteen minutes from Saskatoon, close to an uncle’s farm.
Learning the ropes from his extended family has been integral to his success, he says. “In that first year, they opened up their barns, showed me what I should be doing, the mistakes they made and what I could improve on.” He also appreciates the support he received from Saskatchewan Egg Producers, who were quick to answer any question he had as he got his operation up and running.
Life is busy for Trevor, who farms with his girlfriend, Talachia. He continues to work full-time as an electrician, while Talachia works off-farm as well. In 2017—around the same time they welcomed their first flock of birds—they also welcomed a son, Theo.
In spite of being busy with his farm, his career and his young family, Trevor has made a commitment to learning more about the egg industry and getting more involved with Saskatchewan Egg Producers. He was selected to participate in Egg Farmers of Canada’s 2018 national young farmer program. He first learned of the program from a cousin who had participated a few years earlier, and recognizes the value of taking part. “Being a young farmer getting into the business, I’d just like to learn more about it and it’s the best way for me to do that.”