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Meet 2019’s extraordinary national young farmer program participants

Every year, Egg Farmers of Canada is proud to welcome a new crop of participants in our national young farmer program. These extraordinary farmers are the future leaders of our industry—the newest generation building a better industry for the next generation. We support their work by giving them a deep dive into the industry they love, fostering their leadership skills and sharing best practices from across the country. Meet this year’s young farmer program delegates:

Richard Boer, Chilliwack, British Columbia

On welcoming tour groups and school kids to the farm:

“It’s a chance for us to explain how we do things, including how their eggs are produced.”

On the benefits of the national young farmer program:

“I wasn’t born and raised on an egg farm. The program is a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the egg industry.”

Tylor Van Kessel, Arkona, Ontario

On the time flexibility egg farming offers, so you can balance work and family:

“I’m able to do the morning routine, get the kids off to school and daycare, and get them off the bus and make dinner.”

On taking a deep dive into the world of Canadian egg farming:

“It’s important for me to get involved and to learn about what else is going on in the industry, and how it can help me in my own business.”

David Michiels, Holland, Manitoba

On support from fellow egg farmers when joining our industry:

“Everyone was very helpful…people were happy to open their barn doors and answer any questions that I had.”

On why he joined our national young farmer program:

“I want to learn more about how the egg production system works, particularly issues like how trade will impact our industry.”

Marc & Cheryl Norleen, Raymore, Saskatchewan

On innovation in farming:

“We’re always experimenting and changing with the times.”

On raising their family on the farm:

“It’s important to us to stay on the farm, raise our kids on the farm and raise them with a strong work ethic.”

On what they hope to gain from the national young farmer program:

“It’s an opportunity for us to learn how the industry works, and opportunities for future growth.” 

Carline Schuring, Barrhead, Alberta

On being pulled back to the farm, even as she attended the University of Alberta:

“I was always coming home and working on weekends and in the summer and helping out with harvest.”

On networking with peers through the young farmer program:

“My husband [a former program participant] is now best friends with the people he did the program with last year. They talk to each other all the time.”

Anneke Stickney, Elora, Ontario

On farming as a family business:

“They [Anneke’s kids] love going to the farm, they’re always helping.”

On volunteering with the Ag Women’s Network:

“The AWN serves an important role—to provide support and networking opportunities for women in the agriculture industry, and to promote the contributions of farm women.”

Candace Phoenix, Sunderland, Ontario

On raising her sons, Denver and Rowen, on the farm:

“It’s a good environment to raise kids. Denver loves to help pack a couple of trays of eggs before he goes off and plays while I work.”

On showing Canadians how egg farms work:

“A lot of people have never been on a farm, and we want them to know how we care for the birds.”

On learning from fellow egg farmers with the young farmer program:

“I can learn about the day-to-day stuff by working on the farm, but this program will help me learn things that I can bring back to the farm to help our business grow and succeed.”

Manjot Sarkaria, Sainte-Justine-de-Newton, Quebec

On farming close to his brother:

“We each run our own farm, but he’s much more mechanically inclined than I am, so he’s pretty handy to have around.”

On the national young farmer program:

“I feel inspired and privileged to be part of such a wonderful team of young farmers dedicated to producing eggs.”