This is the third 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, an initiative designed to prepare the next generation of industry leaders.
Amherst, Nova Scotia
Growing up on his family poultry farm in Saint-François-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick, Pierre-David Cyr tried out a few different summer jobs during high school—including working in welding and mechanical shops—but always knew he wanted to work in agriculture. After high school, his father, Yvon—one of the founding members of Groupe Westco, one of the largest vertically-integrated poultry companies in Canada—encouraged him to get some experience away from the farm.
Pierre earned a diploma in farm management from Institut de technologie agroalimentaire du Québec (ITAQ) in La Pocatière, and following graduation, started working for Groupe Westco. He quickly realized that if he wanted to be successful, he needed to continue with his education, so after a few months returned to school to obtain a Bachelor of Agricultural Business from Université Laval in 2010.
Starting in the head office, he worked on environmental farm plans and health and safety projects before taking on a temporary management position on a broiler breeder farm. Pierre took on a permanent position as farm manager for Maritime Pride Poultry, a division of Groupe Westco, in 2013.
“I was waiting to see what interesting position was going to open up for me,” says Pierre. “Fortunately, it was an opportunity to manage one of the biggest farms in the Maritimes.”
Based in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Pierre manages three egg barns, each with 50,000 hens, and a pullet barn. He also oversees a second site in Port Williams, Nova Scotia, home to an additional 50,000 hens as well as 6,000 hens producing organic eggs.
“It’s always challenging, and there’s never a dull moment,” he says. “I love being in the barns, preparing for chick delivery, the excitement of moving in a fresh flock of pullets, making sure they have what they need nutritionally, trying to improve production.” Working with and motivating excellence in his staff, including international workers from Mexico and India, is also something he enjoys about his job.
A big priority for Pierre is spending time with his family; his wife Amy and children Marilou, 12, and Noa, 9. Much of that time, in the winter, is spent at the hockey arena—both kids play hockey, and Dad volunteers to coach their teams. “I like to give back in that way,” he says.
The third generation of his family to work in the poultry industry, Pierre sees tremendous opportunities to grow his career—he hopes to move up the ladder and get more involved. He also hopes to get more involved in leadership through the provincial and national egg boards.
As a first step, Pierre is participating in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program as part of the 2023 cohort, representing Egg Farmers of Nova Scotia. “It’s an opportunity to meet some people, see how everything works from the inside of the industry, and make connections.”