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The Siemens family legacy of resilience and renewal

This is part 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, an initiative designed to prepare the next generation of industry leaders.

Bryan Siemens

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Bryan Siemens grew up immersed in the rhythms of farm life in Abbotsford, British Columbia. For most of his life, he has lived within blocks of the home he was born in—a comfort due in large part to the sacrifices of his grandfather, a resilient German Mennonite farmer who built the family farm from the ground up.  

The Siemens family legacy

After fleeing southern Ukraine during World War II to Paraguay, Bryan’s grandfather eventually settled in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he started the Siemens family farm in the mid-1960s. Initially focused on raspberries, the farm later expanded into egg production. 

The farm has since grown and divided into three distinct companies, all managed by family members who continue to collaborate. Today Bryan operates Conation Farms Ltd., which produces free range and organic eggs.

Resistance to the farming legacy 

Despite his agricultural heritage, Bryan initially resisted the idea of becoming a farmer and thought of pursuing a different career in accounting. “As a child, I recognized that there was always work to do on the farm and there was always more that could be done regardless of the weather, other life plans and time constraints,” he recalls. The hard work and long hours, especially during peak corn and berry-picking seasons, made him yearn for a more consistent and scheduled job that wouldn’t interfere with having a social life or other life plans.

Education and early career

After earning a business administration degree at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he majored in accounting and economics, Bryan found stability in a finance job with the Abbotsford Police Department. However, the call of the farm never left him.

“When I looked out the window and saw the yards keeper maintaining the property and plants, I started wishing I could feel the dirt and do something physical with my hands again,” he says. “To reap what you sow.”

A fresh start 

In 2014, Bryan made a pivotal decision to leave his job and return to farming full-time. Along with his family, he took on the challenge of modernizing the farm and building a free range operation.

“We had four generations helping out, from my then 80-year-old grandpa to my eldest son,” Bryan says. “We bought a bulldozer and excavator, tore down some of the old barns he had built, and ground up the foundation to build a new one. It meant so much to me to see his blood, sweat and tears being recycled with our own and seeing the legacy he created first-hand.”

Purpose-driven practices 

The name of Bryan’s farm means “the inner desire to work with purpose,” which is what he wants his farm to represent. “That’s where I found my purpose—taking care of the animals, providing an affordable, high-quality protein source for the community, and sharing our story with the public,” he says.

He is currently testing a mobile hen house model from Europe that comes equipped with solar panels and real-time data monitoring to produce pasture raised organic eggs.

Community involvement 

Bryan’s wife and four children help on the farm, and the family runs a store located nearby—aptly named The Egg Store. Run by his wife and open year-round, the shop also sells local produce to the public, creating a direct connection with the community.

Bryan is also actively involved in the broader agricultural network, serving on the audit and finance committee for the BC Egg Board of Directors and participating regularly in industry programs and events.

Looking to a bright future

Bryan is optimistic about the future of the egg industry and hopes young people will find joy and purpose in farming. He envisions a thriving, sustainable industry supported by strong leadership and a sense of community. “Learning how it all works on a national and provincial level through the young farmer program has only grown the respect, excitement and passion I have for the industry,” he says.