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How Fanny Gauthier-Patoine turned her dreams of farming into reality

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.

Fanny Gauthier-Patoine

Saint-Adrien, Quebec

From carefree spirit to egg farming dynamo, Fanny Gauthier-Patoine’s trailblazing path is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship. Growing up in Sherbrooke, Quebec, she found herself drawn to the agricultural world early on through her father’s work as an agronomist. However, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with a dairy farmer many years later that her calling in life became clear.

Finding purpose in farming

Fanny grew up riding horses, helping in barns and accompanying her father on field visits to cattle farms. Her journey took a pivotal turn at 18 when she met a dairy farmer who saw her potential and asked her to help out on his farm that summer. “He said to me, ‘You’re good at this, why don’t you go back to school and study farming?'”

With encouragement from her mentor, Fanny embarked on a journey of education and self-discovery, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Université Laval

“He wanted me to take over the dairy farm but even though I liked cows, it was too much work for a solo woman,” she says. Determined to forge her own path, she set her sights on the egg industry instead, a venture she felt confident she could pursue independently.

A vision realized: Avisource Farm

In 2022, Fanny began construction on Avisource Farm in the picturesque landscape of Saint-Adrien, Quebec. With her first flock arriving in March 2023, she set out to create a thriving enterprise with an enriched colony housing system. In addition to egg farming, she also grows hay and breeds horses.

On top of this, Fanny also manages three short-term rental properties and works as an agro-economist for the government of Quebec.

Finding her purpose 

Despite the challenges of farming on her own, Fanny remains undaunted. For her, the allure of farming lies in its multifaceted nature and the values it embodies.

“It was always my dream to be a farmer,” she reflects. “Farmers are so independent; they have to be problem-solvers and a jack-of-all-trades, yet they have such a sense of liberty.” 

Her love for the egg sector stems not only from its stability but also from the sense of fulfillment it brings. “I think it’s easier for a woman alone to be an egg farmer—it’s a wonderful production that can keep you going,” she says. “Any time the economy goes down, people will still buy eggs. It feels like a very secure investment in the farming industry.”

Building industry connections

As an active participant in the agricultural sector through programs like the national young farmer program, Fanny is hoping to make meaningful connections with her peers and foster knowledge exchange. “To be a young person breaking into the farming industry is pretty tough,” she acknowledges. 

Through these programs and initiatives, she hopes to empower fellow egg farmers and bridge the gap between provinces, enriching the agricultural landscape of Canada while inspiring others to embrace the boundless possibilities of farming.