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Mireille Leroux: Paving the way for a new generation of egg production

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.

Mireille Leroux

St. Isidore, Ontario 

In the heart of St. Isidore, Ontario, Mireille Leroux is blending tradition with innovation. Her journey is marked by hard work, passion for sustainability and fostering deep connections to the land.

Career transitions

As a second generation egg farmer, Mireille learned the ropes early on. After exploring different career paths such as event management, she soon felt the pull back to agriculture. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and tourism and a diploma in agricultural techniques, Mireille made the leap back to the family farm in 2015.  She plans to take over the farm in 2027—at that point, her parents will celebrate 50 years as egg farmers.

It was a decision fuelled by a desire for something more dynamic than the confines of her office job. And dynamic it is—from electrician to plumber to vet tech, Mireille wears many different hats, a testament to the varied challenges of egg farming. “The best part of farming is no two days are the same. I could do 20 different odd jobs in the same day—and that’s what called me to it,” she says.

The power of innovation 

But Mireille’s farm isn’t just about continuing the tradition; it’s also about embracing the future. With a keen eye on sustainability, she’s leading the charge in adopting eco-friendly practices. 

The barns are completely solar powered, while innovative technologies like heat exchangers ensure efficient operations even in the harshest of winters. 

“We were the first in Ontario to install those heat exchangers that come from France,” she says. “Instead of being cleaned with water which can be an issue when it is -40 degrees outside, these are cleaned using air, which makes it less likely for the machines to frost or act up when we need them the most.”

Plans for the future

While the farm currently has two locations within 8 kilometres of each other—one organic and the other operating with a conventional housing system—Mireille plans to transition to only organic farming in the next few years. Transitioning to organic egg farming wasn’t just a business decision for Mireille, but a reflection of her personal ethos. 

Beyond the barns

Mireille’s impact extends far beyond the boundaries of her farm. As an active member of various agricultural committees and programs, she’s dedicated to shaping the future of the industry. Whether advocating for sustainable practices or educating the next generation through projects like the Farm to Table Student Eggsperience, Mireille is committed to leaving a lasting legacy.

In addition to the farm and her community work, she also runs a separate business with her life partner, an orchard with 1,300 apple trees that are harvested for large juice producers.

Opportunities for the next generation 

With the egg industry poised for growth and change, Mireille sees a bright future ahead. The increasing demand for eggs, coupled with a wave of retiring farmers, creates ample opportunities for the next generation. And with a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to continual improvement, the sky’s the limit for farmers like Mireille.

“We’re pretty open-minded people and there’s lots of growth and opportunity in the field,” she says. “There’s plenty of space for the younger generation to take a bigger part in the industry.”