Today there are 193,000 farms in Canada. Of those, 98% of them are family owned and operated (Source: The Real Dirt on Farming, Farm & Food Care Ontario, 2010). How many other business sectors can say that? Farming in Canada and New Brunswick is literally a family affair.
The business structures of these family farms are diverse but the overwhelming majority of them are family owned and have been for generations. Take my egg farm for example. I represent the third generation with my grandfather starting the farm from nothing in the 1940s. I know a dairy farmer in Sackville, NB who is now the seventh generation to farm their land. Think about that…..that family was feeding their community well before Canada existed. So you get the picture. There’s a sense of pride and love that runs deep in Canadian Agriculture.
As a child on our farm, I was involved in many of the processes of our farm from caring for the hens to travelling with my father to Saint John, Moncton and Sussex in the summer for egg deliveries to our customers. We knew our customers by first name and it wasn’t uncommon for my parents to talk with them for hours when we would meet them on camping trips.
Our farm has certainly changed since the days of my grandfather. On our farm we now feed more people with less labour required. We can attribute this to things such as automation and technology. the technology we use on our farm is no different than the tech you carry around in your pocket today.
So many things have changed on our farm in three generations. However, there’s always been one constant and that is the multi-generational love, sweat and tears that we put into what we do and what we create.