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‘Ongoing suffering’: Group calls for cameras in barns to protect farm animals

Anders Kornelsen has always known he would be a farmer. After training as a red seal carpenter, he worked in the construction industry for several years before taking some time off to build a house following his marriage to his wife, Janelle, in 2013.

“I got a taste of working for myself, and once I finished the house, I started working on the farm,” says Anders. He farms with his parents, Brad and Colleen, who bought the farm near Morris, Manitoba, in 1986. Colleen’s family were egg farmers, so getting into the egg business was a natural fit. The Kornelsen farm is home to 21,000 hens, and the family has plans to build a new barn with free run aviary housing next spring.

Anders appreciates the lifestyle of being an egg farmer, which gives him the flexibility to set his own hours and to spend time with his two young children, Grayson and Kinsley, who are the third generation on the family farm. He says the kids love coming to the barn with him.

Looking ahead, Anders and his parents have formalized a succession plan that will see him taking over the family farm. “My parents are hopefully going to get an opportunity to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labour,” he says. “But for now, I love being able to work with my parents.” Brad and Anders work together managing the egg production, while Colleen manages the books and the farm’s finances.

As he gets more involved in the family business, Anders has also started to connect with egg industry colleagues and expand his role beyond the farm. For example, he took part in the Manitoba Egg Farmers Egg Ambassador program and travelled to the Brandon Winter Fair to share his passion and knowledge about the egg industry with consumers. He looks forward to attending other events in the future to help consumers learn more about how eggs are produced.

Seeing egg farming from the consumer’s perspective was something Anders enjoyed. “People were surprised to find out that white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs,” he says, when asked what he took away from that experience. “But I also liked hearing from consumers that we’re supplying a quality product that they enjoy and appreciate. That makes me feel good about being an egg farmer.”

Anders is taking part in the 2023 cohort of Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program. “I want to learn more about the industry and the work that maybe goes unseen. I also want to become more educated and become a better egg farmer.”

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“We are the music to the sale.”

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