By Pat Grotenhuis
Passionate about telling the public about her family’s 200 year old egg farm in Eastern Ontario, Stephanie Campbell has undertaken a number of projects to achieve her goal.
Campbell’s agricultural awareness efforts have spanned her local area, the campus of the University of Guelph, and various events across Ontario. They have even led to the creation of YouTube videos to share her message with a broader audience. In 2013, Stephanie was featured as the face of November in the Faces of Farming Calendar published by Farm & Food Care Ontario. Her appearance in the calendar was sponsored collectively by the Farmers Feed Cities campaign and by Burnbrae Farms.
“I enjoy showing my urban friends the farming life. We try to hold open houses and barn tours at least once a year,” says Campbell.
During her time at Guelph while she completed her Crop Science degree, Campbell was secretary of the Poultry Club. Within two years the club increased to 60 members from 30, and had members both with and without agriculture backgrounds.
The poultry club’s main objective was to get students interested and involved in the poultry industry. They toured farms, worked on a video in partnership with the Poultry Industry Council, and worked with the Turkey Farmers of Ontario on website projects.
Other agricultural education projects Campbell works on include being part of Burnbrae Farms’ Young Ambassador Program, creating YouTube videos about her farm. You can see them on YouTube at www.youtube.com/burnbraefarms.
She also helped to bring the Ag in the City event to Mississauga in 2010 and she’s been a volunteer at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Campbell is also involved in her Perth, Ontario community through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a youth program at a local church. In her spare time, Campbell enjoys reading, biking, and spending time with friends and family.
As an eighth generation farmer, Campbell has a lot of passion for what she does. Although she took a summer job as a crop scout, someone who checks crops for insect, disease and weed pressure, she is still involved in her family’s farm.
The farm, which her ancestors started in 1816, and which is now run by her parents, also has a registered grading station and self-serve egg stand. In earlier days of the farm, her grandfather delivered eggs to many local stores and restaurants, and the family continues to provide eggs to local businesses today. Although Campbell is still young, her parents recognize how important succession planning is on the farm, and have already started talking about her plans for the future. Campbell has a brother and a sister, but neither are currently interested in farming.
Campbell’s dad is already sure to include her in decisions around the farm, asking her thoughts on various aspects of the current operation. Campbell is optimistic about her future in agriculture.
“Now that I’m graduated, I’m excited and optimistic about my future in agriculture. ,” says Campbell.
To view a video interview with this farmer, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFOVzZrm9iI&list=PLxl8ycqu125d-iqsZFnv_CxGVT7NAgDDcv