Meet the Harries, a New Entrant Chicken Farmer Family
After three years in the chicken industry, the Harries family from District 3 have hit the ground running.
It all started with a rural dream just outside of Thedford, Ontario. The family found a property with 61 acres and started to consider the best use for the extra land.
Growing a mix of layers and broilers, 300 at a time, piqued their interested until they discovered Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s (CFO) New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program.
“When we first heard of the program we thought ‘this is awesome!’,” said Julie Harries. “Chicken farming would allow us to keep working in our careers but still be able to pursue farming on the side.”
Julie and her husband, Tyler, started the application process in June 2014. By October, their expansive business plan included thorough research of the industry and several estimates from various banks, equipment companies, barn construction companies and more. They placed their first crop of broilers in October 2015.
“There’s a lot of learning and it’s always overwhelming getting started,” said Julie.
“A lot of farmers have been great with helping us. It’s been an awesome learning experience and we are so happy we were able to participate in the CFO New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program and create this path for our family.”
As they’ve gained more experience, the Harries are grateful for their relationships with partners in the industry as well as the one shared with CFO. Julie explains that in addition to her feed representatives and other contacts, she’s benefited greatly from the many farmer-member engagement opportunities including Regional Meetings, District Meetings and Women in Leadership events.
“The nice thing about working in a supply management commodity, is that you’re not in competition with other farmers. Everyone is willing to talk and help, and they will tell you tips on how to increase your profitability. It’s a nice community to be a part of,” said Julie.
Pictured Above: District 3 farmer-members Julie and Tyler Harries and their four children.