One of Newfoundland and Labrador’s newest egg farmers, Nathan Dennis, got his start as a poultry farmer at a young age — with two hens and a rooster in the fifth grade. A first-generation farmer, Dennis said that his passion started as a childhood hobby, and after high school, he gradually built up his farm. Over time, he diversified to growing root crops, forages (grasses), raising sheep, beef cattle, and a small flock of chickens. “I’ve always had an interest in poultry,” said this father of two, “and I always wanted to have a bigger poultry farm.” In 2016, he got that opportunity when he applied to a program that supported new farmers wanting to enter the egg farming industry — called the Egg Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador New Entrant Program. In 2017, he began producing free run eggs — the first farm of its kind in the province. With room to grow, Dennis’s priority is to modernize and automate. “I’d like to make some upgrades to the barn, make improvements to make things more efficient… adapt new technology, and from an environmental perspective, be more sustainable.” Nathan has also taken part in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program, which has given him the chance to meet and learn from other Canadian egg farmers. “Talking to other farmers, you can bounce ideas back and forth, and learn about how they are furthering sustainability on their egg farms,” he says.