The Haverkamps are second generation family farmers, and have been raising laying hens and producing eggs for nearly forty years. Based in Listowel, Ontario, Ralph and Janet Haverkamp started producing eggs in 1981 at their farm in Milverton, and they eventually moved their farm to Listowel in the late 1990s. Today, their daughter Tonya, married to Don Storey, continues as a third generation family farmer, managing the layer and pullet barns, and the family has a flock of 80,000 pullets & 80,000 white, conventional layers that produce wholesome Grade A eggs.
The family also cash crops beans, wheat, and corn, and Tonya’s brother Gebadia raises broiler breeder birds. When they’re not working, the Tonya & Don like to have fun no matter the season. In the summer they ride their motorbikes, garden, and go camping, while in the winter they snowmobile and go skiing. They have a dog, Diesel, and a barn cat named Big Foot.
Environmental sustainability is important to the family – for example, they installed solar walls on a number of barns many years ago. As Tonya said, “we have solar walls on all 4 barns and one barn beside our home. We’ve had them for many years now. It helps heat our barn in a way that’s more efficient and environmentally friendly.”
Tonya is a proud egg farmer and an active participant in the industry, and works hard to educate consumers on how their eggs are made. For example, she helps out at the CNE and the Royal Winter Fair, noting, “it’s very important to share our story, any way we can. I like meeting people and speaking to them about agriculture and how their food is produced.”
“Being a farmer isn’t just a lifestyle,” Tonya said, “it's a choice, and a responsibility. We’re passionate about animals and our hens, and it’s our job to take care of them. Our family values are to care for others before you care for yourself, and it’s like that with our birds – they’re animals, and we need to care for them no matter what.”