For generations women have been a part of the agriculture industry; furthermore, as times evolve so do their roles. In 2017, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) embarked on a research project to further their understanding of women’s role within the industry and develop initiatives to support them. The research study revealed that the egg industry is progressively welcoming to women, as well as it noticed that women in the industry were searching for opportunities to connect with other women to share similar experiences. Furthermore, feedback from the study expressed a large interest in a mentorship program to aid connections among egg-farming women, which served as a catalyst for launching the national Women in the Egg Industry Program.
The national program launched on May 30, 2019 as an effort to provide a hub for women in the industry to connect, share their knowledge with one another and provide support to women interested in leadership roles within the industry. Across the country, a total of seventeen women participated in the first year of the program which consisted of an inaugural meeting, various online activities, and a mentorship program.
Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA) was proud to have Board member and EFC Director, Beatrice Visser lead as a 2019 mentor for two other mentees. Beatrice mentions that the newly developed program is a great idea that is in its learning stages. Furthermore, her mentee Christine Letourneau found the program to be helpful in meeting other women from other provinces and “hear different experiences and challenges and ways they’ve faced their challenges.” Overall, the program met its goal to help egg-farming women connect and has even provided the opportunity for Christine to keep in touch with her mentor.
Besides providing Albertans with fresh, locally produced eggs, EFA is dedicated to supporting more than 170 egg farmers. Board member and EFA Vice Chair Bernadette Vandenborn is a prospect mentor who talks about the support she received in mentioning that “EFA encourages and supports the program as they do with any program that enhances the development and success of producers.”
The national Women in the Egg Industry Program will continue to evolve and enhance as the years progress. EFA will continue to accept mentors and mentees in hopes that more egg-farming women reap the benefits of connection and mentorship with other egg-farming women across the country.
You can learn more about Women in the Egg Industry Program as well as the results of the 2017 research study here.