A few weeks ago I started an on-line boot-camp fitness program, because I really want to be healthier and be a role model to my children. I want them to learn that you can make long-lasting, positive changes at any time in your life. Through the program, I get daily positive affirmation emails and tips on how to stick with the program. This quote really made me think about a lot of things:
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” – Unknown
How often do we say we are committed to something, but really we are only interested? We make a few changes and then when things get tough or inconvenient, we revert back to our old ways.
As an individual, I want to commit to a healthier lifestyle, making exercise a priority and keeping it fun (like kayaking on the North Saskatchewan). I want to eat things that are good for me every day, but still make room for treats and those things you can’t live without, like chocolate! How am I doing? Well, it’s early days still, but I think about this quote often and even have it printed out and posted in my kitchen, my office, my laundry room and my craft room. It motivates me to focus on small, positive steps every day.
I thought some more about my life as a farmer – what am I committed to? I’m committed to continuous improvement. Sometimes that improvement comes in big ways, like getting to build a new barn with new technology. Sometimes that improvement comes in little ways, like finding a way to manage a flock better, finding a new cleaning method, working on training with the staff to ensure that they improve themselves and become more productive, improved vaccination procedures or even buying new LED light bulbs that are more energy (and cost) efficient.
I am committed to our national programs like the Start-Clean Stay-Clean program, our on-farm food safety program and the Animal Care Program. These two programs provide the guidelines for making sure we provide safe, healthy and quality eggs and ensuring we provide the best care for the hens. They are a mandatory component for all Canadian egg farmers and good management practices are essential to making these programs a success.
These programs are audited by our national agency, Egg Farmers of Canada, and the industry has begun the process of independent third-party audits. Every Canadian egg farm is visited at least once per year and if we don’t meet the criteria set out, we are given corrective actions and a time frame to make the necessary changes. The accountability to our provincial and national agencies is important, but it is most important that we are continually accountable to our customers – those people that buy our eggs.
Focusing on the last part of the original quote is the difficult part. No excuses! That doesn’t mean that everything is perfect all the time and that problems don’t exist. Farming isn’t easy, and when we work with livestock and are subject to the variations of Mother Nature, lots of issues come up. I don’t have unlimited buckets of money, but I can find a way to develop creative solutions. Tackling problems and not accepting the status quo helps me stay committed.
I’m also committed to telling my farming story. There is a resurgence of interest in local food and understanding where our food comes from. I love talking to Rotary clubs, local interest groups, participating in the Classroom Agriculture Program, hosting farm tours and taking every opportunity I can tell to people about eggs, chickens and egg farming.
I am an egg farmer and I am committed!