While many chicken farmers focus on raising one type of chicken, there are farms throughout Canada that do more. Leonard Klassen along with his wife Kim and their three children are “dual-commodity” farmers, meaning they raise two different kinds of chickens.
Located just outside Grunthal, Manitoba, the Klassen farm has two barns. Broilers, or birds raised for their meat, are housed in one barn, while the other is home to their hatching egg birds. Having these two supply management farms provides the family with economic stability and fulfils their love of country living. All five Klassens work on the farm and each of the children, all in their teens, play a different role in daily chores while Leonard and Kim both work full time on the farm. The family also has two part-time workers to lend a hand when extra help is necessary.
Raised on a broiler farm, Leonard always had a passion for chicken farming. He spent the past 20 years on the hatching egg side of the industry, building a stable operation. Five years ago, his family invested in broiler chickens in order to diversify the operation. His extensive experience as a hatching egg producer, combined with his experience raising broilers, has made him a unique contributor to the industry.
Leonard holds an optimistic vision for both Manitoban and Canadian chicken industries. He predicts that it will continue to grow, slowly but steadily.
“We are led by good people who are going in the right direction,” he said. The success of the Klassens’ farm speaks to the strength of Canada’s chicken industry and will continue to do so.