Out in Manitoba, about an hour outside of Winnipeg, reside Nathan and Stacy Martens. If you were to describe the Martens, it would be “never a dull moment.” With six kids, two dogs, two horses and 500,000 chickens a year, it’s a busy home to say the least! Since 2011, Nathan and Stacy have owned their farm and every day has felt like a blessing. Both knew from early on that a farm life was the lifestyle they wanted to provide for their kids. And what an adventure it has been!
Since owning the farm, Nathan and Stacy have watched their kids grow up and become increasingly more involved with farm activities. All of the kids actively participate in farm chores and can often be found helping out dad on a daily basis. “It’s usually a competition who [gets to go] to the farm” laughs Nathan, “they all love to go.” From a young age, all of the kids have learned how to care for the birds, what to look for in healthy birds and understanding the regulations surrounding Raised By A Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program. “The kids [learn] so fast” Nathan proudly says.
One of Nathan’s firm beliefs as a farmer is the mandatory need for animal care. He credits the Raised By A Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program as a vital part of the industry. “It unifies all Canadian producers under the same standards and really keys us in on Animal Care – it’s very purposeful”. From third-party audits, to biosecurity, to providing the chickens with fresh water and feed 24/7, the Raised By A Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program guarantees that all chickens are raised to world-class standards. “[It ensures that] we have full confidence in having our children eat the chicken that we raise” says Stacy. “If the birds do well, then we do well on the farm and so it’s a win-win for both the birds and us” explain Nathan.
On top of it all, both Nathan and Stacy have jobs outside of the farm, a very typical setting for many farmers in their communities. Nathan works at a feed company, working closely with other broiler producers and learning more about the industry. Stacy works part-time doing safety coordination for a local construction company and takes care of the family farm finances. And if that wasn’t enough, the family is also heavily involved in their community, something that they hold dear to their hearts. Community involvement is key for the Martens, who are active in their church, the community hockey team and local events such as fairs and BBQs. “The chicken farmers in this area are extremely generous and they do lots for the community” explains Stacy. “We are trying to teach our kids [that it’s about] other people, community” adds-on Nathan.
FUN FACTS ABOUT NATHAN AND STACY