Terry and Carol Knippel
Terry and Carol Knippel bring a wealth of farming experience to their family business. Their chicken farm is 45 minutes north of Saskatoon, nestled in the heart of Canada's bread basket. Before they became chicken farmers in 2002, they had been dairy and grain farmers for 30 years. It is, however, raising broilers that they find very rewarding.
"The chicken industry gives us stable and steady income," said Terry. "Our supply management system keeps the industry and prices stable which enables all stakeholders to make smart business decisions and helps with future planning." After building their new barn and starting their chicken farm, the Knippels found that working in a quickly evolving industry can be quite challenging. "We need, as an industry, to keep working on efficiencies, things like inputs. Feed and electricity continue to be major factors," says Terry.
A major benefit of the new construction on the Knippels' farm was the ability to start from scratch with the latest technology. Their barn is almost completely computer controlled, with systems in place to regulate ventilation, temperature, feed and water, and weigh scales. Terry isn't stopping there, however, and continues to closely monitor developments in science and technology in fields such as feed conversion, automated chicken catching, and chicken behaviour.
When asked about the future of Canada's chicken industry, Terry responds, "Consumption is stable in Canada, but I can see people are being very health conscious. Chicken will always gain from that."
Family farms like that of the Knippels in Saskatchewan form the backbone of Canada's chicken industry. Their attention to technological developments continues to allow them to raise the highest quality chickens for Canadians.
Bio and Image courtesy of Chicken Farmers of Canada.