How can agriculture strengthen local economies?

How much turkey do Canadians consume in a year?


perspectives from family farms in Alberta

Family farms, local economies and communities and the availability of local food are all connected. 

A Picture of Family Dairy Farms

Consider the following discussion of the difference between family and factory farms. 


The term “factory farm” is often used to paint a false picture of farming. Everyone has a different understanding of that slang term and we prefer not to use it because there is no agreed-on definition and quite simply, our farms are not factories. Farms in Alberta are places were animals are cared for, treated when they are sick, that feed the world, and the livelihood for thousands of Canadians.

Some associate “factory farms” with large operations, but that’s not true. Many of our larger farms are run by a husband and wife with the support of their children. Farms are businesses and some choose to manage them differently. Some incorporate and some don’t. Some come up with fancy business names, some don’t. Some need outside hired help, some don’t…. Family is the core of the dairy business in Alberta. In Alberta, all of our farms are family owned. Most of our farms are often passed down many generations to their sons and daughters. 

Alberta Milk 


Infographic from Alberta Government: Study of local food demand in Alberta : consumer study report

Egg Farming as a Way of Life  

Many of Alberta’s egg farmers are from families or Hutterite colonies who have farmed for generations. For our egg producers, farming is a way of life and is in their blood; egg farming is their life and livelihood.

Alberta’s egg farmers are committed to providing the highest quality care possible to their hens, adhering to the world class standards associated with the Canadian egg industry’s on-farm animal care and food safety programs, and implementing sustainable farming practices. 

Egg Farmers of Alberta

Local family farms produce local food. How do the values of family farms align with values important to consumers?




Hatching Egg Farming is a Family Business

Farmers ship their eggs to a hatchery where baby chicks hatch after the eggs are incubated for 21 days. Once hatched, the chicks are transported to a chicken grower’s farm where they are grown and shipped to a processor. 

There are about 30 registered producers in Alberta. 100 percent of all registered hatching egg farms are family owned and operated.

Find out more in the following story about an Alberta hatching egg farm. 




Values Matter to Alberta Chicken and Turkey Farmers

Alberta Chicken is a farmer-run organization that represents over 250 family owned and operated farms, built on family values. These family farms produce over 130 million kg live weight of chicken annually, with a farm gate value of over $203 million.

The video shares some perspectives from Alberta family chicken farmers. What values are important to farmers? What evidence do you see of these values?


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