Alberta - Scott Wiens Perched in the corner of a hotel lobby, miles from home, Scott Wiens looks nothing like a stereotypical farmer. Cellular phone in hand, he proceeds to tell the story of the Wiens household and the role chicken farming plays in ensuring his family has a stable lifestyle with a solid return on their investment. Scott is a busy man, with "busy" being an understatement, as Scott is also the Chair of the Alberta Chicken Producers. Running his farm, managing another and the usual family chaos that comes from having two children (10 and 7) makes time a valuable commodity. Scott farms near Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Susanne, and takes a great deal of pride in the quality of the birds raised by Canadian chicken farmers.
"Quality is key when it comes to keeping our vibrant industry responsive to customer demands and ensuring that we continue to raise high quality chicken for Canadians," he says. "We are in regular contact with processors to keep up to date with specifications and quality."Scott believes farmers must work together on initiatives that benefit everyone.
"We are working toward keeping our industry flexible, both to market demands and to farmers, with programs such as quota leasing. This is a work in progress but something we envision as being an effective tool for farm management."Twenty-five years after his first exposure to chickens, and fifteen since he took over the farm full time, Scott has kept the focus of his farm on chicken.
"In the past, we had layers and we sometimes raise a few head of cattle, but it's been a while since we did that."While he claims to not mind 2 a.m. phone calls about the flocks, because as he puts it, "it gets the adrenaline going, you need to find a solution." He rather likes the autonomy. Things don't happen on a fixed schedule. "I also enjoy the responsibility and the fact that I have full ownership of both the good and the bad." If he was going to give something up, it would have to be "cleaning barns when it's minus 40." He wouldn't miss that aspect of chicken farming at all, but the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences.
"I really enjoy chicken farming. It allows my family to have a stable lifestyle, we obtain a reasonable return on our investment and we produce a great product that Canadians love. It's a good way to raise a family."