Meet our Farmers

Egg Farmers of Newfoundland & Labrador

Say hello to those who bring eggs to your table.

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Curtis Somerton

3rd Generation Egg FarmerMunn Poultry, Ocean Pond, NL

When Curtis’ grandfather started Munn Poultry Farm in Portugal Cove, NL, his goal was to produce great tasting eggs that would bring people to the breakfast table. Over the course of 50 years he didn’t just succeed in bringing Newfoundland and Labradorean families together; he brought his own family together as well. The family farm was relocated to Ocean Pond in 2004 in order to build a state of the art facility for future generations.

Today, Curtis Somerton, his wife Crystal and his mother Leslie all work together on the farm and understand the bonding power egg farming can have. “Even our employees are treated like family,” says Curtis. “We love how close knit we are.”

With such strong passion for togetherness, it’s no surprise the hens are considered part of the family. “Starting a flock of day old chicks, raising them to be laying hens and seeing what they produce—it makes us so proud.”

Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton

Favourite Recipe - Sunrise Egg Sandwiches

Sunrise Egg Sandwiches
Curtis recommends these protein-packed sandwiches as a delicious start to one’s day, no matter whether it begins at sunrise or perhaps a little later.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min

Ingredients

3 tbsp (45 mL) light mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk (1%)
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) grated lemon rind
4 eggs
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
8 slices multigrain, French or Italian bread

Instructions

Step 1

Place mayonnaise in small microwave-safe bowl; whisk in milk. Microwave on Medium (50% power) just until hot, about 45 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds. Whisk in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and rind until smooth. Set sauce aside.

Step 2

Spray large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet. Break yolks with edge of spatula. Cook eggs to preferred doneness.

Step 3

Place tomato slices on 2 slices of bread. Top with fried egg. Spoon about 1 tbsp (15 mL) warm sauce over each egg. Cover with second slice of bread.

Notes

The Parmesan cheese sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, warm briefly in microwave on Medium-High (75% power).

Instead of sliced bread, use English muffins, kaisers or burger buns.

Nathan Dennis

1st Generation Egg FarmerLong Range Poultry Farm, Cormack, NL

When Nathan Dennis was 11, he wanted his own horse for passing grade five, but settled for his own chickens. He got two hens and a rooster. It was then and there that his love of poultry began. He couldn’t have guessed where he would be almost 20 years later because he didn’t get that horse.

Needless to say, he didn’t stop at a few birds. He added more each year until he reached a 99-bird flock, which he maintained at the family homestead until he started working full time at the dairy farms in Cormack, Newfoundland.

While living and working in one of the major agricultural areas in the province, Nathan was inspired to apply as a new applicant with Egg Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador and sourced out a farm that needed some new life. He missed having his own flock. “I always had an interest in poultry, and I always liked the laying hens,” says Nathan.

The 29-year-old farmer was approved for a quota of 4,870 laying hens to start Long Range Poultry Farm in Cormack, an area of sprawling farmland nestled in the Humber Valley and sitting along the Long Range Mountains on the Northern Peninsula.

Nathan and the flock moved in to the renovated barn and are hard at work as the first commercial free-run layer farm in Newfoundland. When the birds have settled into their new home and are at full production, the Bovan Brown laying hens will produce close to 400 dozen brown eggs a day. “It’s always a challenge,” says Nathan, who collects the dozens of eggs three times a day, wading through the thousands of chickens who have free reign of the barn. “There’s never a dull moment.” He chose to operate as a free-run farm to fill a need he saw in egg supply in the province and enter a niche market.

“It’s not because I think free-run is better than any other operation,” says Nathan. “I think it’s something different and something the public wants.”

He’s embracing his new lifestyle as a farm operator, watching his eggs end up in grocery stores across the province. He is working closely with his two uncles to customize the barn further, creating new office space and systems that make the flow of production simpler and more efficient. “It’s not a fairytale,” says Nathan, but he can’t deny that farming has always been in his blood.

Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton
Curtis Somerton

Favourite Recipe - Moose 'n Eggs Quiche

Moose 'n Eggs Quiche
Although Nathan claims to enjoy his eggs in the simplest form cooked over-easy and served with toast and tea, he appreciates all eggs are delicious no matter how they are prepared.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 35-40 min

Ingredients

1/2 pound (.226kg) ground moose
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) fresh basil
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) garlic powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup (125mL) milk
1/2 cup (125mL) mayonnaise
1.5 cups (375mL) shredded old cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (125mL) shredded parmesan cheese
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Instructions

Step 1

In a skillet, cook ground moose and onion until moose is browned and onion is tender.

Step 2

Stir in basil, oregano and garlic powder.

Step 3

In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk and mayonnaise; stir into meat mixture.

Step 4

Fold in cheeses.

Step 5

Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes at 350F (175C),or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Step 6

Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pauline Duivenvoorden & Phil MacLean

1st Generation Egg FarmerBarn Fine Eggs, Deer Lake, NL

Down the road from their dairy farm in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, sits Pauline Duivenvoorden and Phil MacLean’s egg farm. The morning egg collection is over and the birds are clucking happily in the new barn.

Pauline is having fun learning how to egg farm, being one of only two egg farms on the west coast of the province. “We were really keen to learn something new,” said Pauline, who has been dairy farming with her husband since 1989 after the two moved to the province when she was offered the veterinary position for western Newfoundland. “My husband Phil and I are very interested in the area of food production,” she adds. “There was an opportunity to diversify.” A decommissioned mink farm down the road from their herd was the perfect place to build a new egg farm. They built the 200-by-40-foot-barn in 2016 to prepare for their first flock in 2017.

With a flock of 7,600 birds, the couple loves watching their very productive flock of Lohmann hens produce food for the province. “The privilege of being part of this system comes with the responsibility of providing a constant supply of food for the shelves,” says Pauline, who won Entrepreneur of the Year from the Newfoundland and Labrador organization of Women Entrepreneurs in 2015 for their dairy farm, Headline Holsteins. She takes her part in the local food supply very seriously and considered it a great honour to be recognized.

The couple’s second flock just moved in and they are settling into their nice and cosy “enriched housing system.” This chicken flock set-up is based on European space allowance per bird. It includes twice the space of conventional chicken housing and has a nest area, perches and scratch pads. Pauline likens it to swanky condo living in the city and says Barn Fine Eggs is a play on “darn fine” for the farm’s responsible and quality animal care space.

The flock is showing its appreciation by producing an average of 4,400 dozen eggs each week for the province’s population. “Eggs are an amazing package of protein,” says Pauline, who feeds the flock a corn and soya bean diet that is boosted with a nutrient pack of vitamins and minerals. “If you feed the birds exactly what they need, you’ll have a strong egg.”

Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden
Pauline Duivenvoorden

Favourite Recipe - Microwave Egg Cookers: Scrambled Eggs

Microwave Egg Cookers: Scrambled Eggs
Pauline loves having eggs for supper. She makes scrambled eggs in her handy microwaveable egg cup, usually with a side of cheese and bacon. She says it’s the “farmer’s breakfast” for supper.
Serves: 1
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 1 min

Ingredients

Pinch salt
1 egg

Instructions

Step 1

Sprinkle a few grains of salt in bottom of the egg cooker. (Salt attracts microwave energy and will help to cook eggs evenly.) Break egg into egg cooker. Whisk egg with fork. (Or, whisk egg in small bowl, then pour into egg cooker) Place lid on cooker base, lining up notches. Twist to secure.

Step 2

Place into microwave. Microwave on High (100% power) for 35 seconds, stirring halfway through cooking. Let stand for 20 seconds. Stir to scramble egg before removing from egg cooker.

Notes

Cooking times will vary depending on microwave oven cavity-size, wattage and desired consistency of yolk. Times provided are for a 1000-watt microwave oven. Increase time slightly for lower wattage; decrease for higher wattage. Start with shortest time and increase in 10 second intervals. Note the time that works best for your microwave oven.

Cooking times will vary if more than one egg is cooked at a time. Please refer to our recipes for using 2 Microwave Egg Cookers in 1 microwave, and for 2 eggs in 1 Microwave Egg Cooker.

Times given are for a large egg. The egg cooker works best with large eggs.

Lowering the power level to Medium High (70% power) or Medium (50% power) and increasing the cooking time slightly is also an option.

After each use, wash egg cooker thoroughly with hot soapy water; rinse and dry.

The egg cooker is safe to use in both dishwasher and microwave. Do NOT use in convection microwave oven set to convection mode.

When cooking eggs in the microwave, always use a microwave-safe container such as the egg cooker, and pierce yolk and white several times or whisk before cooking.

Never cook an egg in its shell in the microwave; it will explode.