Regional

Mark Campbell chose egg farming over teaching

WESTERN PROFILE:

Thursday, July 03, 2014    

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CARIB ROAD, Trelawny

Mark Campbell has been operating a table egg farm on his property in Carib Road, Trelawny for the past 33 years and he is still loving it.

Initially, he juggled operating his farm and teaching English language and history at William Knibb Memorial High, but the requirements of the farm forced him to abandon the classroom, his first love.

"I was doing both; I was teaching and running the farm and I found out that I wasn't able to be true to the students because the farm was becoming more demanding. So I had to sacrifice that (teaching) part of it for this (farm) part, because this part was paying the bills better," Campbell told the Jamaica Observer West.

"I would really like to do some teaching again because teaching was my first love. But it is just a matter of reality to do something that could take care of the family."

OW: How challenging is the business?

MC: Very challenging. Not many farms last for long because it is a very expensive cost of production due to the cost of feed, which is mainly imported.

OW: What is the demand like for the product?

MC: In Jamaica it is not very great. But Christmas is a peak demand period. If Christmas could last for three months in Jamaica most farmers could survive.

OW: What recommendation would you give to a young farmer coming into the business?

MC: If he or she has a gut feeling for it, study it properly and go for it. But one must be prepared to really put in the hours. Spend time with the birds. Take care of the birds. If they have the feeling and if they will commit themselves to it.

OW: How do you survive in these challenging economic times?

MC: I try to improve on my efficiencies. There are certain efficiencies that I work on. There comes a time when the bird, because of its age, cannot perform to the maximum. That is a bird you have to get rid of. The quality of your water -- you must ensure that the birds are getting better water than the one you are having. Very important.

OW: How satisfying has it been for you?

MC: If you can last you can be satisfied. But you have to be efficient.

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