Allan Larsen is a dedicated 4th generation beef farmer at J.M Larsen Farms Inc. in Cape Traverse, PEI. At the young age of 21, Allan has taken on full responsibility of all roles involved with the cattle portion of the farm. Allan comes from a large farming family, and agriculture as been in the Larsen genes for decades. Allan’s entire family plays a role in the family business, he farm alongside his brothers Michael and Joseph, and his father James; while his mother Bernadine and sister Jessica take care of the daily needs of the family and financial responsibilities of the farm. Allan is passionate about farming and truly enjoys being around his cattle. Allan’s put his whole heart and soul into his farming operation, and he could not picture his life any other way.
Name: Allan Larsen
Occupation: Beef and Potato Farmer at J.M Larsen Farms Inc.
What does your job entail?
Everyday all year round, I feed, bed, and take care of the cattle. One of my main roles on the farm is fixing and working on all the equipment and machinery. During the spring it is my calving season, so that ties me down as I have to be constantly monitoring the cows. I spend my summers planting crops, chopping silage, and baling hay and straw. Then throughout the spring and fall, I dedicate a lot of my time to helping my father with the plant and harvest of potatoes.
How long have you been involved in the agriculture\food industry on PEI?
As long as I can remember, I grew up in a large farming family, my parents both come from farms, my grandfather farmed, and the majority of my aunts, uncles, and cousins farm too. I have been surrounded by and involved in agriculture here my whole life.
What is your education/ experience prior to entering your current job?
After I graduated high school, I went to NBCC in Miramichi and took Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanics. While I was living in New Brunswick I worked on a large dairy operation, Schenkels Farms Inc. then right after school I came back to work on the farm full time on my family farm.
Are you involved in any extracurricular or community activities?
The farm keeps me pretty busy so I don’t have much free time. I use to be very involved in 4H and I played Junior C Hockey. But, now during my free time I enjoy Tractor Pulling and spending time with friends and family.
What’s your favourite way to eat Island Beef?
Whatever way mom makes it, but I’d say my favourite way to eat Island Beef would be definitely a barbecued steak with a baked potato.
When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a farmer, from being around it my entire life. I never actually had to think about what I wanted to do because it was pretty much a given that I was going to farm, just like my father and grandfather.
What would you want consumers to know about your business and the agriculture/food industry?
My business is dependent on the health and well-being of my livestock. My biggest priority is to ensure that my cattle are well taken care of. In my own personal life the cattle come first, especially when they are sick, if that means missing supper or a party or staying home from a trip to guarantee that a cow is okay then that’s how it gets done.
Consumers need to know not to believe the first negative thing they see or hear about agriculture and farming, especially when they read or see it on social media. Some of the pictures/ videos that circulate online are taken out of context and are not an accurate representation of an operating farm here in Canada.
Why do you do what you do?
Life would not be the same if I wasn’t a farmer. Even though a lot of the time my job can be stressful and overwhelming, and sometimes the stress does take a huge toll on me, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything. After seeing the legacy that my grandfather and father has built for us that motivates me to keep going and do the same for my family. I see no better way of life for myself then to be a farmer.