It is another beautiful (yet muggy) day in Nova Scotia as I approach a true South Shore treasure.
If you are from the South Shore, it would be quite rare to not know owner/operator of Back Country Farm & Forestry, Jeremy Simpson. Jeremy, his wife Mandie, and their three kids can be found spreading smiles all over Western Nova Scotia. Today we will be introducing you to, not only Jeremy, but his 15 year old son/employee Spencer.
After a few minutes of catching up I ask Jeremy why he got into forestry.
“My Grandfather was in forestry. He had a tractor and a loader and I would work with him in the summers, evenings, and weekends” he responds. “I think I was 12 my first full summer of running the power saw.”
I turned to Spencer and ask him the same thing.
“I was also 12 when I started on the power saw” he says. “Dad has always taken me to the woods and I’ve had an interest in machines for a long time.”
I look to Jeremy and ask if he always knew he wanted to be in forestry.
“I went to school at Kings Tech and took the Machinist course. Then I went to work for Eisnor’s Logging for 14 years before starting my own business.”
I ask him about his business growth.
“I started with one harvester in 2016 and now I have five guys (including Spencer) and four pieces of equipment.”
Having done a few interviews now, I am starting to see a trend of families having started operating earlier than most. I ask Spencer when he started running his own piece of equipment.
“I started at 10 or 11 with the harvester” Spencer replies. “So, around four or five years ago.”
“Is the harvester your favorite piece to run?” I ask Spencer.
“No, mine would be the forwarder” he says.
I ask Jeremy the same question.
“I like to run the harvester” he says smiling. “You get to lead the pack when your running the harvester.”
“Can’t cut fast enough to keep me busy” Spencer says poking fun at his dad.
Jeremy smiles. You can tell how much they enjoy being around each other.
I ask Spencer if he sees himself continuing in the forestry sector.
“I probably wil-”
“Not before he gets a secondary education” Jeremy says before he can even finish.
“Yeah, I will continue working here part-time through school and stuff but it is Mom & Dad’s rule that I have to get secondary education” Spencer replies.
“It’s just a really important thing to have this day in age” Jeremy, big papa bear, says.
After agreeing with Jeremy, I ask what is your favorite part of your job?
“I like being outside” Spencer replies. “I really enjoy working on stuff, fixing problems.”
“I also love working outside” Jeremy responds. “AND you can look back and see the nice work that you are doing. You really get the opportunity to take pride in your work.”
I finally get to ask my favorite question! I look to Spencer and ask him how he likes working with his dad.
“I don’t work around him” he responds laughing.
I ask the same question to Jeremy.
“So, far I’ve been impressed” he says, gleamy like the proudest Dad. “He is just like any other worker on my crew and my guys haven’t said anything bad about him either. He’s doing a great job!”
As someone who is fortunate enough to get to work closely with Jeremy, I cannot express the joy I feel seeing that he is passing on his passion and knowledge to his son. The Simpson’s are truly a family that will continue to better themselves and their practices for all Nova Scotians for generations to come.
To learn more about Back Country Farm & Forestry click here!