Board Member

Craig Nichols is a fourth generation farmer operating a diverse farm and construction business in the Aylesford area of Kings County, Nova Scotia. Much like the farm’s 1920’s origins, the business is still very much a family operation, with wife Norma and children Daniel and Samantha filling key roles in the business. Craig serves as a Director on the Board of Scotian Gold and is a Past Director of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association.

The 48 acre farm from the 1920‘s has grown to over 1,500 acres today. There have been poultry and hog operations in the past. A cranberry bog has been added. Today, the principal crop grown on the farm is apples; however there has been significant diversification into field crops such as corn, soybean and wheat which can vary greatly in importance as world markets fluctuate. Unlike the 1920’s, it is a global economy for most every commodity grown.  This spreads financial dependence over multiple crops in any given year, featuring different growth/harvest intervals and differing cash-flows.  Climate change has been one of the greatest factors in the success of a crop and farms are continually spreading the risk to minimize impact. There is also a u-pick operation featuring high bush blueberries and raspberries which have been part of the farm for decades.

The construction business is also quite diversified with projects ranging from residential, commercial/industrial and agricultural settings. Craig’s love of machinery and mechanization has the dual benefit of creating a modern-tooled construction business and embracing new technology which also spills over into farm operations. Operating a farm in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia is not done in isolation. Farms tend to work together and all benefit from the availability and use of new technology. The farms are feeding the global market and there is strength in numbers in growing the importance of agriculture in the province of Nova Scotia.

Together, the businesses employ a team of nearly 100 employees made up of local workers and a contingent of Jamaican workers who have been returning for many years.