Scotiabank Vision Achiever, Kadeon Davis, is positioning the family poultry business she operates with her dad as a model farm for students to learn first-hand how a small business can be transformed into a productive, profitable entity.
Davis, a graduate of the University of Technology, has used her qualifications and experience to develop Kay D’s Farms, a business started nearly 50 years ago by her late grandfather in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine. She is keen on getting more youth involved in the sector, and has invited over 100 secondary and tertiary students to visit the farm in the past nine years. During their visits, the students are exposed to the processes of operating a business, and running a farm using modern processes.
“When students hear about agriculture, they are thinking about the dirty part of it, they are not thinking about the improvements and modernization of the sector. I know they are not exposed to it, so they don’t consider the field. When they come and see the physical infrastructure, they talk with me, they have a different view of what exists in the sector,” Davis said.
Davis was among the 2009 recipients of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) Youth in Agri-business Awards, an award which is given to those who have contributed to development in the field agriculture.
“Getting that award has assisted me greatly, I was able to network, and undergo training …. It’s because of that exposure, why I am so eager to open up the business to students so they too can see agriculture as a viable option to make a living and generate employment,” Davis said.
As she continues to position Kay D’s Farm as a viable business, Davis has extended her own personal growth journey by participating in the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme, which she says has opened her eyes to proper financial and operational planning.
|Kadeon Davis, CEO of Kay-D Farms|
The Scotiabank Vision Achiever is a 17-week programme led by ACTIONCoach Marcia Woon Choy that includes training in sales, systemizing business processes, marketing and understanding business financials.
Participants of the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme also benefit from access to one-on-one business consultations, and assistance in creating effective business, marketing and financial plans.
She admits that going into the family business was never her intention but now she says “running this business alongside my father has been one of my greatest achievements in life to date. I am also pleased that I have been able to generate employment for persons in the community,” Davis added.
Since joining the family business in 2007, Davis has helped with expansion of the farm’s capacity from 6,000 to over 100,000 chickens to date.
As part of the medium-term plans for the business, Davis intends to install solar panels to reduce the electricity bill on the farm, and to further reduce production costs. She is already on her way to accomplishing this, having already secured funding to do so.