Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) will be gathering in Penticton, B.C., later this month to select two farm nominees from seven regional finalists to be named national winners for 2017.
About 150 OYF alumni and guests will be gathering at the Lakeside Resort convention centre from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3 for the 37th annual competition and awards program that recognizes the ingenuity, hard work, excellent management, and community contributions of young farm families from across the country.
“We are excited to share our ecological and agriculturally diverse region,” says regional chair Troy Harker. “We invite you to journey through the valley from the river bottoms to the mountain tops upon bus, foot and train while being immersed in culture, science and agriculture. You will meet young people in all sectors of Agriculture and value added, and we will showcase young chefs, brewmasters, cidermakers, winemakers and of course farmers.” Troy and his wife Sara who along with a family run and organic fruit and vegetable operation near Cawston were B.C. regional winners in 2013.
The national OYF event brings recognition to outstanding farm couples in Canada between 18 and 39 years of age who have exemplified excellence in their profession while fostering better urban-rural relations.
Seven entrepreneurial farm couples from across Canada chosen from their home regions will present highlights of their operations at the national event. This year’s honourees include: Gary and Marie Baars, dairy producers from Chilliwack,B.C.; Marc and Hinke Therrien, turkey producers from Redwater, Alta.; Derek and Tannis Axten, grain producers from Minton, Sask.; Brent and Kirsty Oswald, mixed dairy and grain operators at Steinbach, Man.; Dusty Zamecni, fruit producer and seedling propagator from Langton, Ont.; Véronique Bouchard and François Handfield, organic vegetable and market garden operators near Mont-Tremblant, Que.; and Lauchie and Jolene MacEachern, dairy producers from Debert, N.S.
“The event showcases Canada’s best in agriculture through the regional honouree presentations and announcement of the winners at the gala Friday evening,” says program manager Carla Kaeding.
Pre-registration is required to attend the OYF event. Tickets can be ordered at www.oyfcanada.com – Friday (Forum/lunch/presentation) is $50 per person, Friday evening awards gala is $100 per person, and Full Friday (forum/lunch/presentations/awards ) is $150 per person.
The OYF program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.