As many as 150 Outstanding Young Farmers alumni and guests from across Canada are expected in Brandon, Man., in mid- November for the national competition that will select two finalists from a field of seven regional nominees, to be named Canada s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2011.
This is the 31st year for the national event that brings together nominees who have been selected as regional winners to compete for the national title. The regions include BC/Yukon, Alber ta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Our theme for 2011 is Back to the Country, as we bring the national program to Brandon, which is in the heart of Manitoba s agricultural production, says Herman van den Ham, chair of the Manitoba hosting committee. The event has been held in a number of major centres across Canada in recent years and we felt it would be fitting to bring the national awards program to a smaller community that has strong agricultural roots.
Regional nominees, participating in the November 15 to 20 event include Kevin and Annemarie Klippenstein of Cawston, B.C.; Matt and Tara Sawyer of Acme, Alta.; Franck and Kari Groeneweg of Edgeley, Sask.; Andrew and Tanis DeRuyck of Mariapolis, Man.; Wes and Briar Wiens of Niagara-on-the- Lake, Ont.; Rene Gagne and Pascale Chabot of St. Elzear de Beauce, Que.; and Geoff and Jennifer Bishop of Annapolis Royal, N.S.
As the 2011 nominees arrive in Brandon Nov. 15 to make final presentations to judges, OFY alumni will arrive later in the week to participate in social events and local tours, before the awards banquet Nov. 18.
Among the tours planned early in the week are visits to the Douglas Bull Test Station, an auctioneer competition, a tour of the Agriculture Canada research centre at Brandon and a tour and dinner at the Western Canada Aviation Museum. Weekend tours include a visit to a local dairy farm, a visit to the International Peace Garden on the Manitoba/North Dakota border, and tours in Boissevain.
The Friday morning there is also a OYF forum where a number of guest speakers are lined up to discuss the topic The Impact of the Environment on Agriculture.
We hear so much about the impact that farming has on the environment, and we thought it would be interesting to flip that around and have a discussion on the impact the changes in the environment are having on agriculture, says van den Ham.
Canada s Outstanding Young Farmers program is designed to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. It is open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and supported nationally by AdFarm and Canadian Farm Business Management Council.
For more information on the national event and OYF program visit: www.oyfcanada.com
LeeHartisafieldeditorforGrainewsin Calgary,Contacthimat403-592-1964orby emailat [email protected]