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Edmonton hosting bright and talented young farmers

Six farm couples from across Canada are competing for national honours on Nov. 17 – 22

The Marriott Hotel on Edmonton’s west side will serve as headquarters for the 35th annual gathering of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF).

Six farm couples from across Canada who won the regional honours in their respective provinces, will meet in Edmonton November 17 to 22 to compete for the East and West national OYF titles.

These regional honourees have been chosen from their home regions, and will present highlights of their operations at the national event, which will attract nearly 200 OYF alumni and guests.

The near-weeklong event gets underway Tuesday Nov. 17 with registration and a judges’ dinner. While Wednesday and Thursday there are tours planned of different Edmonton and area urban and agricultural attractions, the nominees themselves will also be involved in different meetings with the judging panel.

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Friday’s day-long events, open to the public, includes an information forum entitled, “Working with the ones you love.” That will be followed by a presentation by each of the nominees giving a talk and slide presentation of their respective farming operations. The day concludes with a banquet and awards presentation. All Friday events will be at the Marriott River Cree Resort & Casino at Enoch, Alberta on the outskirts of Edmonton.

The 2015 honourees represent a cross-section of the diversified Canadian agriculture industry.

David and Sara Simmons are dairy farmers from Little Rapid, Nfld. The Simmons represent the Atlantic Canada region. This is the first time since the 1990s there has been a nominee from Newfoundland.

From Ontario are pork producers Mike and Amy Cronin, of Bluevale, Ont. who have developed a diversified Canada/U.S. hog operation.

From Quebec, are Ayrshire dairy farmers Christian Bilodeau and Annie Sirois, who farm at St-Odilon-de-Cranbourne, Que., south of Quebec City.

Mark and Cori Pawluk of Birtle, Man., not only produce grain and oilseeds on their Manitoba farm, but have also added diversified and value-added components.

Jeff and Ebony Prosko, farm with their family at Rose Valley, Sask., and have added an ag retail outlet to their business profile.

Patrick and Cherylynn Bos, Ponoka, Alta., have seized an interesting aspect of the dairy market, establishing the largest goat dairy operation in the world.

Most years there is a seventh regional nominee from the B.C./Yukon Territory however, due to personal circumstances, Kerry and Anita Froese, poultry producers from Abbottsford, B.C., earlier this year withdrew from the competition.

Two of these six regional winners will be chosen at the awards gala as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015.

Celebrating 35 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture.

Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year.

The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada. For more information on the OYF program and national competition visit the OYF website.

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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