The individuals were named winners during the program’s national event held Dec. 5-8 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Justin and Laura Rogers are seventh generation farmers operating Picturesque Farms. They grow pedigreed seed, forages and beef cattle. In 2020, following their acceptance into the Dairy Farmers PEI New Entrant Program, the Rogers’ family will be converting the beef sector of the operation into a dairy.
Picturesque Farms relies on communication with customers for success of their seed business. While other aspects of the farm require feasibility studies and business plans for large projects or investments to ensure success.
Simon Michaud is a fifth generation dairy farmer. Myléne joined Simon on Ferme Réika Inc, and in 2005 they built a new free stall barn – which they proved to be their biggest challenge. Following more challenges, they were able to increase their milk production from 9,500 to 10,600 kg per cow. As part of their succession plan, Michaud and Bourque plan to diversify into potato production.
Among the seven finalists were Jan and Jony Roos of Roos Dairy Goats Ltd. in Brownsville, Ontario. Along with their four children, they milk 2,000 – 2,500 dairy goats in a state-of-the-art rotary parlour.
The other finalists included: Dallas Vert and Natasha Pospisil of Conquest Agro Services Ltd in Kirriemuir, Alta., Will and Jen Bergmann of Bergmann Bros in Glenlea, Man., James and Cammy Lockwood of Lockwood Farms in Cobble Hill, B.C. and Jason Ranger of Jaran Farms Ltd in Shellbrook, Sask.
Incoming chair of Canada’s OYF Program Steve Coope, says “It’s so easy in Canadian agriculture to have the ‘wow’ factor revolve around size and scale of operations. In our program…incredible passion, business acumen, the ability to change on a dime, and taking really tough scenarios, and not only surviving them, but turning them into real successes. This is the real ‘wow’. This is what makes our farmers ‘outstanding.’”
2019 marks the 39th year of the Canada’s OYF program. It’s a program recognizing farmers exemplifying excellence in their profession, agriculture and their community.
2020 nominations for the program open in January. To be eligible, the nominees must be between the ages of 18 and 39, be farm operators, have an investment in the business and derive two-thirds of their gross income from the farming operation.