Farm families from Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014.
Myron and Jill Krahn of Carman, MB and Andrew and Heidi Lawless of Kinkora, PEI received the title at the OYF National Event held this past weekend in Quebec City.
The Krahns operate a 3,000 acre grain farm and seed retail outlet at Carman, and have recently purchased an 800 acre farm near Ste. Rose du Lac. They have expanded their acreage three-fold since taking over Myron’s parents farm in 2003, adding seed canola, soybeans and native grasses to their rotation. They started an independent seed retail business in 2009 and are planning to begin retailing pesticides in 2015. Myron is also the president of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association. The Krahns have two daughters — Cadence (9) and Keira (8).
The Lawless’ run a fourth-generation 3,600 acre farm together with Andrew’s parents in the heart of PEI’s potato growing area. Andrew grew his first 60 acres of potatoes in 2002. Andrew and Heidi formed a partnership with his parents and by 2007 had acquired contracts for 12 million pounds of potatoes. Working with neighbours, they formed R&L Farms, the first joint venture potato farm in PEI. They have three children — Vance (7), Max (5) and Maeve (2).
The other nominees this year included Aaron and Adrienne Ivey, Ituna, SK.; Richard and Nicole Brousseau, St. Paul, AB; Jason and Amanda O’Connell, Carleton Place, ON; Bruno Soucy and Hélène St-Pierre, Saint-Édouard-de-Lotbinière, QC; and Lydia Ryall, Delta, BC.
The Outstanding Young Farmers competition is held annually, recognizing young farmers between the ages of 18 and 39 who derive at least two-thirds of their income from farming.