A pork-producing family from Ontario and a dairy goat-farming family from Alberta have been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015.
Mike and Amy Cronin of Bluevale, ON and Patrick and Cherylynn Bos of Ponoka, AB were recognized at the OYF national event in Edmonton this weekend.
“Every year, our organization recognizes and welcomes more innovation and more passion with farm families who are helping shape the dynamic future of Canada’s agri-food sector,” said OYF President Luanne Lynn. “The Cronin and Bos families both exhibit the values of OYF and the agriculture industry in their unique and successful farm businesses. We are thrilled to welcome them to join 35 years of OYF winners.”
The Cronins bought their first hog farm in 1998 — a 1,800 farrow to wean operation. Working together with their six children, they’ve grown their hog business in Canada and the U.S. In 2014, they built the first crate-free farrowing system in North America in a barn that features a thumb print entry system, electronic sow feeders and video cameras.
Amy is the chair of Ontario Pork and co-chair of Ontario’s Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee, while also serving as a school trustee, and credit union vice chair. Mike is involved in Huron County Pork Producers, their local parish and local youth soccer program.
Patrick and Cherylynn Bos, together with their four children, operate a 1,400 dairy goat herd and a milk and cheese processing business.
The Bos’ Rocky Ridge Dairy processes milk from their operation and other farms, producing up to one and a half tons of cheese each week. Their existing milking parlour can milk 180 goats per hour, but they’re planning to install a rotary parlor that will boost milking efficiency to 900 goats per hour.
The Boses also host several hundred visitors to their farm every year, and are involved in their church, the Crossroads Breeders Co-op and Alberta Organic Producers.
The 2015 Outstanding Young Farmers are: Mike & Amy Cronin of ON and Patrick and Cherylynn Bos of AB! pic.twitter.com/mYm2A2cELF
— CanadaOYF (@CanadaOYF) November 21, 2015
The other honourees nominated for the 2015 OYF national event included: David and Sara Simmons, Little Rapid, NL; Christian Bilodeau and Annie Sirois, St-Odilon-de-Cranbourne, QC; Mark and Cori Pawluk, Birtle, MB; and Jeff and Ebony Prosko, Rose Valley, SK.
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.