First generation market garden farmers from New Brunswick and third generation dairy and field crop farmers from Quebec have been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016.
Dominic Drapeau & Celia Neault of Ste-Francoise-de-Lotbinière, QC and Andrew & Jennifer Lovell of Keswick Ridge, NB were selected at the national OYF event held in Niagara Falls, ON this past weekend.
Drapeau and Neault, along with their have four children, were recognized for their progressive adoption of technology in their dairy herd and fields. Milking 625 cows, their herd’s average production has risen from 8,295 litres per cow per year to 11,136 litres in the last 10 years.
The Lovells own and operate River View Orchards, a u-pick farm market operation that includes apples, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins and other vegetables, which they purchased in 2012. With their two children, they also host tours and farm-themed parties, and operate an agricultural fence and orchard trellis construction service.
This year’s national honorees included:
- Brian & Jewel Pauls, Chilliwack, BC
- Shane & Kristin Schooten, Diamond City, AB
- Dan & Chelsea Erlandson, Outlook, SK
- Jason & Laura Kehler, Carman, MB
- Adrian & Jodi Roelands, Lambton Shores, ON
- Dominic Drapeau & Celia Neault, Ste-Françoise-de-Lotbinière, QC
- Andrew & Jennifer Lovell, Keswick Ridge, NB
The Outstanding Young Farmers program is an annual competition “to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture.” It’s open to participants 18 to 39 years of age who make the majority of their income from on-farm sources. 2016 marks the 36th year for the program.
The participants are judged based on the following criteria:
- Progress made during their farming career;
- Maximum use of soil, water and energy conservation practices;
- Crop and livestock production history;
- Financial and management practices;
- Contributions to the well-being of the community, province and nation.
— CanadaOYF (@CanadaOYF) December 3, 2016