Redwater poultry farmers Marc and Hinke Therrien are this year’s Outstanding Young Farmers for Alberta.
The couple started their agriculture careers in the feed industry and Marc worked at a large broiler farm in order to gain hands-on farming experience. In 2012, they were offered the opportunity to run Pine Valley Family Farm, where they managed all of the poultry production.
Over the past five years of producing turkeys, the couple, who have three children, have been able to double their production every year, going from 450,000 kilograms in their first year to 1.65 million kilograms in 2015. They are also involved in their community by hosting a local county agricultural farm tour and several university student group tours.
“It was inspiring to see such a passionate group of farmers that are all doing such amazing things for agriculture in Alberta,” said Harvey Walsh, deputy mayor of Olds, where this year’s event was held.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program began in 1979 in Alberta and became a national event in 1980. The annual competition recognizes farmers aged 18 to 39 who exemplify excellence in their profession and promote agriculture. Two national winners will be chosen at the national event in Penticton, B.C., which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.