A dairy farming couple from Vancouver Island and a pair of southeastern Quebec hog producers are Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2008.
The awards were presented November 21 in Calgary to David and Lisa Taylor of Viewfield Farms at Courtenay, B. C., and to Lyne Groleau and Marco Couture of Porcherie Marigo at Saint-Remide-Tingwick, Que.
Operating in Canada since 1980, the national Outstanding Young Farmers program is designed to recognize young farmers (ages 18 to 39) who “exemplify excellence in their profession.” Two national honourees are chosen each year from seven regional honourees across Canada.
Honourees are judged during the national gathering based on progress made during their farming careers; maximum utilization of soil, water and energy conservation practices; crop and livestock production history; their financial and management practices; and their “contributions to the wellbeing of the community, province and nation.”
The Taylors, working with David Taylor’s father and brother, run a 300-animal Holstein herd on 180 acres about 220 km north of Victoria, in B. C.’s Comox Valley. Last year, according to the OYF organization, the farm earned the award for the highest-quality milk on Vancouver Island.
Groleau and Couture developed a 250-sow operation they bought in 1992 about 100 km southeast of Trois-Rivieres into a “progressive, productive farrow-to-finish hog operation” which includes a pork processing plant (La Jambonniere, opened in 2004), retail business and “a drive for developing new and innovative local pork products.”
OYF Canada’s five other 2008 regional finalists, who also attended the Calgary event and took part in its tours and other festivities include:
cattle breeders Duane and Christie Movald of Breton, Alta.;
grain and pedigreed seed growers Kris and Rhonda Mayerle of Tisdale, Sask.;
cattle producers Jay and Angie Fox of Eddystone, Man.;
beekeepers Chris and Christy Hiemstra of Aylmer, Ont.; and
livestock and meat producers Wayne and Nicole Oulton of Windsor, N. S.