GFM Network News


From left to right: This year’s Outstanding Young Farmers finalists Roelof and Mary van Benthem; 
winning couple Jinel and Craig Ference; and Celeste and Craig Christensen.

Outstanding Young Farmer got an early start

Giving young people a chance to learn and grow has become a tradition on Double F Farms

Passing the torch to the next generation is often the greatest challenge faced by farm families. But the way the Ference family met that challenge is a big reason why Craig and Jinel Ference were recently named co-winners of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer award. “It was such an interesting group because we’re all in different […] Read more

Kristen and Shane Schooten with their children Gracen and Berkley.

Challenge equals opportunity for Outstanding Young Farmers

Schooten and Sons is one busy place. The Lethbridge-area operation has four feed yards with a combined 40,000-head capacity; 6,300 acres of crops and pasture; a 300-head cattle herd; custom farming business; trucking company; composting operation; and 35 employees. It’s a big change from the smaller, single feedlot that Shane, Cody, and Justin Schooten grew […] Read more


The Outstanding Young Farmers program has been “nothing but a blessing” for her family, said Tara Sawyer, who won the 2011 award with husband Matt.

Outstanding Young Farmers creates cross-country connections

It can be tough to find your fit as an up-and-coming farmer — that’s where Outstanding Young Farmers comes in. “I always looked at Outstanding Young Farmers as a graduate program for people past 4-H,” said regional chairperson Steven Snider. “This is a great place for that generation to connect across all sectors.” The 35-year-old […] Read more