Source: Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers
Justin & Laura Rogers of Brae, PEI and Simon Michaud and Mylène Bourque of Kamouraska, QC were chosen as National Winners from seven regional farmers at Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer(OYF) Program’s national event held last week in Fredericton, NB
Justin & Laura Rogers are 7th generation farmers who operate Picturesque Farms, a mixed farm that grows pedigreed seed, forages and beef cattle. Justin’s love for agriculture began when he purchased his first heifer at age 8 and his first tractor at 13. Picturesque Farms requires feasibility studies or business plans for all major projects or investments while their pedigreed seed business relies on ongoing communication with local customers. In 2020, thanks to Dairy Farmers PEI New Entrant Program, they will be converting their 75 head beef cattle sector to a dairy operation. Family values and community are important to Justin and Laura.
Prior to taking over the management of the 5th generation dairy farm Simon Michaud tried many things. Mylène Bourque always knew she loved agriculture so it was an easy decision to follow her heart and join Simon in Ferme Règika Inc. They built a free stall barn in 2005. The build proved to be their biggest challenge. After some struggles and some changes they increased their average milk production per cow from 9,500 kg to 10,600 kg. Ferme Règika Inc. is located in the heart of the tourist village of Kamouraska so Simon & Mylène are often invited to take part in discussions on the coexistence of agriculture and tourism. Mylène & Simon plan to diversify into potatoes as part of their succession plan.
Steve Cooper, incoming Chair of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program, had this to say about those being honoureed, “It’s so easy in Canadian Agriculture to have the ‘wow’ factor revolve around size and scale of operations. In our program its way down the list and our chosen honourees have proven that once again this year. Incredible passion, business acumen, the ability to change on a dime, and taking really tough scenarios and not only surviving them but turning them into real successes. This is the real ‘wow’. This is what makes our farmers ‘outstanding’ ”.
Every year this event brings recognition to outstanding farmers in Canada between 18 and 39 years of age who have exemplified excellence in their profession while fostering better urban-rural relations. The winners were chosen from seven regional finalists, including the following honourees from the other five regions:
Dallas Vert & Natasha Pospisil, Conquest Agro Services Ltd-Kirriemuir, AB
Will & Jen Bergmann, Bergmann Bros-Glenlea, MB
James & Cammy Lockwood, Lockwood Farms -Cobble Hill, BC
Jason Ranger, Jaran Farms Ltd-Shellbrook, SK
Jan & Jony Roos, Roos Dairy Goats Ltd-Brownsville, ON
All the finalists exemplified pride, passion and professionalism in the agriculture industry.
Celebrating 39 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, Sollio Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The program is supported nationally by BDO and Farm Management Canada.