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Nominee list for Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers finalized

Nominee list for Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers finalized

Representatives from seven regions will compete for the national prize in November

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Seven Canadian farmers and farm families will be competing for nationwide bragging rights at the Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers national event in Quebec in November.

Each representative won a regional event showcasing farmers between the ages of 18 and 39.

Representing the B.C./Yukon region at the national event is the Hopcott family.

Travis, Jenn and Brad run different divisions of Hopcott Farms in Pitt Meadows. The farm operation includes a feedlot, 70 acres of cranberry bogs, agritourism opportunities and an on-site abattoir.

The Alberta/NWT representatives are Greg and Sarah Stamp.

The second-generation farmers from Enchant own and operate Stamp Seeds and Stamp Farms along with Greg’s brothers and parents.

The farm has 5,000 irrigated acres and 2,000 dryland acres where the family produces pedigreed seed like wheat, barley, faba beans, peas and more.

Moving further east, the Leguee family will carry Saskatchewan’s flag into the national competition.

Sarah, her brother Jake and their brother-in-law Erik Nikolejsin help grow canola, durum, wheat, lentils, peas and flax on about 15,000 acres between Weyburn and Filamore.

The team at Leguee Farms believes in the importance of continuous improvement, always seeking to find new ways to look after both their soils and margins.

Representing Manitoba ag in Quebec in November is Harley and Brooklynn Siemens.

The 95,000 layer and 15,000 pullet producers from Rosenort renovated four barns in four years to help give their flock more space to move around and engage in natural behaviour.

Stewart Skinner and Jessica Kelly of Imani Farms in Listowel will be Ontario’s spokespeople during the competition.

The farmers started their operation in 2015 after taking over part of Stewart’s family farm.

Together they raise 25,000 hogs for conventional and niche markets. They also produce cash crops on 167 acres.

Farmers from Saint-Dominque, Que., will be the home team in November’s national competition.

Rémi Taillon & Sophie Brodeur raise 1,200 grain-fed calves annually and also grow the grain corn used for feed on 476 acres.

Last but not least, potato farmers from P.E.I. are representing Atlantic Canada in the national event.

Marijke Oudshoorn and Willem van de Wetering were born in Holland and moved to Ontario before making the move to Morell, P.E.I. to start Spud Isle Farms.

They moved to P.E.I. from Ontario in 2017 with zero knowledge of how to grow potatoes. The farm’s previous owners stayed around for the first two years to help the new farmers settle in. wants to wish each of the nominees good luck in the upcoming national event!

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Polycultures with Dr. Jillian Bainard

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Producers rely on grazing native, tame perennial pastures or stockpiled feed to typically feed their livestock. Diverse forage mixtures, such as polycultures, give producers an opportunity to provide high-quality feed while also gaining additional benefits for the soil and ecosystem. Polyculture cover cropping, also known as multi-species or cocktail mixture planting, is the intentional co-planting of several species of plants in the same field or plot. New research is underway to find the best mixtures to plant as forage to improve crop yield, soil organic matter, moisture retention, weed control, and even add more nutrients – all potentially great benefits to farmers, ranchers, and producers.

Join Young Agrarians and Rural Routes to Climate Solutions to learn about forage polycultures with Dr. Jillian Bainard of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As a Forage Ecophysiologist, Dr. Bainard’s research involves studying forage crops and the interface between plants and their environment. Through her work, she collaborates with many other disciplines including forage breeders, ecologists, animal scientists, soil scientists, economists and more to develop forage practices that are beneficial nutritionally, environmentally, and economically. Dr. Bainard’s current areas of research include:

- diverse annual forage crops (polycultures, cover crops) - integrated crop-livestock systems - plant response to stress - plant endopolyploidy and genome size - plant ecology in rangeland ecosystems

This webinar is a great opportunity to learn more about the latest polyculture research happening in the Canadian prairies.



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