Four farmers and families are vying for the prize
By Diego Flammini
Four Alberta farmers and farm families are nominated for an industry award.
The Alberta Outstanding Young Farmers award recognizes farmers between the ages of 18 and 39.
Alex Villeneuve from Crossfield, Alta. is among the nominees.
He founded Ceres Solutions, which “grows gourmet mushrooms from local brewery and agricultural by-products,” the website says. “Our modular cultivation system is industry leading in product quality, plastic use, emissions reduction, and yield per square foot.”
His organization also uses mushroom substrate, a material that mushroom mycelium can grow and establish itself in, to make a livestock feed called Mycopro.
The Hamill brothers, Matt and Joe, from Red Deer, Alta and the faces behind Hamill Farms Ltd. and Red Shed Malting, are also nominated for the award.
The farm has been in the family since 1929 and today grows malting barley, red wheat, canola, oats and peas.
And Red Shed Malting is the first craft malthouse in Alberta and the first malt roaster in Canada.
The products are local, sustainable and traceable “right down to the farmer who grew it, the variety it is and the field and year it was grown in.”
Kenleigh and Drew Pasay from Red Water, Alta. and owners of Bentgrove Farm, are among the award nominees too.
They are “young farmers carrying on a generational farm,” their Facebook page says.
The Pasays raise beef, lamb, chicken and eggs, offer farm tours and participate in Alberta Open Farm Days.
And the Stamps, Greg and Sara of Stamp Seeds and Stamp Farms in Enchant, Alta., round out the list of nominees.
Stamp Farms aims to grow the highest quality pedigreed seed.
“We will accomplish this by growing the highest quality seed, sustainably and ethically,” their website says.
And Stamp Seeds has a vision “to be the number one choice for seed and services. “We will accomplish this through long term relationships, quality and expertise.”
The winners will be announced in August and will go on to represent Alberta in the national competition in Quebec this November.
An Alberta family last won the national award in 2018.
That honour went to Craig and Jinel Ference from Kurriemuir, Alta. That year they shared the national award with Jordan and Alex McKay from Port Perry, Ont.