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Saskatchewan OYF named at CFS

Saskatchewan's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2022 are from Wood Mountain. 

Cody Straza and Allison Squires own and operate Upland Organics a mixed cattle and certified organic grain farm.

A key part of the focus on the farm is monitoring and improving soil health and biodiversity.

The couple have successfully adopted a variety of farming techniques from reduced tillage to intercropping, cover cropping, pollinator strips and rotational grazing. 

Straza says it was just a couple of years ago that they added cattle to their operation.

"The two operations are very complementary, in time and resources, and also with the land itself. By grazing the cattle on our cover crops we're getting a benefit for the cattle, but we're also regenerating our land as well. It's diversifying our revenue streams, reducing risk, there's lots of benefits."

He notes the overall Outstanding Young Farmer experience has been great.

"It was a real deep dive into our own operation spending. It felt like a very long and a very short time with the judges. They got to ask us any and everything they could think of about our farm and they asked some some tough questions. It was that and meeting all the other nominees and alumni. There's such a diverse experience in that room."

The pair were named Saskatchewan's Outstanding Organic Farmers of 2021 and National Organic Farmer of the Year for 2022.

Cody Straza and Allison Squires of Upland Organics will now go on to represent Saskatchewan at the National OYF Convention later this year in Saskatoon.

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