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Saskatchewan Set To Name 2021 Outstanding Young Farmers

Saskatchewan's Outstanding Young Farmer Award will be presented Tuesday night.

With COVID restrictions in place, organizers had to plan a much smaller event than normal.

Usually an awards banquet is held in conjunction with Canada's Farm Show with the nominees, family, past alumni, government officials, and media in attendance.

Regional Chair Darlene Krikau says they were originally planning to tag on to Farm Show's virtual event, but then found that with Saskatchewan opening up by waiting just a few days, they could do more to make the event special for this year's nominees.

She says the Outstanding Young Farmer Award highlights excellence in agriculture.

"It shines a light on young farmers. Young being defined as 40 and under at the time of winning, who are progressive, show exceptional farm stewardship and financial management, who are innovators, and forward thinkers in the industry."

She says this year's nominees include Stuart Chutter of Killaly and Micheal and Jessica Lovich who farm near Balgonie.

"Stuart had previously worked in Ag banking, where he was inspired by his farm clients. This led him to a career in farming."

Stuart began his farm career in meat goat production with 350 does and later added sheep. These flocks grew to 1000 breeding females and targeted grazing for weed control was added as a complimentary enterprise. A small purebred cowherd was added to clean up wasted feed behind the goats.

Currently, the farm operates a purebred cow herd of 125 registered Red Angus and Limousin cattle, as well as producing diverse, multi-species forage crops.

Krikau says the other nominee for this year is Micheal and Jessica Lovich who own a 70 cow dairy near Balgonie.

"They own and operate Lovholm Holsteins, which is a 70 cow dairy farm near Balgonie."

Their primary focus is on animal health, farm sustainability and growth as well as providing excellent genetics and working toward excellent genetics for their farm."

Michael and Jessica were born and raised on purebred dairy farms in Alberta, which is where they both got their love of the industry.

They both have travelled many miles on the Holstein show circuit, and their love of cows has given them many other travel opportunities as well.

Michael has a diploma in Livestock Production, while Jessica holds a diploma in Animal Health; both from Lakeland College.

Krikau notes that the Saskatchewan OYF representative will go on to participate in the National event, which runs December 1-3 in Saskatoon.

"The live event is for honourees, sponsors, judges and a small group of board representatives and special guests. For the remainder of us, the awards ceremony and honouree presentations will be live-streamed."

She adds its important to acknowledge the sponsors who are a critical part of the success of the program.

"Our sponsors provide us the opportunity to celebrate agriculture as well as honour innovative young farmers in our province. We’re so grateful to these sponsors, and thank them wholeheartedly for continuing to invest in the Outstanding Young Farmers program."

Krikau says Saskatchewan will host the 2022 National Outstanding Young Farmer Program, which will hopefully be held in person in Saskatoon.

You can read the 2021 nominee bio's here.

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