Published On: Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Outstanding Young Farmers Earn National Recognition

Outstanding Young Farmers Earn National Recognition
Among the federal programs designed to maintain Canada's agricultural industry is recognition of innovative young farmers. Award winners were recently honoured in Pentiction.

PENTICTON - Growth of Canada's important agriculture industry depends on the next generation, thus Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program celebrates and recognizes excellence by young Canadian farmers. For 2017, Canada's best young farmers were honoured at a recent gala in Penticton.

National winners this year were Derek and Tannis Axten from Saskatchewan and and François Handfield and Véronique Bouchard of Quebec. The B.C. and Yukon Regional Winners were Gary & Marie Baars from Chilliwack, B.C.

The program receives federal funding under Growing Forward 2's AgriCompetitiveness Program to celebrate and recognize excellence by young farmers in Canada's agriculture sector.

Member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country, Stephen Fuhr, was present to congratulate these outstanding and often innovative farmers. Representing Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, MP Fuhr highlighted the creation of 320 new jobs in the agriculture and agri-food sector through 2017 federal funding for youth employment.

To date, more than $3.05 million was invested to help fund internships that provide youth with meaningful work experiences, elevating their chances of quality employment in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Federally funded agricultural employment programs for youth include the two-year Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative and the annual Career Focus program.

Also highlighted at the event was MacAulay's recent announcement of a $1 billion investment in federal initiatives under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Partnership will include support to help new and existing young farmers take a greater leadership role, build their business skills, and share best practices to create a stronger, more dynamic agricultural sector.

The partnership will help the sector reach the federal government's ambitious goal to grow Canada's agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025. Federal program details and application forms will be available in early 2018.