Organic vegetable farmers from Quebec shared national honours with Saskatchewan grain farmers in the 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer program.
Last weekend, the Canadian program culminated in Penticton, British Columbia with winners François Handfield of Ferme aux petits oignons at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec and Derek and Tannis Axten of Axten Farms Ltd, Minton, Saskatchewan.
The Quebec farmers were recognized for their certified organic Aux Petits Oignons direct-marketing enterprise on 10 acres. The entrepreneurs built greenhouses that incorporated sustainable materials and energy conservation into the design.
Working with a human resource specialist, Véronique and François developed an employee guide that has helped to minimize the employee challenges that come with their vegetable industry. They feel that enjoying your work, humour, a sense of achievement, and positive feedback all contribute to job satisfaction for their local employees. Aux petits oignons is fully organically certified, and offers weekly subscriptions for vegetable baskets as well as produce through their farm and local markets. They want to recreate the bond between urban residents and farmers while building confidence in authenticity, quality and freshness of their product.
Every year this event brings recognition to outstanding farmers in Canada between 18 and 39 years of age who have exemplified excellence in their profession while fostering better urban-rural relations. Axten’s and Bouchard/Handfield were chosen from seven regional finalists, including the following honourees from the other five regions:
Gary & Marie Baars - Chilliwack,BC
Marc & Hinke Therrien - Redwater, AB
Brent & Kirsty Oswald – Steinbach.MB
Dusty Zamecnik- Langton, ON
Lauchie & Jolene MacEachern- Debert, NS
Source: Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program December 3, 2017 news release.