AManitoba farm couple has earned the national title of Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) for 2009.
Colleen and Grant Dyck were announced the national winners during the OYF’s 29th national awards ceremony held in Ottawa over the weekend.
The Dycks, who have three children, operate Artel Farms, a 13,000-acre farm at Niverville where they produce grain, oilseed and specialty crops. Their farm business is diversified into two other businesses. One is a wood-recycling business processing landfill-destined trees into flooring and furniture. The other is Colleen’s new food energy bar business The Great Gorp Project.
Nominated for the competition by Farm Credit Canada this past spring, the Dycks were selected among seven regional nominees from across Canada. They share the top award with Prince Edward Island vegetable producers Greg and Tania MacKenzie.
“It’s a real honour,” said Grant Dyck, reached at his farm office Monday morning.
He said he and Colleen see the OYF program as a great way to tell the exciting story so many young farmers in agriculture have to share. “This is just a great platform for encouraging people in the industry,” he said.
Manitobans can hear Grant and Colleen’s story at Ag Days in January where they are scheduled guest speakers.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program was founded in 1979 by the Canadian Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Nominees to the OYF program must be farm operators between 18 and 39 years old and derive two-thirds of their income from their farming operation.