McCain names top potato growers for 2012

Red Baron Farms was named the 2011-12 McCain Champion Potato Grower for the McCain Carberry and Portage plants during the annual Growers’ Banquet held November 7 at the Carberry Community Memorial Hall. More than 200 guests gathered to celebrate the top growers and their achievements and enjoy a social evening together.

Darryl Rowe, president of McCain Foods (Canada) was on hand to extend personal congratulations to the winners.

In his address to the group, Rowe promised that McCain would continue to invest in the potato industry and said it was important for growers and the company to work together.

“We have to work collectively to ensure the potato industry is vibrant for many generations to come,” he said. “It’s not about surviving, it’s about prospering and working together to make this industry as prosperous as possible.”

Master of ceremonies for the evening was Bob Hyra, field manager, who announced and congratulated the top 10 winners, along with other McCain management team members Calla Farn, vice-president, government/public relations and corporate affairs, Mark MacPhail, director of agriculture, Mark Quinn, Carberry plant manager, Ben Lemieux, Portage plant manager.

Mark Keller, vice-president, Keystone Potato Producer Association was in attendance and shared closing comments with the crowd.

Randy and Kim, Earl and Faye, and David and Mary Baron accepted the Champion Grower award for Red Baron Farms, located in Carberry, Harte and Gregg.

In addition to being awarded a keepsake trophy, a revolving trophy and a cheque for $1,000, Red Baron Farms will also receive an all-expense-paid trip to a destination of their choice.

A special presentation was made to Beaver Creek Farms of MacGregor for winning the McCain Environmental Award. This award is given to the grower who achieves the top score for their good stewardship in initiatives such as energy reduction, soil conservation, water protection and optimal use of crop management products.

Potatoes are rated throughout the year on a variety of factors including size, gravity, defect level and colour and awarded points accordingly. At the end of each crop year, the top 10 growers are determined based on their overall scores.

The others growers who qualified for the top 10 roster, in order of final standing, were:

WF Farms (Peter and Helen Weibe, Les and Tina Wiebe – Bagot),

Dickson Farm Ventures (Don and Pat Dickson – Carberry),

Spud Plains Farms (Paul and Kim Adriaansen – Wellwood),

Bar 77 Farms (Gordon and Andrea Graham – Melbourne),

Acadia Colony Farms (John Jr., John Sr. and Isaiah Hofer – Carberry),

Elk Haven Farms (Mark and Karen Keller – Douglas/Shilo),

Anton Weibe Ltd. (Anton and Trudy Wiebe, Sheldon and Angela Falconer – MacGregor),

MillsHof Colony Farms (Sam Jr., Sam Sr., Paul Wollman – Glenboro),

Fairway Colony Farms (Richard and Andy Wollman – Douglas).

Each received a $1,000 cheque and a plaque for their accomplishments.

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