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Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers to gather in Charlottetown for 2012 national event

October 15,  2012, Charlottetown, PEI –  Seven farm couples will vie for top recognition as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) when the organization holds its annual event in Charlottetown, PEI  on Friday, November 30. The event features some of the most entrepreneurial agricultural producers from across Canada when regional honourees present highlights of their operations. Together with OYF alumni and the larger agricultural industry, OYF’s event features a special forum on farm labour and concludes with a gala banquet to announce Canada’s 2012 national OYF winners.
 
The day-long OYF event is open to the public and includes an information forum entitled “State of Skilled Labour in Canada” with presentations on off-shore farm labour, and innovative ways of employing and retaining skilled farm labourers. Forum presenters include Larry Martin of the George Morris Centre, Kelvin Meadows, Chairman of Avena Foods, and Andy Vermeulan of Canning NS.  Held at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, pre-registration is required at www.oyfcanada.com.
 
Honourees presenting for the 2012 event include: Mark and Sally Bernard, Freetown, PEI, organic grain &livestock producers;  Cory and Heidi Van Groningen, Cayuga, ON, beef producers; Martin Brodeur Choquette and Johanne Cameron, St-Elzéar-de-Beauce, QC, lamb & cash crop production; Dustin Williams and Laura McDougald-Williams, Souris, MB, cereal & oil seed production;  Sue Echlin and Vance Lester, Perdue, SK, fruit winery; Robert and Angela Semeniuk, Smoky Lake, AB, grain production & custom application; and Peter and Nicole Tuytel, Chilliwack, BC, dairy producers. Two of these farm couples will be chosen at the gala banquet as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2012. Tickets must be purchased to attend the banquet.
 
Pre-registration is required to attend the OYF event in person – forum/presentations/lunch are $50 (adults) and $30 (students) and the evening banquet is $100 per person. For tickets, visit www.oyfcanada.com. The forum and the honouree presentations can also be viewed live as an online webcast made possible by Farm Management Canada. There is no charge to view the webcast but pre-registration is required at www.agriwebinar.com before the forum start time of 8:45 am AST on November 30. The honouree presentations will begin immediately after lunch on this same site starting at 1:00 pm AST.
 
Celebrating 32 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada , with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and supported nationally by AdFarm and Farm Management Canada.