Manitoba’s 2020 Outstanding Young Farmers are Andre & Katie Steppler
By Top Crop Manager
Over seventy people gathered at the Clarion Hotel in Brandon to celebrate Andre & Katie Steppler of Steppler Farms as Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020. The winners were announced at the Manitoba regional event held on March 6th to 8th.
Andre and Katie Steppler, along with Andre’s parents and three brothers, operate the multi-faceted Steppler Farms Ltd., located near Miami, Man. Steppler Farms is a multi-generational farm that consists of 4,000 acres of grain land, 2,500 honey beehives, as well as a cattle division which includes 600 purebred Charolais and 100 Black Angus. The farm will be celebrating its centennial in 2021.
Andre and Katie manage the cattle division, adding value by raising purebred livestock, which provides a wide range of experiences, networks, and work demands. Besides managing the large herd of purebred animals, Andre and Katie market genetics through two annual sales on the farm. Family time is spent travelling across North America promoting the farm and advocating for agriculture through judging, showing cattle at local, provincial and national shows and speaking at conferences across Canada.
Stewardship, conservation, and animal welfare are all part of the Steppler Farms mission statement. Through their social media campaigns, Andre and Katie want to share how farmers are both conservationists and animal advocates.
The Manitoba region of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (COYF) program were pleased to honour four couples at their 2020 regional event. The finalists recognized were:
- David and Lorraine Hamblin of Morris, Man. – cash crop/seed grain;
- Dallas and Regan Holenski of Thornhill, Man. – mixed grain/cattle;
- Wian Prinsloo and Lydia Carpenter of Belmont, Man. – mixed farming, beef/chicken/pork;
- Andre and Katie Steppler of Miami, Man. – beef production, cow-calf operation.
The Manitoba region was also pleased to have Manitoba’s Minister of Infrastructure Blaine Pedersen and MP Dan Mazier attend the event.
“The caliber of the four nominees was very impressive. They all are utilizing best practices and innovative business plans to maximize their returns in a sustainable way,” said Tara Sawyer, COYF program board member. “These events truly showcase the best in agriculture, and any of the nominees would be great ambassadors for their province and industry. I want to congratulate the Stepplers on their achievements so far.”
Celebrating 40 years, COYF is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. The competition is open to people, ages 18 to 39 years old, who make the majority of their 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, Sollio Agriculture, CN and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; media partners WS and Glacier FarmMedia; and supported nationally by BDO and Farm Management Canada.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020 will be chosen at the national event in Saskatoon from December 2nd to 6th, 2020.