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OYF announces 2014 Memorial Scholarship recipients

July 16, 2015, Churchbridge, SK - Myles Butt of Provost, Alta. and Deanna Ringelberg of Troy, Ont. are the 2014 recipients of Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) Memorial Scholarships. Myles and Deanna will each receive $1000 to support their post-secondary agricultural studies in Canada.

A fourth generation farmer, Myles Butt is next in line to take over the multi-generational ranching operation his great grandfather began, and where his family grow 3000 acres of crops plus about 700 head of commercial beef cattle. Myles is enrolled in the agriculture program at the University of Saskatchewan, and will start his studies for a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business this fall.

Deanna Ringelberg grew up on a family dairy farm in Ontario, where her family continues to milk a herd of 60 Holstein cows. She has her sights set on the agricultural finance sector, and is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Food and Agricultural Business at the University of Guelph, starting her third year of the program this fall.

Since 2009, Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) program supports agricultural education for young Canadians through its Memorial Scholarship fund. The OYF Memorial Scholarship was established by the late Martin Streef, recipient of both Ontario's and Canada's OYF awards in 1996. Applicants are asked why they are passionate about agriculture in Canada, as part of the application process.

The award was expanded in 2014 to include two annual scholarships – one to an individual who has completed at least one year of post-secondary study in agriculture, and the other to someone who has completed high school and is enrolling in a post-secondary education in agriculture.

"The agriculture industry has always looked to the next generation for fresh ideas and new approaches to help inspire and drive this vital sector of the Canadian economy," says Jack Thomson, president of Canada's OYF program. "Being able to support two young agriculture students is so energizing and encouraging for our organization. This special OYF Memorial Scholarship extends what we do with our annual recognition program, and gives us another way to support outstanding individuals in our industry."

Myles Butt will be formally presented with his 2014 OYF Memorial Scholarship at the OYF national event in Edmonton in November 2015. Deanna Ringelberg will be formally recognized for her scholarship at the Ontario OYF regional event in March 2016.

The OYF Memorial Scholarship was established by the late Martin Streef – president of Streef Produce Ltd., a family-run fresh fruit and vegetable business in Woodstock Ontario – to help future generations of Canadians pursue their passion for agriculture. He died in April 2008.

Celebrating 35 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 through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.

Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015 will be chosen at the National Event in Edmonton, Alberta from November 17-22, 2015.