Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers - Atlantic
December 6, 2009


OTTAWA, ON. - Greg and Tania MacKenzie, owners and operators of MacKenzie Produce in Stratford, PEI are Canada’s Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2009.

The young farm couple won the National title at the prestigious Canada's Outstanding Young Farmer Program during the National Event in Ottawa, Ontario this past weekend.

When opportunity knocks, you answer. Greg and Tania put that philosophy to work and became owners of MacKenzie Produce, a 115 acre cole crop vegetable farm in Stratford P.E.I. Greg grew up on a small beef farm but found his calling one day when he went to help out at a friends’ vegetable farm. Greg stayed and worked his way up to farm manager at Balderston Produce and after ten years was presented with the opportunity to purchase 75 acres of the cole crop production, warehouses and farm house. Greg and Tania were excited to become their own boss.

Since taking ownership in 2003, the MacKenzies have made many upgrades to the farm which include: joining the storage and grading warehouses, constructing a new loading docks, grading rooms and a new refrigerated warehouse to store produce year round instead of renting warehouse space. When Greg and Tania took over they renamed their business Balderston MacKenzie Produce in order to retain markets. By 2007, the confidently changed the farm name to MacKenzie Produce to become their own identify. Cabbage, broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, and turnips were the main produce marketed by Balderston Produce. However, since then Greg and Tania have increased their acreage to 115 acres and added peas, beans, pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers to their production. Cabbage is now the main crop grown and is stored and marketed year round. In 2008, they started direct marketing from their farm and have started a delivery service to local stores and restaurants as well as supplying all of the Chinese restaurants in Charlottetown year round.

Greg and Tania’s three young children aged 4-12, all love helping out on the farm. The MacKenzies volunteer with sports activities and donate vegetables to local suppers and food hampers. Greg is the Treasurer of the PEI Horticulture Association and they are both active in their church. At MacKenzie Produce, quality is always the first priority.

The MacKenizes were chosen by a panel of judges from a group of seven regional finalists. The couple shares the title with Grant and Colleen Dyck of Niverville, Manitoba.

Celebrating its 30th year, 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 Canadian Farm Business Management Council.

For more information on the Atlantic program please visit: www.oyfatlantic.ca. For more information on the National program please visit: www.oyfcanada.com


For more information or a photo of Greg & Tania, contact:
Joan Cranston, Program Manager, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ Program,
(905) 648-0176

© Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers Program (2008)
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