Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers - Atlantic
February 23, 2004


Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada – Jack Thomson and Rhonda MacDougall are Atlantic Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2004.

The young farm couple won the Atlantic region competition of the prestigious Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program at an event in Charlottetown last Friday, February 13th. They own West River Holsteins, a dairy operation just outside Antigonish.

“We were excited to be nominated, let alone win,” said Thomson and MacDougall. “When you look at the calibre of the young farmers we have in this region, with their business sense and experience, we were honoured to be chosen. We love farming and producing a quality, safe product that supports our farm, our family and community – and look forward to doing it, and getting better at it, for years to come.”

Thomson and MacDougall were chosen by a panel of judges from a group of five finalists. The couple will now represent the region at the national competition this November in Winnipeg.

“It was a very strong and competitive field this year with young farmers from across the region,” said Willy Versteeg of the Atlantic Young Farmers Committee, which oversees the program in this region. “We had a national winner from this region last year with Brian and Edna Newcombe from Port Williams, and we may just have another this year. This region has a solid record of producing innovative and progressive young farmers and we should all be proud of that fact.”

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program was founded in 1979 by the Canadian Junior Chamber/Jaycees. Eligible nominees must be farm operators between the ages of 18 and 39 who derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from their farms. Each year, one farming couple is selected from each of the program's seven Regional Recognition Events to represent their respective region at the National Awards Program. They are judged by a distinguished panel using the following criteria:
o progress made during their farming career
o maximum utilization of soil, water and energy conservation practices
o crop and livestock production history
o contribution to the well-being of the community, province and nation.

The Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program is sponsored nationally by John Deere, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, CIBC and Bayer CropScience. For more information on the program, please visit: http://www.oyfcanada.com/


For more information, contact:

Jack Thomson and Rhonda MacDougall
(902) 867-1251

Willy Versteeg, Atlantic Young Farmers Committee
(902) 758-5178


© Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers Program (2008)
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