Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers - Atlantic
March 5, 2005


Charlottetown, PEI, Canada – Steve Reeves and Jessica Francis are 2005 winners of the Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers program. The Freetown, PEI dairy farmers were chosen at The Farm Mechanization Show in held recently in Moncton N.B., and will go on to represent the Atlantic region at Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers national event later this year.

What began as a reigniting of Steve’s passion for agriculture during his time at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, is now a partnership with his father on the family’s seven generation farm with a modern dairy operation. It’s a partnership Steve is grateful for, offering him opportunities he never could have done alone. Today, Steve and Jessica are focused on producing a high quality product, improving genetics, increasing cow comfort and completing projects stemming from the farm’s environmental farm plan.

“Steve and Jessica are hard working, dedicated ambassadors for the agriculture industry in the Maritimes,” says William Versteeg, chairperson for the Atlantic region of the Outstanding Young Farmers program. “Their enthusiasm for their family operation and their community is inspiring at a time when Canadian agriculture is facing a number of tough times.”

To keep on top of trends and new technologies, Steve has learned to speak up and ask questions in order to seek new knowledge for their operation. The ongoing BSE crisis has turned their focus inward as they cull their herd and purchase new breeding stock. And their efforts are turning measurable results, increasing the herd’s genetic potential more in the past year that in the previous 10. Herd improvements are continuing with one of Steve’s current projects. He’s using more lights in the barn to see if there’s a relationship between day long photoperiod lighting and stimulating milk production. In the field, soil testing helps them match manure use to specific field requirements.

With the constant buzz of activity, Steve and Jessica find time to spend with their son Luke (6) as well as devote time to numerous community projects and local sports activities. Steve is active with the Milk Marketing Board, National Farmers Union, Kensington Co-op, Kensington Dairy Club and Central Holstein Club. He’s also working towards his non-commercial pilot license. Jessica keeps just as busy with 4-H and many other agricultural organizations including PEI Young Farmers and PEI Agricultural Awareness. Last year, the couple opened their operation to be part of PEI Open Farm Day, hosting tours for local school, 4-H groups and a delegation of European dairy farmers.

Celebrating its 25th 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.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2005 will be chosen at the national event, November 16-20 in Halifax, NS.


For more information or a photo of Steve and Jessica, contact:
Joan Cranston, Program Manager, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ Program
(905) 648-0176 • cranstonclydes@yahoo.com • www.oyfcanada.com


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