Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers - Atlantic
March 9, 2009


MONCTON, NB – Greg and Tania MacKenzie owners and operators of MacKenzie Produce in Straford, PEI are Atlantic Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2009.

The young farm couple won the Atlantic region's competition of the prestigious Canada's Outstanding Young Farmer Program at an event in Moncton, New Brunswick Friday, March 7th. They grow cabbage for both the fresh market and processing market, broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, pumpkins and gourds. In 2004, they started a delivery service in the Charlottetown area and now supply all the Chinese food restaurants as well as such fine dining restaurants as Gahan House and Merchantman. They also provide Keybrand Foods Inc. with cabbage year round.

Greg and Tania are members of the Future Farmer Program and have hosted the annual Future Farmer barbeque. Greg sits on the PEI Horticulture Association Board of Directors as Treasurer. They have completed an Environmental Farm Plan. Their three children Austin (11), Haley (10) and Gracie (3) are actively involved in sports activities and they are parent volunteers for those activities. Tania does some volunteering through their church.

The MacKenizes were chosen by a panel of judges from a group of two finalists. The couple will now represent the region at the national competition this December in Ottawa. The other honourees were Andrew & Heidi Lawless of Kinkora, PEI.

"This year's finalists were both excellent examples of the values that the OYF program promotes, including strong work ethic and commitment to their families, their farms and their communities," said Jessica Reeves, Chair of the Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers Committee. "We've had more national winners from this region than any other and we are excited about the number of exceptional young farmers we still have year after year and this year was no different. Greg and Tania will be terrific representatives for us."

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:

- progress made during their farming career
- maximum utilization of soil, water and energy conservation
- crop and livestock production history
- contribution to the well-being of the community, province and

The Atlantic region program has three charter sponsors: AgraPoint, Atlantic New Holland dealers and Farm Credit Canada. Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program is sponsored nationally by John Deere, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CIBC, Bayer CropScience, AdFarm and the Canadian Farm Business Management Council.

For more information on the Atlantic program please visit:

For more information on the national program, please visit:


For more information, contact:
Jessica Reeves, Chair
902-887-2524 (h)
902-439-2163 (c)


© Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers Program (2008)
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