Churchbridge,SK [January 21,2016] – The BC and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmer Program has come of age. For the first time in its 36-year history of recognizing outstanding young farmers, the program has a second-generation winner.
Jan. 13th in Abbotsford, the program named Chilliwack poultry and egg producers Brian (37) and Jewel (35) Pauls as the 2016 BC & Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers. Brian’s parents, Frank and Elma Pauls, earned the same award in 1990.
Although Pauls claims to own “only one farm,” with 17,000 broilers and 55,000 caged white and free range brown layers, he also manages the family’s “multiple” egg, broiler and turkey farms in BC and Saskatchewan. The holdings include Canada’s first certified humane turkey farm.
“We raise broilers, pullets, layers and turkeys and grow a multitude of crops which use a lot of chicken manure,” the Pauls state.
The Pauls holdings may rival some of the mega-farms in the US, but their operational model is completely different.
“We buy family farms and hire families to live on and manage them,” Pauls says, noting this gives opportunities to people who may not have the capital to own their own farm. It also helps spread the risk of a potentially-devastating avian influenza or other poultry disease outbreak. The value of that was demonstrated last year as they only had to depopulate one barn during the most recent AI outbreak.
“Our birds were not infected,” Pauls stresses, “but our farm was within the restricted zone.”
Pauls has had a life-long interest in farming. When he was still a toddler, his father welded a carseat onto the tractor so Brian could accompany him around the farm. Although he went to study agriculture at the University of BC on a scholarship in the mid-1990’s, he jumped at the chance to return home after just a year when his father offered him the opportunity to become the farm manager.
The BCOYF program is sponsored by the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission, Clearbrook Grain & Milling, Farm Credit Canada and Insure Wealth.
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, 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 FarmManagement Canada.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016 will be chosen at the National Event in Niagara Falls, ON from Dec 1-4, 2016
For more information or a photo of Brian & Jewel, contact:
Carla Kaeding, Program Manager, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers