Woodstock, ON (Sept 11, 2018)–Brothers, Jordan and Alex McKay, were named Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. The brother team operates Willowtree Farm, a CSA farm and market, at Port Perry. The winners were announced at the Ontario regional event held on September 11, 2018 in conjunction with Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock.
Alex received his Bachelor of Science in Forestry but always knew he wanted to go back to the family farm. He had inherited his passion for the land and seeing what he could grow on it from his dad. Once Jordan completed his Bachelor of Commerce in Ag Business degree he traveled the world following his passion for skiing before returning to the farm market. Jordan had his mom’s passion for selling produce at farmers’ markets so the brothers’ strengths complement each other well.
With a mission of providing fresh food by sustainable farming, Willowtree Farm takes local farm fresh food to a whole new level. In 2016 they opened a year round market that includes a commercial kitchen, fresh butcher market and 4300 sq. ft. of retail space. With the market open year round, Jordan and Alex have to come up with many unique ways to sell or use their produce whether it is fresh corn on the cob in the summer or corn chowder at the cafe in the winter. They have designed the market to tell a story about buying food locally, decorating it with beams from surrounding old barns. Being a family business you will find Jordan’s wife Alyson and Alex’s wife Kelty working at the market.
Ontario’s region of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program was pleased to have Ontario Minister of Agriculture Hon. Ernie Hardeman and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s Program Past President, Luanne Lynn, in attendance to honour the three couples at their 2018 Regional Event. The nominees recognized were: Derek & Marie Brouwer- Brouwer Farms of Branchton; Darold & Kara Enright-Enright Cattle Company of Tweed; and, Alex & Jordan McKay- Willow Tree Farm of Port Perry.
Celebrating 38 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, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and La Coop Fédérée. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018 will be chosen at the National Event in Winnipeg, MB from November 29 – December 3, 2018.
For more information or a photo of Jordan & Alex McKay, contact:
Carla Kaeding, Program Manager, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers