Saskatoon (Dec 5, 2021) Raymond & Tracey Bredenhof, R&T Poultry & Bredenhof Hops, of Abbotsford, BC and Jenny Butcher & Wes Kuntz, Little Brown Cow Dairy, of Brantford, ON
were chosen as National Winners from seven regional farmers at Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Program’s national event held virtually and in Saskatoon, SK December 1-3, 2021.
Over the last fifteen years, Raymond & Tracey Bredenhof have been able to build their 5,000 broiler operation into a 40,000 broiler per cycle operation known as R& T Poultry. After a barn fire in 2020, they rebuilt a more modern efficient barn. In 2015, Bredenhof Hops began with 6 acres of hops, then a hop harvesting and processing plant was added. After expanding the region’s processing capacity, a marketing and distribution company that could import and export hops around the world was the next step. They are now the largest distributor of Canadian grown hops. Raymond and Tracey believe in leaving things better than they received them.
In 2008 Jenny Butcher and Wes Kuntz set out in their own direction. They rented quota, barn, yard site and bought 20 cows. This was the start of the Little Brown Cow Dairy in Brantford, ON. They purchased property in 2011 and began processing 100% of their milk. In 2017 they purchased commercial space and opened the “Local Food Emporium” with an emphasis on local product. Jenny & Wes believe in representing agriculture in a transparent and positive way. They wanted to develop a product that they could attach a story to and now use social media to tell their story.
Steve Cooper, Chair of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program, was able to attend the event and get to meet all of the honourees. His comments at the end of week were: “Something that really stood out to me was that all the honourees had such an incredible eye for quality. Their livestock, crops, agricultural products and the soil too. They all are taking this ability and using it to drive their operations to incredibly high levels. Because of the event being virtual, the new honourees made the most out of the small group setting. The camaraderie, new friendships, and comfort with each other happened very quickly.”
Every year this event brings recognition to outstanding farmers in Canada between 18 and 39 years of age who have exemplified excellence in their profession while fostering better urban-rural relations. The winners were chosen from seven regional finalists, including the following honourees from the other five regions:
Roelof & Mary Van Benthem, Van Benthem Dairy Ltd- Spruce View, AB
Michael & Jessica Lovich, Lovholm Dairy- Balgonie, SK
Andre & Katie Steppler, Steppler Farms Ltd- Miami, MB
Geneviève Grossenbacher & James Thompson, Notre petite ferme -Lochaber Partie Ouest, QC
Philip & Katie Keddy, Charles Keddy Farms Ltd- Woodville, NS
All the finalists exemplified their love and passion for the agriculture industry.
Celebrating 41 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, Sollio Agriculture and CN; our media partners, Glacier FarmMedia and WS and supported nationally by BDO.
For more information on this event please contact:
Carla Kaeding, Program Manager, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers