(Woodstock, ON Sept 14, 2022)- Market gardeners, David and Jennifer VanDeVelde, from Wholesome Pickins Market & Bakery located at Delhi were named Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2022. The winners were announced at the regional event held Sept 12-13, in conjunction with Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock.
Both University of Guelph graduates, David and Jennifer returned to the family tobacco farm in 2006. They chose to use their education in horticulture to take the farm in a different direction. They began growing strawberries in 2005 and in 2007 added ever-bearing strawberries to the fields. Their growing business has seen many changes including the creation of Wholesome Pickins.
With the help of the rich, sandy Norfolk County soil, Wholesome Pickins produces over 200 acres of crops including strawberries, asparagus, raspberries, pumpkins, rhubarb, tobacco and a variety of field and cover crops. The operation continues to expand the retail farm market and scratch bakery each season, adding delicious goods created with local ingredients. Everything sold at Wholesome Pickins is fresh from a Norfolk County farm because they believe it is important to know where food comes from!
Looking forward, David and Jennifer will continue to keep community at the forefront, roots in agriculture, and a drive for innovation and collaboration within the industry.
The Ontario Regional event was well attended by alumni. The region was honoured to have in attendance Danny Penner, Vice-President of the National OYF board. Danny commented that “The Ontario event was held at the largest farm show in Eastern Canada. With that being the backdrop, the nominees did not disappoint. They were dynamic, energetic and excited to be there. David and Jennifer VanDeVelde will be fantastic representatives for Ontario at the National Event later this fall. I can’t wait, its going to be an exciting event”.
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 their 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 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CIBC, CN, John Deere, Bayer and Sollio Agriculture and national media sponsors Glacier FarmMedia and WS. It is supported nationally by BDO.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2022 will be chosen at the National event in Saskatoon, SK from November 23-27, 2022.
For more information or a photo of David & Jennifer, contact:
Carla Kaeding, Program Manager,
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers