(Mill River, PE – July 27, 2023) – New potato producers Marijke Oudshoorn and Willem van de Wetering of Spud Isle Farms located at Morell PE were named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2023 at the Atlantic Region’s Recognition Event held in Mill River PE July 16-18.

Will and Marijke both grew up in Holland on dairy farms. Marijke’s family moved to Ontario in 1999 and Will’s family moved in 2007. In Ontario, both families were farming poultry and cash crops while Marijke’s family also raised pigs and veal calves. The two met in Ontario and shared a passion for the agriculture industry. Marijke went to Ridgetown College and Olds College and received her Agriculture Business Degree. Will worked at a John Deere dealership in Ontario and received his mechanic red seal.

With zero potato production knowledge, they moved to PEI in 2017. Working with the previous landowner they were able to take over an existing potato farm. They will focus on using cover crops, grass waterways, & reduced tillage while not increasing herbicide usage. Marijke and Willem want to extend cover cropping to two years between potato production years and hope to try new potato varieties that will withstand adverse weather events better and grow with less fertilizer.

In the future, Marijke and Willem want to diversify and try different crops to become more self-sufficient. They will strive to improve equipment and expand storage capacity.

President of the National OYF board, Danny Penner attended the regional event and had this comment: “The Atlantic region held a fantastic regional “back to the roots” event. With tours of alumni, Justin & Laura Rodgers’ farm, a great lunch at the potato museum and the awards ceremony at Morgan and Karissa Smallman’s farm. There was 50 people in attendance with sponsors and alumni. Potato farmers Marijke Oudshoorn and Wil van de Wetering were awarded Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for 2023. They will be a fantastic addition to the OYF family.”

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 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, Sollio Agriculture and CN with media sponsors Glacier FarmMedia and WS. It is supported nationally by BDO.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2023 will be chosen at the National event in Laval Quebec from November 22-26, 2023.


For more information or a photo of Marijke Oudshoon & Willem van de Wetering, contact:

Carla Kaeding, Program Manager,

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers

306.896.7833 ·kaedingc@hotmail.com  · www.oyfcanada.com