Laval (Dec 13,2023)- Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) alumni from Shaunavon, SK, Rana & Brett Meinert, were honoured as recipients of the 2023 W.R. Motherwell Award by Canada’s OYF program. The award was presented to Rana & Brett at the National Event held in Laval  November 25.

Rana & Brett were grain farmers at Shaunavon for decades and were recognized as Sask Outstanding Young Farmers in 1987. Since that time, they were very active in all OYF events in the region and nationally. It was one of their year’s highlights- reconnecting and meeting new friends.

Brett served on the Southwest Terminal board until 2004, then he served on the Inland Terminal Association from 2006-2017. He served on his local municipality for nine years. He was founding president of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association in 1987 and founding chair of the Saskatchewan Mustard Growers Association in 1999 and took on the conversion to Mustard Development Commission in 2004. The Meinert’s focused on social conservation through their involvement in University of Saskatchewan Innovation Acres.

As a nurse, Rana maintained her community’s health.  As a OYF member, Rana made it her mission to keep all OYF memorabilia for generations to come. She felt that the program did a great job of sharing stories of excellence while showing how agriculture has progressed and changed over the years. After her retirement she arranged for all provincial and national OYF records to be stored in the SK provincial archives.

Brett was involved in moving the OYF program from the Jaycees, who began the program in 1980, to the alumni in its early years. Rana edited the newsletter and both were involved in hosting national events held in Saskatchewan. Both, Brett & Rana, were dedicated to seeing Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers program continue to recognize and promote achievements in Agriculture.

When Rana & Brett were notified of the award, Rana was dealing with health issues. She was so pleased to receive the recognition.  After receiving the award in the mail, the week before the National Event in Laval, she passed away. Brett accepted the award with grace on behalf of both of them.

Danny Penner, Canada OYF President, and Rhonda Mayerle, a fellow OYF alumni, presented the award and included these comments, “We are so pleased to recognition a couple that brought smiles and warmth to the OYF program. Brett & Rana always welcomed new members with genuine interest and took time to know everyone on a personal level.”

Dr. Motherwell, the namesake of the W.R. Motherwell Award, was born near Perth, Ontario in 1860. His leadership in Canadian agriculture spanned more than 50 years and he is regarded by many as the “grand old man of Canadian agriculture.” His career highlights include minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan’s first provincial government, and minister of agriculture for Canada in the 1920s. Having attended agricultural college in Guelph, Ontario, his move to Saskatchewan resulted in his instrumental role in establishing the agriculture facility at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Motherwell died in 1943 at the age of 83.

On the 25th anniversary of the OYF program, the W.R. Motherwell Award was established. The award is presented annually, on behalf of OYF alumni across Canada, to an individual or couple who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and dedication to both the OYF program and Canadian agriculture.

More information about the OYF W.R. Motherwell Award is available at under Nominations.

Celebrating 43 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 partner is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and national sponsors are CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, 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

306.896.7833 ·  ·