Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession. Eligible nominees must be farm operators between 18 and 39 who derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from their farm operations. Each year one farming couple is selected from each of the program’s seven Regional Recognition Events to represent their respective region at the National Recognition Event. At the National Event, the seven honourees are recognized for their achievements and judged by a distinguished panel of judges using the following criteria:
- Progress made during their farming career
- Maximum use of soil, water and energy conservation practices
- Crop and livestock production history
- Financial and management practices
- Contributions to the well-being of the community, province and nation
Each year, two of the seven honourees are chosen by the judges as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
The vitality of the Program is maintained through the continued participation of alumni, who return each year to the National Recognition Event to honour and welcome new members. The OYF program is sponsored nationally by Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Bayer, CIBC, John Deere Canada ULC and Sollio Agriculture.
The Outstanding Young Farmers Program originated in the United States in 1954. In 1979, the Calgary Jaycees, with the support of the Alberta/Northwest Territories Region Jaycees, proposed the introduction of a similar program to foster better urban-rural relations and recognize farmers’ achievements. The first Canadian national recognition event was held in November 1980 as an official program of the Canadian Junior Chamber/Jaycees.
To discover, celebrate and recognize progress and excellence in Canadian agriculture.
To be the premiere awards program to identify excellence in Canadian agriculture.