More than 60 people gathered to honour fourth generation farmers Craig and Jinel Ference of Double F Farms located at Kirriemuir as Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. The winners were announced at the Alberta regional event held at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites in Olds, Alta. on Feb. 9.
After receiving university degrees, in agriculture business for Craig and education for Jinel, they returned to take on the responsibilities of full-time farming in 2004 and today crop 10,000 acres, manage an 8,000 head feedlot and 4,000 mother cows, as well as a number of custom farming contracts. Their goal today continues to be one of creating a diverse business that involves many agriculture sectors.
As caretakers of the land, Craig and Jinel focus on improving the land for future generations by increasing organic matter from one to four per cent. New technology in product and equipment advancements continues to bring change to their farming techniques, both in Alberta and their new expanded operation in Biggar, Sask.
Two other couples were honoured at the 2018 regional event:
- Craig and Celeste Christensen, Parflesh Farms, Standard, Alta.;
- Roelof and Mary VanBenthem, VanBenthem Dairy, Red Deer County, Alta.
Celebrating 38 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, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018 will be chosen at the National Event in Winnipeg, Man. from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, 2018.