Leading Village Farmers Among Those Recognized by Excellence in Agriculture Awards

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TRURO – A Great Village farm was among those honored May 19 when Greg Morrow presented the 2022 Minister’s Awards for Agricultural Excellence.

Jonathan and Brandon Millen of J&B Millen Farms Ltd. received the Minister’s Youth Leader in Agriculture Award during the ceremony at a hotel in Truro.

The award is given to young farmers who demonstrate leadership within the industry and show the ability to identify and pursue new, sustainable market opportunities.

“Jonathan and Brandon grew up helping their parents run Millen Farms. They continue to work side by side with their parents while expanding their interests at J&B Millen Farms into blueberry and hog operations,” Morrow said at the award presentation. “The farm supplies fresh, local produce to the Masstown Market Butcher, and their pork production model is based on purchasing feed from local farmers. »

Along with their father Curtis, the brothers embraced new innovations in blueberry processing.

“We are very honored to accept the award,” Brandon said following the ceremony, which is the first in-person ceremony since 2019. Last year’s presentations were made virtually.

Morrow said the agriculture industry is doing very well in Nova Scotia, despite the challenges associated with the COVID pandemic.

“When I travel to farms in Nova Scotia, I am blown away by the vast majority of farmers who are optimistic and passionate about what they do,” Morrow said. “There are issues outside the industry that we have no control over, but we are looking at where we can help and how we can help.”

Morrow said he is aware of the challenges he faces, including rising fuel prices on farms, and will continue to work with the farming community.

Nine awards were presented to 14 individuals, including an organic farm owner who developed a farm-to-school snack program, a wine producer who showcases Nova Scotia viticulture to international markets and two women farmers who created a network for local women farmers.

“These awards celebrate and honor outstanding individuals nominated by their peers in the agriculture sector for demonstrating resilience, leadership and innovation,” the Minister said. award recipients, help achieve and build on that success. »

Cathy Munro of Bramble Hill Farm in Westville received the New to Farming Award, Alicia Lake of the Cape Breton Food Hub in Bras d’Or received the Top Local Ambassador Award and Ashley McConnell-Gordon of Benjamin Bridge in Gaspereau received the Outstanding Employer Award.

Sheena Russell of Dartmouth’s Made With Local received the Outstanding Value-Added Business Award, Jackson Lore of Lore’s U-Pick Farm in Middle Clyde River received the Outstanding Farmer Award, and Bruce Rand of Randsland Farms in Pereaux was named Ambassador of Public Trust Award.

Amy Vanderheide and Katie Kelly of the Maritime Ag Women’s Network and Patricia Bishop of TapRoot Farms in Port Williams received the Women in Agriculture award, while Richard Melvin of Pereaux’s Melvin Farms and Earl Kidston of Nova-Agri Inc. in Centerville received the award Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Morrow also announced the creation of a Nova Scotia Youth Agriculture Council that will advise him on promoting agriculture and agri-food production as viable career and business opportunities for young people. youth.

Board members include representatives from farms, agricultural businesses and other groups and communities. Members of the first council include: Rebecca Arcibald, Lauren Peters, Jonathan Millen Brandon Millen and Teighlor Wilmot (Mi’kmaq community representative) from Colchester County; James Gerrits and Michael Ewert of Kings County; Wyatt Oulton of Hants County; Nichole van Dyke of Queens County; Courtney Schmidt of Inverness County; Madiya Patriquin of Cumberland County; Sara Henderson of Pictou County and African Nova Scotian representatives Elisabet Astakie and Brieaane Downey.

The council will reflect the work of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, formed in 2020 by the federal Department of Agriculture to create a national dialogue on food-related challenges and opportunities for youth.

“We have excellent representatives and great diversity on this board,” said the Minister. “It’s a way for me, as a minister and a ministry, to have new points of view. I am excited to begin.

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