Patrick and Cherylynn Bos of Bos Farm and Rock Ridge Dairy were recently chosen as the 2015 Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for the Alberta/NWT region at a recent OYF event in Banff, Alberta. The Ponoka-area farm couple will represent the region at the Outstanding Young Farmers national event later this year in Edmonton.
Patrick grew up helping his parents operate their beef and grain operation, and began milking cows at age 14. After he completed a diploma at Olds College, and Cherylynn finished her BSc degree, they began to build their milk goat farm business. Together with their four children – Amelia, Conner, Jocelyn and Adelle– they operate a herd of 1,400 dairy goats and a milk and cheese processing business.
“Patrick and Cherylynn have strengthened their family business by diversifying into food processing, adding more value to their operation and helping build the goat milk sector,” says Luanne Lynn, Vice President West, Canada’s OYF program. “Their innovative approach to building a farm family business sets a great example in their community and helps inspire our next generation of Canadian farmers.”
Over the past eight years, Patrick and Cherylynn have expanded their operation to include a milk and cheese processing facility – Rock Ridge Dairy– to process milk from their operation and from other producers. During peak production, they produce one and a half tons of cheese every week. Their future plans include building a rotary parlor to replace their existing parlor and boost milking efficiency from 180 goats per hour to 900 goats per hour.
Community involvement for Patrick and Cherylynn includes hosting 300-400 people on their farm every year, staying actively involved in their church, the Crossroads Breeders Co-op and the Alberta Organic Producers.
Celebrating 36 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 CropScience, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and FarmManagement Canada. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015 will be chosen at the National Event in Edmonton, Alberta from November 17-22, 2015.
Here are some Key Messages About Soil (adapted from the IYS website) and why healthy soil is so important:▪ Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food.
▪ Soils are the foundation for vegetation used for feed, fibre, fuel and medicinal products.
▪ Soils host a quarter of the planet's biodiversity.
▪ Soils help combat and adapt to climate change.
▪ Soils store and filter water, making us more resilient to floods and droughts.
▪ Soil is a non-renewable resource.
Canadian Organic Growers is Hiring an Organic Agriculture Data Coordinator for our National Office in Ottawa! Get involved with the organic movement and join our great team of folks in Ottawa! More details about the position and how to apply can be found online. Deadline to submit applications is March 8th.
A group of Canadians have joined forces to create a National New Farmer Coalition, inspired by the work of the National Young Farmers Coalition in the U.S.A. That group has been very successful at affecting policy change at the national government level. A survey has been created for new farmers to find out who you are, what you're doing, what has worked for you, and what you need. This information will help in the creation of policy recommendations. If you are a new farmer, an aspiring farmer, an established farmer, or a recently exited (you were farming but now you're not) farmer please take a moment to complete the survey. Click here for more information.