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.