Atlantic hospitality and camaraderie were on full display in Truro, N.S. on April 12-14 as fifth generation potato farmers, Robert Anderson and Jill Ebbett of East Glassville, N.B. have been named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
Robert assumed management responsibilities of the farm in 2000 after returning from a year at college. The farm is known for its high quality Elite Seed Potatoes by customers internationally, and for its outstanding soybean and grain crops locally.
The farm is managed with environmental stewardship always in mind. Land is carefully terraced and drain tiled to help control erosion. Three thousand acres of woodlands are reforested and soil health is managed by plowing lands uphill.
The farm’s business goals and plans are developed to promote the operation as a leader in technological advancements that will provide higher per acre yields, better soil health, the latest growing techniques, and the optimization of fertilizer and crop inputs. Their ultimate management plan allows them to spend more time managing the business, and less time working in the business.
Robert is active in local organizations, with his main focus being on the NB Potato Technology Initiative board. Jill works full-time at McCain Foods as the Manager for Customer Service for Canada and International Offices. Their main focus is their four daughters, so evenings and weekends are spent doing family activities, while having supper as a family as many nights as possible is key.
“This year’s Atlantic OYF winners use their isolation, and higher elevation from the main potato growing area of New Brunswick to produce top quality seed potatoes,” says Steve Cooper, vice-president of Canada’s OYF program. “Yet they are still close enough to the potato growing regions of Atlantic Canada to have a large market at their doorstep.”
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, 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-Dec. 3, 2018.