John Phillips and Terry Curley, two potato growers from Prince Edward Island, were picked as part of the Top 50 in Canadian Agriculture, a news release from the P.E.I. Potato Board, says on Feb. 24.
The Top 50 in Canadian Agriculture was a campaign ran by Canadian Western Agribition (CWA). CWA sought nominations from across Canada for influential and dedicated individuals working in the agriculture industry in five categories — upstarts, mentors, innovators, deal makers and designed hitters.
Philips was one of the 10 recognized in the mentor category. Philips has farmed WestCountry Farms in Arlington, P.E.I. for almost 50 years with his brothers, Barrie and Sherwin.
“The potato industry has seen many changes throughout John’s career, and he often was a level-headed voice through difficult and challenging times. While he was never one to gravitate towards the front of the room, when John spoke, people listened. John volunteered his time to producer organizations for twelve consecutive years and was a valued member of the Potato Processing Committee and the Potato Producers organization. John has also given countless hours to his local community.”
Curley was picked for the deal maker category. He farms at Monaghan Farms in Norboro, P.E.I. where he started farming with his father, Pat, in the 1980s.
“An early focus in the 1980s was on processing potatoes for both the French fry business and a local potato chip manufacturer. In 1988, Terry began growing for Frito Lay. This diversity worked to his advantage and he was ready to move in a new direction and expand further into the chip industry when Frito Lay approached him in 2001 with an idea to grow and export their own varieties. Terry knew his strength was in production and looked to West Isle Enterprises Ltd and Rod MacNeill for his long experience in international export to complete a successful team. Starting with three loads in 2002, the business has expanded and Monaghan Farms is now one of the largest international suppliers for Frito Lay in terms of high quality potatoes that can be exported in top condition for use in processing plants around the world.”