TRURO, N.S. – Andrew and Heidi Lawless of Kinkora were named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for the Atlantic Region for 2014 during a ceremony recently in Truro, N.S.
© Submitted photo
The Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014 presentation was made recently in Truro, N.S., by Farm Credit Canada. Amy Bysterveldt, representing Farm Credit Canada, announced that Andrew and Heidi Lawless of Kinkora were the winners, while Bob Daniels, from Farm Credit Canada, was on hand to offer congratulations.
The farm couple own and operate Hilltop Produce Ltd. along with Andrew’s parents in Kinkora. Both come from a farming background and developed their hard work ethic and passion for farming at a young age.
Their goals to grow and enhance the family farm have been successful by seeking new contracts, new markets, pursuing new environmental initiatives, and tapping into programs available to young farmers. The farm has grown significantly in the past 10 years and now grows 40 million pounds of potatoes under contract for the processing market.
The Lawless couple strives for efficiency and balance between work and farm. Investing in new storage warehouses and equipment with new technology allow them to store potatoes year round. They have joined a partnership with a neighbour to construct a potato washing facility. This plant will provide all Island farms with a high speed, high volume service that will increase their profitability and offer a more consistent and competitive product.
In receiving the Young Farmers Award, it was noted that growing a high quality product in an environmentally friendly manner is of utmost importance to Andrew and Heidi as evidenced by their attention to detail. Farming is a business that requires careful management practices; management of finances; production and human resources.
Andrew and Heidi are busy with their young family, Vance age 6, Max, age 4, and Maeve, age 19 months. Andrew is captain of the local Firemen's Association. He is also participating in the Atlantic Agriculture Leadership Program and both are very active in their children’s schools, church and 4-H.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, who make the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada.
From each region, participants compete nationally in November, with two national winners chosen each year, and the Lawlesses will represent the Atlantic region at this competition. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014 will be chosen at the national event to be held in Quebec City, from Nov. 26-30.