Vanco Farms Ltd. has been recognized as a leader in agriculture.
The company, which specializes in growing specialty potatoes, organic potatoes, premium cut tulips and tulip bulbs, has received the Agriculture Awareness Award.
The award, presented by Gordon and Sandra Sobey along with the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, recognizes outstanding efforts in projecting a positive image of agriculture.
The potato portion is owned and operated by Willem VanNieuwenhuyzen and his brothers Rit, and Phillip. The tulip operation is owned and operated by Bas Arendse.
The VanNieuwenhuyzen family has deep roots in the agriculture industry in P.E.I. and Holland, with their families growing various crops which included potatoes and tulips. In 1982, the VanNieuwenhuyzen family moved to Prince Edward Island and purchased a mixed farm.
Willem, Rit and Phillip took over the family farm in 2001 and changed the focus to growing organic, specialty potatoes and tulips.
Over the years, they have done countless numbers of farm and greenhouse tours, and in the spring they have allowed the public to visit and take photos of their tulip fields.
Vanco Farms is active on social media, keeping followers informed and opening up the business for consumers to get a first-hand view of an Island farm.
The VanNieuwenhuyzens hosted Farm and Food Care P.E.I.’s second annual Breakfast on the Farm in August, drawing roughly 1,000 people. It provides a unique opportunity for farmers and non-farming Islanders to have a conversation about food and farming, as well as for the public to meet Island farmers and the people who help put the food on their plate.
Vanco Farms is also community orientated and supports Tulips for the QEH, which sells bouquets of tulips with all proceeds being donated to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation to help raise money to update essential equipment.