Young Abbotsford farmers are nominated for outstanding farmer award

Kerry Froese and Anmol Mahil have been recognized for their contributions to the industry

Anmol Mahil

Farming has been a way of life for generations of Abbotsford families, and some of the region’s best young farmers are being singled out for their contributions to the industry.

Kerry Froese is a second-generation farmer, currently operating a 148,000-strong chicken flock on Harris Road with his wife Anita and their children. Anmol Mahil, 24, grew up on his parents’ blueberry farm and has followed in their footsteps and is now running the operation.

The Froeses and Mahil were two of four finalists for the B.C. and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmer Award, which judged nominees on conservation practices, production history, financial and management practices, and community contributions.

Both are passionate about the industry and enjoy the challenges and benefits of their chosen profession.

For Froese, there’s no better way to provide for his family.

“It’s in my blood,” said Froese, who began managing farm operations in 1995. “I love the lifestyle and I want to pass it on to my kids.”

Froese and his wife Anita have four children under the age of eight, and said “being able to drive ATVs and work with [my children] outside” resonates strongly with him.

In addition to the personal satisfaction of his work, he has worked hard to help others.

In 2008 he helped found the B.C. Young Farmers, which informs, educates and networks young farmers with one another.

In 2010, Froese was elected to the board of the Canadian Young Farmers Forum, where he has served as president for the past two years. This role has also made him the voice of young agriculture to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. In 2013, Froese was elected to the B.C. Chicken Marketing Board, and spent eight years (two as president) with the B.C. Chicken Growers Association.

Technologically, Froese has moved his farm forward with the installation of remote-operated cameras which enable him to watch his flocks and make certain adjustments, such as barn temperature, from anywhere.

Modernizing farming can result in a more efficient operation and save money, something Mahil has been working towards on his family’s blueberry farm, which was established in 1986.

Mahil was also raised on his family’s farm, and originally went to school for business, but felt drawn to farming and switched to the agriculture technology program at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he is still enrolled.

Once he took over as operations manager at Mahil Packers, he transformed the farm’s methods of production, marketing and customer base. His duties include developing and maintaining branding, managing the entire production and packing process, and marketing the berries.

Mahil, 24, speaks highly of UFV and its recent work to help promote agriculture and increase the public’s interest in the industry.

Judges for the Outstanding Young Farmer Program were in Abbotsford Jan. 16 to judge Froese’s and Mahil’s efforts.

The winner was announced later that day and presented with the award during a ceremony in Abbotsford. The title went to Lydia Ryall of Cropthorne Farm in Delta. She will now represent B.C. at the national Outstanding Young Farmers competition this fall.

The other finalist was Chilliwack’s Jacqueline and Richard Boer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Condolences pour forth from community after passing of Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa

The Conservative Member of Parliament and long-time community advocate died in hospice this morning

Calling it a season: Langley Olympians Swim Club hosts intra club meet

Three swimmers achieved provincial qualifying times

VIDEO: Second Giant named in NHL Draft, both selected by Colorado Avalanche

Goalie Trent Miner has joined defenceman Bowen Byram in being drafted by the same NHL team

Five Langley elementary school students taken to hospital after encounter with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

VIDEO: New interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum opens

Unique design uses natural logs as support beams

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

B.C. judge rejects jail time for man with disabilities caught in Creep Catchers sting

Kamloops man Loyd Fawcett engaged online with what turned out to be a member of the vigilante group

Most Read