Outstanding farmers

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A Wolfe Island couple has been recognized as Ontario’s top young farmers

Photo: Jason and Christina Pyke


Based on current judging criteria I don't think anyone is begrudging the Pykes for winning.

But to be truly 'outstanding', shouldn't a farming operation that sells directly to the public be ultimately judged on their

Ontario's unique and world standard artisan cheeses and ice wines are examples of 'outstanding' farm based products. Taste-testing competitions which are 'de rigueur' for these industries give the public some idea about product quality.

Unfortunately, the Pyke's bison products are not given the same consideration. For instance is the product organic, or not organic? Are the bison grain, or grass finished? What makes their farm product, bison, a cut above, or 'outstanding' if you will. And ultimately what does their product taste like. Is it uniquely different or 'same old, same old'?

Where farmers are selling a finished product to the consumer, it behooves judges for this type of competition to taste test the farmer's actual products before passing final judgement. That way the competition is of some value to the only people who matter--the consumers.

"With the help of Jason’s father and brother, the couple grows 700 acres of corn, soybeans and small grains using no-till. They have also recently agreed to lease land to a wind developer for four 80-metre wind turbines that are part of an 86-wind turbine power generation project."

Honestly, they sound like they're the best. I'm not sure what you mean by the same old, same old, but they really are outstanding!

- James

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