News release

2022 Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Agriculture

The 2022 Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Agriculture were presented today, May 19, to 13 recipients, including organic farm owners who developed a farm-to-school snack program, a wine producer who highlights Nova Scotia grape growing in international markets and two female farmers who created a network for local farm women.

“These awards celebrate and honour outstanding individuals nominated by their peers in the agriculture sector for demonstrating resilience, leadership and innovation,” said Greg Morrow, Minister of Agriculture. “The agriculture sector generates hundreds of millions of dollars for our provincial economy and skilled Nova Scotians like today’s award recipients help to achieve and build on that success.”

The annual Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Agriculture recognize Nova Scotians who demonstrate exceptional qualities as operators of farms or other agricultural businesses, or as innovators, promoters or supporters of agriculture in other ways.

The awards were presented in nine categories, some with multiple winners:

  • New Entrant in Agriculture: Cathy Munro, Bramble Hill Farm, Westville, Pictou County
  • Best Ambassador of Local: Alicia Lake, Cape Breton Food Hub, Bras d’Or, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
  • Outstanding Employer: Ashley McConnell-Gordon, Benjamin Bridge, Gaspereau, Kings County
  • Outstanding Value-Added Business: Sheena Russell, Made with Local, Dartmouth
  • Outstanding Farmer: Jackson Lore, Lore’s U-Pick Farm, Middle Clyde River, Shelburne County
  • Outstanding Youth Leader in Agriculture: Jonathan and Brandon Millen, J&B Millen Farms Ltd., Great Village, Colchester County
  • Public Trust Ambassador: Bruce Rand, Randsland Farms, Pereaux, Kings County
  • Women in Agriculture: Amy Vanderheide and Katie Keddy, Maritime Ag Women’s Network, Coldbrook, Kings County; Patricia Bishop, TapRoot Farms, Port Williams, Kings County
  • Lifetime Achievement: Richard Melvin, Melvin Farms, Pereaux, Kings County; Earl Kidston, Nova-Agri Inc., Centreville, Kings County

Quotes:

It’s nice to be recognized by fellow farmers and people in the industry, and the province, for doing work I love and grew up with. Agriculture can be a challenging but rewarding way to earn a living, support a family and contribute to our economy and community. Farming is more than a job, it’s a way of life, and I greatly appreciate receiving this honour after all these years. Richard Melvin, Owner, Melvin Farms, one of two winners of the Minister’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Agriculture

We are pleased the Maritime Ag Women’s Network is being recognized as a supportive space for those from all walks of agriculture to stay connected, discuss industry issues that impact agriculture and learn from each other. Connecting in the space has shown us first-hand how important and empowering these networks can be. Amy Vanderheide, Co-founder with Katie Keddy, Maritime Agriculture Women’s Network

Quick Facts:

  • the Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Agriculture began in 2020 and were first presented at the annual Minister’s Conference for Agriculture, which takes place this year November 3 and 4
  • the awards were presented virtually in 2021
  • there are 1,935 registered farms in Nova Scotia
  • agriculture and food manufacturing contributed $774 million in gross domestic product to Nova Scotia’s economy in 2020

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