P.E.I. couple honoured as Atlantic Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers
Picturesque Farms is a 6th generation Island farm
Justin Rogers was given his first calf when he was eight years old and purchased his first tractor at 13.
It's no surprise that he followed in his family's farming footsteps. Picturesque Farms in Brae, P.E.I., has been in Rogers' family for six generations.
"I don't remember being interested in anything else," he said.
Now, Rogers runs the operation with his wife Laura where they raise their two kids.
"I guess our children will be seventh," Rogers said.
This past weekend Rogers and his wife were named Atlantic Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers.
"It certainly was a memorable, exciting, positive experience the entire weekend. We met a lot of great people and it was nice to feel some positive energy in agriculture," Rogers said.
Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession. Eligible nominees must be farm operators between the ages of 18 and 39 who derive at least of two-thirds of their income from their operation.
Rogers just turned 40 last week, he knew he was nominated and filled out all the required paperwork.
He always knew he was going to farm, Rogers said.
"I wanted to farm right out of high school. Mom and dad encouraged me to get an education."
I think it is because, that is what really fuels the desire, to watch things grow. On your farm, in your family and in your community.— Justin Rogers
That lead him to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College where he studied farm business and met his wife.
"Made a lot of decisions over the last 20 years and she was probably the best one," Rogers said.
When he was planning to return to P.E.I. after graduation, Rogers started talking to his uncle and negotiated purchasing a third of the family farm at the time.
"The dream I guess started to become real," Rogers said.
Something his grandfather said
Today, Rogers' farm produces various crops such as wheat, oats and barley and has a small herd of cattle.
Rogers tracks his love for farming back to something his grandfather said when he asked him why he likes to farm.
His grandfather told him simply that he liked to watch things grow, Rogers said.
"You know over the years, it hasn't been an easy road for us at times, but we kept pushing forward and trying and we're still here. And I think it is because, that is what really fuels the desire, to watch things grow. On your farm, in your family and in your community."
Rogers thinks the award belongs to not just the farm but the community. It is shared with everyone the farm does business with, he said.
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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.