Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program is the national body that provides support to the regional programs, as well as leadership for the hosts of the National Conference. Please visit the national website for more information at: www.oyfcanada.com
2016 NATIONAL EVENT REPORT (Nov. 29 - Dec. 4)
WOW! What a blast! It was an honour for us, as hosting chairs, to welcome the OYF National Event to Niagara Falls. We had a fabulous committee, that included old-timers like us right down to our newest alumni, working on making this National Event a perfect farmer’s holiday for alumni. We were most fortunate that the fine weather held and many Niagara attractions were still open, including the Hornblower boat tour to the Falls.
Wednesday was your free time to explore the Falls. Later Wednesday afternoon, Komie Hossini from Bayer will hosted a fun (but serious) session on “Romancing the Farmwife”. The 7 Honouree couples were treated to a special luncheon and tour of the Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery. Then they travelled to the world famous Niagara Butterfly Conservatory for a "behind the scenes" tour of the inner workings of butterfly farming - very interesting! Dinner that evening was at the Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse where all alumni and honourees enjoyed a plentiful feast.
Thursday began with breakfast in the renowned Watermark restaurant on the 32nd floor of the hotel with a breathtaking view of the Falls. Then, alumni could choose a morning of touring/shopping in the historic Niagara-on-the-Lake or free time in the Falls or a tour of the Welland Canal. At noon everyone met at National Sponsor, John Deere's head office & parts depot. We enjoyed lunch, tour and some interaction with John Deere staff. Thursday afternoon continued with tours of Vineland research station, Journey Behind the Falls and Niagara's Fury. The Welcome Dinner was held in the stunning Elements Restaurant at Table Rock where all of us had a front row seat to the brand new Niagara Falls light show and fireworks display.
Friday was the highlight of the event as Angie and Maggie presented their "Because I Love You List" at Forum. Not a dry eye in the room for such important information. The Honourees presented their farming operations during the afternoon and the judges certainly had their work cut out for them! At the Gala Awards Banquet that evening, Dominic Drapeau and Celia Neault from Quebec and Andrew and Jennifer Lovell from Atlantic region were named as the National winners. Congratulations!
Saturday morning after the Annual Meeting, we boarded the buses for a “Vine to Wine” day as Wes Wiens took us on the journey from grapevine proprogation, vineyard tour and then 3 wineries of varying sizes. The day ended with an Ontario OYF dinner – with everything grown and produced by our alumni farms.
The Niagara region is very unique as everything is located within a half hour of the hotel. We are so glad that everyone came to enjoy, the National event in Niagara Falls! It was such a pleasure to host you.
Doug & Joan Cranston