The OYF program begins each year with the nomination of farmers at the local level. Anyone can nominate a young farmer/farm couple for the regional recognition award and title of Ontario's Outstanding Young Farmer as long as they meet the following program eligibility requirements:
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 39
- Be farm operators
- Derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming
Nominations for the 2017 Award are now open. The nomination form is here. Forms are due no later than January 15, 2017.
Step One: Regional Level
If these eligibility requirements are met, a nomination form must be fully completed and returned to the OOYF Coordinator by January 15 2017 in order to be eligible for review. The Coordinator will then contact the nominees and provide them with more details on the program and an application form.
To help our nominees complete the application form, here is a sample. Remember to fill in everything you do.
The deadline for short application forms is February 15 2017. Completed short application forms are sent to a preliminary judging panel, consisting of past OOYF winners who select the top five or six candidates based on the following criteria:
- progress in agriculture career
- extent of soil, water and energy conservation practices
- crop and/or livestock production history
- management practices
- contribution to the well-being of the community, province and nation
The top six finalists will then fill in the National Application form which is sent to the program co-ordinator by March 30 2017. The farm photos, PowerPoint presentaion and financial information is sent to the program co-ordinator by August 1 2017. The top candidates will be asked to participate in an interview and presentation process at the regional event where the regional winner will be selected.
Step Two: National Conference
The winner of the regional competition is invited to represent the region at the National Conference to be recognized for their achievements and be judged by a distinguished panel which selects the two honorees to receive Canada's Outstanding Young Farmer Award.