David and Jennifer VanDeVelde, owners of Wholesome Pickins Market and Bakery located in Delhi, were named Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2022.
The winners were announced at the regional event held Sept. 12-13, in conjunction with Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock.
Both University of Guelph graduates, David and Jennifer returned to the family tobacco farm in 2006. They chose to use their education in horticulture to take the farm in a different direction. They began growing strawberries in 2005 and in 2007 added ever-bearing strawberries to the fields. Their growing business has seen many changes including the creation of Wholesome Pickins.
With the help of the rich, sandy Norfolk County soil, Wholesome Pickins produces over 200 acres of crops including strawberries, asparagus, raspberries, pumpkins, rhubarb, tobacco and a variety of field and cover crops. The operation continues to expand the retail farm market and scratch bakery each season, adding delicious goods created with local ingredients.
Looking forward, David and Jennifer will continue to keep community at the forefront, roots in agriculture, and a drive for innovation and collaboration within the industry.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. The competition is open to participants 18 to 39 years of age making the majority of their income from on-farm sources. Participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CIBC, CN, John Deere, Bayer and Sollio Agriculture and national media sponsors Glacier FarmMedia and WS. It is supported nationally by BDO.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2022 will be chosen at the National event in Saskatoon, Sask. from November 23-27, 2022.