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Eastern Canada’s largest sweet potato producers named Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020


March 6, 2020
By Fruit and Vegetable

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Phillip and Katie Keddy of Lakeville, N.S. were named as Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020. Photo courtesy of COYF.

After a weekend of interviews and presentations, the Atlantic alumni welcomed Phillip and Katie Keddy of Lakeville, N.S. as Atlantic’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020. The event was held in Prince Edward Island on February 21 in conjunction with the International Potato Expo and Farm Credit’s Regional Ignite Event.

As partners in Charles Keddy Farms Ltd, Phillip and Katie maintain a diverse business model producing nursery stock strawberry plants, sweet potatoes and other crops. They also raise a herd of 55 beef cattle.

After graduating from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Phillip and Katie were married in 2010 and joined Phillip’s parents in the farming operation. They began to look for opportunities where they could add value to the business and were instrumental in the introduction of sweet potatoes to the farm.

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Sweet potatoes are a warm season crop not traditionally grown in Canada, but through persistence, research and experimentation, the farm is now the largest sweet potato producer east of Ontario producing more than 1.5 million pounds annually.

As one of the largest strawberry nursery farms in Canada, Philip and Katy Keddy are constantly innovating their production practice to ensure their clients across North America are receiving healthy, productive stock. They have partnered with researchers across North America and have recently built the first machine in Canada that will use UV sterilization as a pest management strategy in berries. This constant on-farm innovation ensures maximum production, environmental stewardship and financial stability.

The Atlantic’s Region of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program were pleased to honour two couples at their 2020 Regional Event. The finalists recognized were:

  • Eric Walker and Krystal Krick – Lonsview Farm, New Line, N.B.
  • Phillip and Katie Keddy- Charles Keddy Farms Ltd, Lakeville, N.S.

The Atlantic region was also pleased to have the Minister of Agriculture from P.E.I., Bloyce Thompson, in attendance. He is very supportive of the work of the OYF program and stressed that amid the challenges we face globally, we need to understand that agriculture is not the problem, but the solution.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program past chair, Carl Marquis, was in attendance and commented “Two couples were competing for the title of Atlantic Regional winner. The honours went to Philip and Katie Keddy from Nova Scotia. They are a truly dynamic and ambitious couple who operate a diverse business while specializing in the production of sweet potatoes and strawberry plants. They are constantly innovating while investing a lot in research and new production technologies to maximize their results. Philip and Katie are passionate about their profession and they are very involved in their industry and their community while maintaining a good balance in their family life with their two children. The Keddy couple reflects well the OYF profile”.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020 will be chosen at the National Event in Saskatoon from December 2 to 6, 2020.