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Inaugural farm worker award presented


November 27, 2009
By Fruit & Vegetable

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Inaugural farm worker award presented
Nazaire Arsenault of Central
Bedeque was presented with the inaugural Farm Worker of the Year Award
by Agriculture Minister George Webster during the recent annual meeting
of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.

November 27, 2009, Charlottetown, P.E.I. – Nazaire Arsenault of Central Bedeque was presented with the inaugural Farm Worker of the Year Award by Agriculture Minister George Webster during the recent annual meeting of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.

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The new award recognizes individual farm workers for their long-time service and dedication to the industry.

“There are many wonderful and talented farm workers in Prince Edward Island,” said Webster. “It takes a lot of resources to produce potatoes. One of the most important of those is the human resource. The industry relies heavily on farm workers to produce, harvest, store, grade and ship potatoes.”

Arsenault is a loyal employee of Greenfield Farms and has been for the past 68 years. He began working for John Green in 1941 and has literally grown up with the many changes in the operation over the years. He is still the first to turn on the lights in the warehouse in the morning and the last one out at night. Arsenault is described by the Greens as not just an employee, but more like a member of the family.

In presenting the award, Webster recounted two stories that demonstrate Arsenault’s level of dedication and commitment. In the 1980s, he suffered a heart attack but delayed seeing the doctor until after the potatoes were planted. This past fall, he lost the end of his finger in an accident. After having it treated, he came back to work in the afternoon, only to be told take the rest of the day off.

“It was the first time in 68 years that Nazaire was told to go home and get some rest,” quipped Webster.

Webster said he would like to see the award presented annually, and looks to collaborate with the potato board to have it established.

The Prince Edward Island agriculture industry is the leading employer in the province. Webster said it is only fitting that the industry recognizes those employees who play such an important role.