Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
Organic farmers outstanding in B.C.


February 1, 2011
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

bcoyf2011February
1, 2011, Abbotsford, BC – Annemarie and
Kevin Klippenstein have been named the B.C. and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers
of 2011.

February
1, 2011, Abbotsford, BC – Annemarie and
Kevin Klippenstein have been named the B.C. and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers
of 2011.

The
Klippensteins of Klippers Organic Acres in Cawston received the prestigious
award from B.C. Minister
of Agriculture Ben Stewart in front of almost 500 people during the recent B.C.
Agriculture Gala in Abbotsford.

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Since
acquiring their first five acres in November 2000, the Klippensteins have
steadily expanded their organic orchard and market garden and now farm close to
40 acres. Although their intent was to sell everything they produced at
Vancouver-area farmers markets, they have now diversified their operation to
include value-added fruit products and summer and winter Community Supported
Agriculture box programs allowing them to have year-round income. This past
year, they also began a gift certificate program that allows consumers to
purchase gift certificates at the beginning of the year and exchange them for
produce through the season.

A
finalist for the OYF award in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Klippers Organic Acres was
the first organic farm to have an Environmental Farm Plan and the first to be
certified “Salmon Safe.” Kevin is also chair of the new Organic Farming Institute
of B.C.
and runs a farm apprenticeship program, providing accommodation and
training for up to 10 apprentices per year. They also employ up to eight
WWOOF’ers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) at any given time.

“We
feel there’s a need for young farmers and we have a successful model to show
them,” Kevin explains.

Klippers
harvests more than just vegetables and tree fruits. In 2009, they also began
harvesting the sun, installing solar panels to power their drying facility and
apprentice accommodations. 

Runners-up
for the 2011 award were Ed and Laura Maljaars of Chilliwack.

To
be eligible for the Outstanding Young Farmer award, farmers must be between 19
and 40 years of age, derive at least two-thirds of their income from farming
and demonstrate progress in their agriculture careers. Nominees are judged on
conservation practices, production history, financial and management practices,
and community contributions.

As
B.C.-Yukon OYF winners, the Klippensteins will travel to Regina this fall where
they will compete against six other regional winners for the Canadian OYF
award.