Caption: Yukon farmers Mary and Rolland Girouard were honoured with the 2014 Farmer of the Year Award at the North of 60˚ Agriculture Banquet in Whitehorse.
(Download high res)
WHITEHORSE—Mary and Rolland Girouard, operators of Rivendell Farm near Whitehorse, were named the 2014 Farmers of the Year at the North of 60° Agriculture Banquet on November 1.
“The Government of Yukon recognizes the contributions Rolland and Mary Girouard have made over many years of farm production, agritourism and education of Yukon’s young people on the importance of local food production,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “The Girouard’s long-term commitment and leadership in the farming community has made a lasting contribution to the development of local food production in Yukon.”
Rivendell Farm, located off the Takhini Hot Springs Road north of Whitehorse, is one of the longest-running food producers in Yukon and one of the first in the Takhini River valley. They began more than 25 years ago, and now have a wealth of experience in a variety of agribusiness ventures ranging from bedding plants to market vegetables to livestock including elk and wild boar.
“Rivendell Farm has always been a business, it was never a hobby farm,” Mary Girouard said.
The Girouards achieved organic certification for their market garden operation and re-branded their operation with an agritourism focus this past year, calling it Yukon’s Organic Experience.
“Mary and Rolland have made Rivendell Farm an important part an expanding industry,” MLA for Lake Laberge Brad Cathers said. “Their farm produces food that goes on the tables of many Yukon families. This recognition as Farmer of the Year is well deserved.”
Opening their farm to the first Yukon Culinary Festival this past summer, the Girouards participated in the successful Feast of Farms event which drew national acclaim from visiting chefs and a full house for an evening meal of locally-grown foods.
Mary and Rolland also help to educate the next generation of Yukoners by participating in the school program From the Ground Up, which gives kids the opportunity to visit Yukon farms and learn more about where our food comes from.
Each year, Yukon’s Agriculture Branch highlights a farm family, farmer, or farm advocate who has made an outstanding contribution to Yukon. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their commitment to, and passion for, local farming.