Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers Program
The Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes next-generation farmers who demonstrate excellence in their profession.
How the program works
The Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers Program is run by the Oustanding Young Farmers alumni. The nomination criteria includes:
- Individual, couple or managing partner/shareholder
- Makes majority of farm management decisions
- Derives a minimum of two-thirds gross revenue from farming
- Less than 40 years of age as of January 1, 2021
Judging is based on:
- Progress in agricultural career
- Environmental stewardship
- Production history
- Financial management practices
- Contributions to the wellbeing of the community, province and nation
- Financial Progress
Each year an honouree is selected to represent each of the seven regions across Canada. These seven honourees are then recognized for their achievements at the National Outstanding Young Farmers event.
2021 Outstanding Young Farmers Nominees
Michael and Jessica Lovich - Lovholm Holsteins
Michael and Jessica Lovich are passionate dairy farmers from Balgonie, SK. They own and operate Lovholm Holsteins, a 70- cow dairy that focuses on animal longevity, cow health and production as well as farm sustainability and growth.
Born and raised on purebred dairy farms in Alberta, it is where Michael and Jessica both got their love of the industry. They both have travelled many miles on the Holstein show circuit and their love of cows has given them many other travel opportunities as well. Michael has a diploma in Livestock Production while Jessica holds a diploma in Animal Health; both from Lakeland College.
The focus of their business right now is for Lovholm Holsteins to continually breed conformationally superior animals and increase production traits with each cow. They are also always looking at ways they can diversify the farm or educate others on agriculture. They own 160 acres and rent an additional 400 acres to produce their own feed. Michael and Jessica strive to be self sufficient but build a strong team around them at the same time. They love learning and considering new ideas for the farm to meet its goals.
Living so close to Regina and many smaller communities provides many opportunities for the farm to host a tour or Jessica to go into schools to speak about agriculture. Engaging with consumers and educating people is a priority at Lovholm. The couples’ passion for agriculture is something they hope to also pass on to their three daughters. It is a family affair running the farm and everyone has a part. All the family members are also active in their community sports programs, church, and school. Michael and Jessica were thrilled to once again, to receive an Outstanding Young Farmers nomination for Saskatchewan!
Inspired by the stories of his farm customers while working in agriculture banking, Stuart began his farm career in meat goat production with 350 does and later added sheep. These flocks grew to 1000 breeding females and targeted grazing for weed control was added as a complimentary enterprise. For three years, leafy spurge grazing made up the most significant portion of his farm revenue. A small purebred cowherd was added to clean up wasted feed behind the goats. Currently the farm operates a purebred cow herd of 125 registered Red Angus and Limousin cattle, as well as producing diverse, multi-species forage crops. Stuart’s breeding herd targets low-input and easy calving genetics focused on a cow’s weaning production as a percent of her body weight.
Implementing many principles of regenerative agriculture on his farm, Stuart targets soil health as the key pillar that aligns animal production, farm profitability and land value. Most on-farm production practices are driven by the five foundations of building healthy soil – keeping the soil covered, minimizing disturbance, planting diversity, keeping a living root long in the season and integrating livestock.
A significant part of Stuart’s farm story is his journey to self-acceptance as a gay farmer. More recently this is a part of farming and rural life that he has shared with other farmers who might be struggling with mental health, self-acceptance or questioning their place in agriculture.
Diversity has been central to Stuart’s farm story. This includes different livestock enterprises and multi-species grazing, crop diversity in mixed forage blends , as well as appreciating that it’s the differences and uniqueness of farms and ranches, and all the people who run them, that make Agriculture the best place to be.