In case you missed it

Congratulations to Justin and Laura Rogers of Brae, PEI who were chosen as national winners of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Program. The national event was held in early December in Fredericton, NB. Simon Michaud and Mylène Bourque of Kamouraska, QC also shared the honour.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer awards (l-r): Carl Marquis (Past President), Komie Hossini (Bayer), Winners Justin & Laura Rogers (AT), Bruce Rutherford (CIBC), Winners Mylène Bourque & Simon Michaud (QC), Jenny Ose (John Deere), Isabelle Bériau (AAFC), Sébastien Léveillé (Sollio Agriculture)

Justin and Laura Rogers are 7th generation farmers who operate Picturesque Farms, a mixed farm that grows pedigreed seed, forages, and beef cattle. Justin’s love for agriculture began when he purchased his first heifer at age eight and his first tractor at 13. Picturesque Farms requires feasibility studies or business plans for all major projects or investments while their pedigreed seed business relies on ongoing communication with local customers. In 2020, thanks to the Dairy Farmers of PEI’s New Entrant Program, they will be converting their 75 head beef cattle sector to a dairy operation. Family values and community are important to Justin and Laura.

Prior to taking over the management of the 5th generation dairy farm, Simon Michaud tried many things. Mylène Bourque always knew she loved agriculture so it was an easy decision to follow her heart and join Simon in Ferme Règika Inc. They built a free stall barn in 2005. The build proved to be their biggest challenge. After some struggles and some changes they increased their average milk production per cow from 9,500 kg to 10,600 kg.

Ferme Règika Inc is located in the heart of the tourist village of Kamouraska so Simon & Mylène are often invited to take part in discussions on the coexistence of agriculture and tourism. The pair plan to diversify into potatoes as part of their succession plan.

Steve Cooper, incoming Chair of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program, had this to say about those being honoured, “It’s so easy in Canadian agriculture to have the ‘wow’ factor revolve around size and scale of operations. In our program it’s way down the list and our chosen honourees have proven that once again this year. Incredible passion, business acumen, the ability to change on a dime, and taking really tough scenarios and not only surviving them but turning them into real successes. This is the real ‘wow’. This is what makes our farmers ‘outstanding’.”

Every year this event brings recognition to outstanding farmers in Canada between 18 and 39 years of age who have exemplified excellence in their profession while fostering better urban-rural relations. The winners were chosen from seven regional finalists.

In restaurant news, the popular Charlottetown restaurant Terre Rouge has been sold to a Nova Scotia company, and after undergoing some renovations it will reopen as an Italian restaurant named Terra Rossa. In Summerside, the former OpenEats location is now a Mexican restaurant called The Crazy Gringo, part of the Perry group of eating establishments. New signage in Charlottetown indicates a Vietnamese restaurant named Pho Queen opening in the old La Sazon de Mexico spot next to The Guild.

Congratulations to Glow Juicery in Summerside for winning the New Business of the Year award at the Summerside Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. As well, congratulations to Papa Joe’s Restaurant in Charlottetown winning the Excellence in Customer Service Award at the recent Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce President’s Excellence Awards.

Kudos to The Pearl Eatery for donating 100 percent of their gift certificate sales in December to the 100 Women Who Care organization. As of our print deadline, they surpassed the $5000 mark, which will be donated to the charities of Kidsport PEI and Special Olympics PEI.

The PEI Department of Agriculture & Forestry is once again partnering with the PEI Enhanced Environmental Farm Plan Program to recognize producers or commodity groups committed to practicing and raising awareness of environmental farm planning and implementation. This award was established to recognize excellence in sustainable agriculture based on recommendation from the Round Table on Land Use and Stewardship. It is named in recognition of the Honorable Gilbert R Clements’s commitment to the environment.

Each year this award is given to an enterprise that is environmentally and socially responsible in the production and/or marketing of agricultural products from a sustainable system. Island agricultural producers and commodity groups are eligible for nomination. Nominations should detail the nominee’s overall approach to environmental stewardship, community involvement and role in increasing public awareness about sustainable agricultural practices.

Nomination forms are available on the PEI Federation of Agriculture website. The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 10, 2020.

Founders’ Food Hall and Market in Charlottetown is once again under construction as a new PEI liquor store is built inside its walls. The speciality liquor store will be built in the main seating area, causing some concern from some of the food vendors who are within the market. The upper mezzanine area will continue to provide seating for customers. Despite the loss of seating, the vendors who currently lease space at Founders’ are optimistic that the new store will bring in more clientele to the market. Port Charlottetown, the owner of Founders’ Food Hall and Market have stated that there were always plans to develop the space, and that the open seating area was temporary.

A new assessment of the Northern Pulp effluent treatment plan will be undertaken and the PEI government is pleased with the announcement made by Nova Scotia Environment Minister Gordon Wilson in mid December. Wilson said he needs more science-based information on the proposal. The assessment could take up to two years to complete.

In a press release, PEI Premier Dennis King said, “We commend the Nova Scotia environment minister for asking for more science-based information and welcome the caution expressed on this decision. We are pleased that the Nova Scotia government has listened to the many concerns expressed by those who provided feedback on Northern Pulp’s most recent submission and encourage it to continue to listen to submissions from all parties, including those from Prince Edward Island.”

Premier King had requested a federal assessment on the proposed effluent treatment plan and said he still believes there should be a more comprehensive federal assessment given the shared nature of the resource.

“There are still many unanswered questions about the short and long-term impacts on the Northumberland Strait ecosystem,” Fisheries and Communities Minister Jamie Fox said. “While we are disappointed there will not be a more comprehensive Level Two federal assessment, we are hopeful that the provincial assessment will address many of the outstanding issues associated with the Northern Pulp proposal.”

Fishers and aquaculturalists, along with First Nations and environmentalists, have consistently opposed the project which would see millions of gallons of effluent discharged into the Northumberland Strait on a daily basis.

“We will continue to closely monitor this project until we are satisfied there will be no harmful impacts on the marine environment and on the livelihoods of those who depend on it,” Fox said.

Islanders will have an extended opportunity to comment on the environmental impact assessment for the proposed 30 mega watt wind project in Eastern Kings.

The public comment period is extended by one month – to January 20, 2020 – due to the delay of a report on bird migration and bat studies.

A public information session was held November 19, 2019 at the Eastern Kings Community Centre and as outlined under the Environmental Protection Act, the public has 30 days to comment after the proponent holds their public information session. The PEI Energy Corporation Environmental Impact Statement and supplementary report are available at the Projects Under Environmental Review category on the PEI government website, princeedwardisland.ca.

Comments can be submitted to: Dale Thompson, Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change, PO Box 2000 Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 or by email: dethompson@gov.pe.ca

Twenty in 2020—that’s how many downtown Charlottetown restaurants will be participating in this year’s Winterdine festival. The annual dining event is celebrating its 15th year, and diners can enjoy specially designed menus at fixed prices for three weekends in January and February. The restaurants who join in the dining event each year create dishes that are not available at any other time of the year, so it’s a great opportunity to try some new menu items. Prices are fixed at $30 or $40 per person, and there are some restaurants who mix it up, offering new menus each weekend.

The festival was started by Downtown Charlottetown to entice Islanders to get out during the cold winter months and enjoy our wonderful downtown core eateries. Along with the exclusive menus, diners can vote for their favourite restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, don’t be afraid to call your favourite spot and see if they may be open this season. More and more seasonal restaurants are opening during the traditionally quieter winter months. Some, like The Red Rooster in Crapaud, are opening their doors in the winter for the first time in decades. We’re noticing that some spots that normally closed their doors in October have stayed open with reduced hours, ready to serve their loyal and local customers in the dead of winter. It’s worth checking out!

Did we miss something? Let us know! You can email us at info@saltyisland.com or PM us on social media.

About Salty Staff

A diverse group of people, the Salty team works hard each month to bring you great stories about PEI's food and farming community.

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