B.C. farmers named co-COYF national winners

B.C. farmers named co-COYF national winners
Dec 13, 2021

The Bredenhofs share the award with Jenny Butcher and Wes Kuntz from Ontario

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A pair of chicken and hop farmers from Abbotsford, B.C. are co-winners of a national competition.

Raymond and Tracey Bredenhof, who grow hops and raise close to 250,000 chickens per year, were named national winners at Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program’s national event in Saskatoon, Sask.

The event was also held virtually for people who could not attend in person.

“It was a little overwhelming, honestly,” Raymond told Farms.com. “We’ve been working for a long time and to finally have what we’ve done recognized at such a high level is very humbling and gratifying. In agriculture, a lot of time you’re working by yourself behind the gate, and no one sees the pressure you put on yourself to be better or the little innovations you come up with to bet better for your animals, your land, your family or your community. We’re not in ag for the fame but it’s nice to be recognized.”

The Bredenhofs shared the award with Jenny Butcher and Wes Kuntz of Little Brown Cow Dairy in Brantford, Ont.

Raymond and Tracey started farming about 15 years ago.

Their flock started with about 5,000 broilers and has expanded since.

In 2015, the couple diversified their operation to include six acres of hopes. They then added a harvesting and processing plant. Today, they are the largest distributor of Canadian hops.

The couple lost an entire barn, but no birds, in a fire in 2020.

The Bredenhofs used the situation to build a better barn with extra space for future expansion.

“Because it was a complete write off and the foundation had to come out too, we increased the square footage,” Raymond said. “Our goals are to increase production further.”

The Bredenhofs attended COYF’s national event in-person along with other regional winners.

Based on meetings with other farmers and people in the sector, Canadian agriculture is in good hands, Raymond said.

“All the other contestants were so good, and we wouldn’t have felt bad if we didn’t win,” he said. “They’re all doing great things in their communities and for their individual sectors. It was great to hear their stories and get to know these people.”

Bredenhof family photo

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