Harley and Brooklynn own and operate Siemens Farms in Rosenort
By Diego Flammini
A husband-and-wife duo from Rosenort, Man. recently received an industry award.
Harley and Brooklynn Siemens, owners and operators of Siemens Farms, a 95,000 layer and 15,000 pullet operation, are Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2023.
The award recognizes the work of farmers between the ages of 18 and 39.
“We were very humbled just to be nominated,” he told Farms.com. “I know so many other young farmers who could have easily won this award, so to be selected as the recipients for 2023 is such an honour.”
This award adds to the family’s accomplishments as Harley was chosen as part of the Top four under 40 poultry farmers in Canada in 2021.
As part of the Outstanding Young Farmers process, Harley and Brooklynn, as well as the other nominees, Brett and Chantel McRae from Brandon, were tasked to make a presentation showcasing their progress in ag, community involvement and more.
The Siemens highlighted the development of their farm, Harley said.
“We showed how we’ve grown into one of the largest layer farms in Manitoba. We really leaned on that,” he said. “We also talked about innovation on our farm, building new facilities and having free-run housing for our hens.”
This included a full revamp of the operation.
After graduating from the University of Manitoba with an ag diploma in 2016, Harley returned to the farm and started the farm’s succession plan.
“We renovated four barns in four years,” he said. “We’re allowing (our flock) to have more space to move around and engage in their natural behaviour. We’re getting the same production, but this is about better animal welfare, and that’s the kind of agriculture we want to be in.”
Harley and Brooklynn’s presentation also highlighted how Harley gives back to the community.
He’s worked with commodity groups at the Farm and Food Discovery Center, has hosted over 250 farm tours and travels across Canada speaking on behalf of Egg Farmers of Canada to promote the industry.
“I love to teach the public about where their food comes from,” he said. “And it’s important that consumers are getting the correct information and, if they have questions, can get the answers they’re looking for.”
With this regional win, Harley and Brooklynn will represent Manitoba in the national competition in Quebec this November.
Farmers from Manitoba last won the national competition in 2014 when Myron and Jill Krahn, grain farmers from Carman, shared the award with Andrew and Heidi Lawless, potato farmers from P.E.I.
It’s time for the national prize to come home, Harley says.
“There’s a little bit of pressure there for sure,” he said. “I want to go there and represent Manitoba and Manitoba agriculture well, show that Manitoba is very important when it comes to Canadian agriculture, and bring home bragging rights.”
British Columbia will be the next province to name its Outstanding Young Farmer nominees.
The B.C. regional event happens on March 28.
Three farms are up for the award – Hopcott Farms, Linden Lane Farms and Creekside Cheese + Creamery.