The Hopcott family has brought national attention to Pitt Meadows farming with their recent win of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers award.
Eight months after being declared the provincial winners for B.C. and the Yukon, the Hopcott siblings travelled to Quebec to compete against six other regional winners in the national event.
Travis and Brad Hopcott represented their 90-year-old family farm and shared some of the recent improvements the family has made, including introducing new varieties of cranberries to double production, a water reservoir system that recycles 30 million gallons of cranberry bog water, and a new abattoir that allows for the full use of the animals on the farm.
“With the addition of our abattoir, we have more control over the quality and care for our animals,” explained Brad.
“It adds the benefit of reducing our carbon footprint while increasing food security for our community. By opening this much-needed space, it helps our fellow farmers process their animals for custom work, and cut and wrap.”
Despite some pretty stiff competition from the other 18 to 39-year-old farmers, the Hopcotts managed to come out on top and were one of two families chosen as the national winners.
“We are so excited to receive this award,” said Brad. “The judges had an extremely hard decision to make with all of the fantastic honourees. We would like to thank our families and our team for all of their support, because without it we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
Travis explained that while they were thrilled to receive the national title, being a part of this program has meant so much more to them.
“This award, ultimately, recognizes all of the amazing young farmers across all seven regions of this country,” said Travis. “Each had to overcome trials, maintaining a drive to continue improving and displaying pride in producing a safe high-quality product to feed people. It is truly an honour to be recognized among this class of young farmers.”
The Hopcotts were declared the winners on Nov. 26, along with Greg and Sarah Stamp from Stamp Seeds in Enchant, Alta.
“The reason we did the Oustanding Young Farmers is it was a nice opportunity for us to get to know our own business more and have the opportunity to meet the best up-and-coming growers in not just B.C. and the Yukon but across the country,” explained Travis. “It’s a great organization to be with. Once you reach the national event, you’re quite involved and connected from that point on.”