Winnipeg MB (December 18, 2018) – Vegetable Growers from Innisfail and Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) alumni from Alberta, Rod & Shelley Bradshaw were recently honoured as recipients of the 2018 W.R. Motherwell Award by Canada’s OYF program. The award was presented to the couple at the national event in Winnipeg last week.

Alberta alumni members nominated the Bradshaw’s because they feel “Rod & Shelley were great ambassadors in the past, and will continue to be great ambassadors now and in the future for their community, Canadian Agriculture and Canada.”

Beck Farms, formed in 1986 by Rod & Shelley, has been crafting the art of growing carrots for over 30 years. The Bradshaw’s along with their two sons are committed to growing and packing only the highest quality products which include Cole crops, Beets, Dill, Parsnips, Peppers, Eggplant and Preserves.

Rod & Shelley’s involvement in OYF began when they were selected as honourees for the Alberta region in 1993. They ran the Alberta program with help from Jaycees for a few years, in 1996 Rod was second vice and in 2000 Rod was instrumental in the first Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program strategic plan session. Rod has participated as a National Judge, co- chaired the 2008 the National Event held in Calgary and Shelley was treasurer for the 2015 National Event held in Edmonton. They have both served on the Alberta board of advisors since joining the program in 1993.

Rod & Shelley say that “life as a volunteer seems to ebb and flow; but it will always feel good to help your community whether that be local or national”. Some of their many involvements are:  Calgary Farmers’ Market, Rotary, Red Deer County Service Board, Innisfail Municipal Seed Cleaning Plant, Central Alberta Coop, Alberta Ag Research Institute and Canadian Nuffield Agriculture Scholarship.

Franck Groeneweg, Canada OYF 1st Vice President, presented the award and included these comments, “The Bradshaw’s dedication to the OYF program over the years has greatly contributed to the success it has become today. Being pioneers in the “eat local” movement, selling carrots through a producer group back in the early nineties to leading multiple industry boards, their excellent contribution to Agriculture make them worthy recipients of this prestigious Motherwell award.”

Dr. Motherwell, the namesake of the W.R. Motherwell Award, was born near Perth, Ontario in 1860. His leadership in Canadian agriculture spanned more than 50 years and he is regarded by many as the “grand old man of Canadian agriculture.” His career highlights include minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan’s first provincial government, and minister of agriculture for Canada in the 1920s. Having attended agricultural college in Guelph, Ontario, his move to Saskatchewan resulted in his instrumental role in establishing the agriculture facility at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Motherwell died in 1943 at the age of 83.

On the 25th anniversary of the OYF program, the W.R. Motherwell Award was established. The award is presented annually, on behalf of OYF alumni across Canada, to an individual or couple who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and dedication to both the OYF program and Canadian agriculture.

More information about the OYF W.R. Motherwell Award is available at under Nominations. The deadline for nominations for the 2019 award is March 31, 2019.

Celebrating 38 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, La Coop fédérée and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2019 will be chosen at the National Event in Fredericton, NB from December 3-8, 2019