Godmanchester resident and co-owner of Quinn Farm in Île-Perrot, Stephanie Maynard has been named as a finalist in this year’s edition of the Tournez-vous vers l'excellence contest.
Stephanie Maynard, a Godmanchester resident and co-owner of Quinn Farms in Île-Perrot, has been named one of ten finalists in the 12th annual Tournez-vous vers excellence contest sponsored by the Financière Agricole du Québec. The contest recognizes the individual contribution of young farmers to the success of their businesses.
The application process for the contest focused on five main areas corresponding to the applicants’ role within the business, including: their contribution to the business plan, their training, skills and engagement, the management and evolution of their farm, the application of sustainable development principles, and their overall contribution to the business. Among the ten finalists, three will share a grand prize of $5,000 and two grants worth $2,500. In addition, a $1,500 prize will also be awarded to one finalist for their management or mentoring abilities.
For Stephanie Maynard, it is an honour just to be named on the list of finalists, which also includes two others from the Monteregie region. "It helps to recognize all of the hard work we’ve done," she says of the contest. "We ensure to tell our employees when they do a good job, but it’s nice to be recognized personally as well," she adds.
Rewarding young farmers
Maynard and her partner Phil Quinn took over the family farm in 2010. Today, the farm is renowned as a premier agro-tourism destination with over 100,000 visitors each year. With fifty employees, she plays a very active role in the business as manager of food processing, operations, finances, marketing and payroll. "It’s not easy being successful in farming these days, and it’s rewarding to have someone else evaluate what you are doing and recognize what we’ve achieved," she notes, while pointing out the significance of the contest in that it specifically rewards the next generation of farmers.
"With more farmers over the age of 70 than under the age of 35, we need to continue to recognize the young farmers that are successfully starting up in farming," says Maynard, while explaining the contest focused particularly on the succession plan that was in place. "With 92 percent of farms without a succession plan – it’s important to be encouraging that process."
The winners of the contest will be announced in Drummondville on November 23, during a Management Conference organized by the Quebec Reference Centre for Agriculture and Agri-Food (CRAAQ). For more information on Quinn Farm and its busy calendar of farmyard activities for the entire family: www.quinnfarm.qc.ca.