For immediate release, February 25, 2014, Aurora
Once a year, members of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA) gather to take some time to recognize the excellence that shines in their industry. This year is no different and the winners are truly stars in four distinct categories; Leadership, Food Innovation, the Ambassador Award and Outstanding Farm Marketer. The gathering took place last week in Niagara Falls at the OFFMA Awards Banquet.
Amy and Channing Strom were recognized with the Leadership Award. The Stroms have built their sweet corn seasonal roadside stand to a destination that is visited by many Guelph families every year to experience harvest fun. Throughout this period, they have provided leadership and shared their knowledge freely with other farmers. Amy served on the OFFMA Board and was also president for 2 years. She continues to be an advocate for the benefits of networking and encourages farmers to do so as it helps everyone and advances the industry as a whole. To see what Strom’s Farm offers simply go to Strom.ca.
Harvest Goodies is the winner of this year’s Food Innovation Award. Heather and Brad Fraser’s winning combination of products came about because a local vegetable grower had increased his garlic crop and in mid-June had approximately 20 bushels of garlic scapes that he was going to throw away. Harvest Goodies was challenged to create some products from the part of the garlic plant that is most often eaten fresh or sometimes simply discarded. Thus, a wonderful collection was born; Garlic Scape Vinaigrette, Garlic Scape Mustard, Pickled Garlic Scapes and Maple Mustard Beans. Each one is a terrific taste sensation on its own but together they are a delicious eScape. More information about the Fraser’s farm and business can be found at wheelbarroworchards.com.
The 2014 Ontario Farm Fresh Ambassador Award was presented to Elizabeth Baird for her remarkable contributions to the promotion and celebration of Ontario foods and Ontario farmers. Since Elizabeth’s first book in 1974, Classic Canadian Cooking, her career in food has included more than 30 cookbooks, countless television appearances, serial columns in Canada’s most widely read newspapers, a highly successful Food Network program and her famous tenure as Food Editor at Canadian Living Magazine. Through it all, Elizabeth has never missed an opportunity to promote buying directly from a farmer. She has always promised her audience that local food –in season- will produce better results; the perfect testiment to all the delicious food grown in Ontario.
Anne Just from Kurtz Orchards graciously accepted the Outstanding Farm Marketer Award for her tireless effort to offer amazing products to her customers in many different settings and different countries. Anne’s grandparents emigrated from Poland and ended up buying a farm in the Niagara region. Her father decided to try his hand at preserving some of their lovely peaches when they had a bumper crop one year, but it is Anne who has taken the business to new heights. She has opened several satelitte locations, one being in Carmel by the Sea, California. She has a sense of style and great taste that is reflected in everything she does.
Anne is an entrepreneur, an innovator and a leader as well as an Outstanding Farm Marketer.Further information about the farm business can be found at kurtzorchards.com.
OFFMA was started in 1973, when a group of on-farm marketers decided to create a provincial organization that could promote the direct farm marketing industry, encourage improvements and maintain integrity in the industry. OFFMA works with farmers who market directly to consumers through on-farm markets, CSA’s, PYO operations and/or agri-tainment businesses. OFFMA’s goal is to get more people to visit a farm.