Nominations wanted for excellence in agriculture

The Investment Agriculture Foundation ow accepting nominations for the 2013 excellence awards

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Award of Excellence for Innovation in Agriculture and Agri-Food. This award celebrates the innovative thinkers in the B.C. agriculture and agri-food industry who are responsible for generating economic, environmental or social benefits to British Columbia and the B.C. agriculture and agri-food industry.

“The future success of B.C.’s agriculture and agri-food industry depends upon our leaders in innovation,” says Peter Levelton, IAF chair. “The Investment Agriculture Foundation is proud to honour these leaders and celebrate their commitment to a sustainable and competitive industry.”

Previous recipients have included Dr. Timothy Durance, co-CEO of EnWave Corporation in 2012; Bill Vanderkooi, president of the Bakerview EcoDairy in 2011; Roger Bailey of Kalwood Farms in Oyama in 2010; and the Nutri-Loc Ingredients Corporation of Delta in 2009.

Dr. Durance was recognized for his innovation and advancement of superior food dehydration technology. Vanderkooi was awarded for his commitment to innovative, sustainable and environmentally responsible dairy farm practices and education. Bailey was recognized for seeing the potential in recycled rice harvesters to make the work of orchard pickers easier, and Nutri-Loc received the award for its clean energy solution that turns culled fruits and vegetables into healthy food products.

“Our government’s top priority remains the economy, and promoting innovation is vital to keeping it healthy,” said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Innovation helps to keep our agricultural sector strong and sustainable by increasing its competitiveness, creating jobs, and driving our economy.”

“Innovation in the agri-foods sector is the necessary key to drive the development of new products, markets and job opportunities in B.C.,” said British Columbia Minister of Agriculture, Norm Letnick. “By encouraging innovation, we help producers and processors turn their hard work into profitable, sustainable operations.”

The award is open to individual producers, processors, agri-business owners/operators and other industry leaders. Innovations will be evaluated for their originality and uniqueness, degree of economic, social and/or environmental benefit to British Columbia and human interest potential.

Nominations close Nov. 30. The 2013 award winner will be announced in January 2013 at the annual Agri-Food Industry Gala in Abbotsford.

More information and nomination forms are available at www.iafbc.ca