A good egg coming from Portage la Prairie, who would have thought?
Mark Ronald, Westpark School alumnus and the owner of M. Ronald Farming Co., was awarded the title of Manitoba Egg Farmer of the Year for 2022.
"It's not something that I am used to," says Ronald about the acknowledgement. "Just being recognized for what you've done in front of a lot of people is pretty motivating to continue doing a good job."
Ronald, recieved the award at the Manitoba Egg Farmers AGM on March 1. He is a third-generation farmer, who has had his barn since 2016, located on family property purchased by his grandfather in 1948.
"In agriculture, we're very proud of the roots that we've come from," notes Ronald.
The 2022 Egg Farmer of the Year currently has 6400 hens on his farm and adds that with the help of his crew, he only has to spend around three hours a day in the barn.
Sandra Dyck, from the Board of Directors for Manitoba Egg Farmers, was part of the selection committee that picked Ronald for the award.
According to Dyck the criteria for choosing Egg Farmer of the year is objective.
"They have to score 100 per cent on their start clean, stay clean and animal care audits. Mark has always scored 100% on those audits. Then we look for people that have made, taking initiatives to improve and strive towards best practices in their barn."
Dyck highlights that with 170 regulated egg farmers to choose from, the competition for the title is always steep, as Manitoba has a lot of egg farmers who go above and beyond.
The Manitoba Egg Farmers gave Ronald the go-ahead to become the youngest egg farmer ever in the province in 2015 when he was only 18 years old; now, eight years later, he has become the youngest person ever to receive this award.