Stormont Soil and Crop Improvement Association announces 2019 Farmer of the Year and Award of Merit winners

Above, (left photo) Pam and David Phillips. (Right photo) Marvin Waldroff. Courtesy photos

STORMONT — This county’s 2019 Farmer of the Year winners are David and Pamela Phillips — as awarded by the Stormont Soil and Crop Improvement Association recently.

Dave and Pam run the Avonmore Berry farm with their children, Andrew, Megan and Alexander Phillips.

“In love with the lifestyle,” Pamela and David have pursued farming bliss on their 200-acre Avon more Berry Farm since 1991 when they took over from David’s parents, who established the business in 1981 Today, the farm boasts 20 acres of “the best tasting strawberries you’ll ever find”, along with 12 acres of summer and fall raspberries, 5 acres of apples and 60 acres of vegetables.

They have expanded the availability of their products from on-site at The Pantry, pick-your-own-berries & fruit, to places like Ottawa (Lansdowne), the Cornwall and SD&G, Long Sault & Maxville Farmers’ Markets, and Cornwall Center Roadside stand. As they expand the availability of their products they have also expanded from the original family farm land to several parcels of land, expanding over the years from just strawberries to now include strawberries, raspberries, apples, asparagus, beans, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, garlic, gourds, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, wheat.

Always looking at new technology to improve crops and extend the crop season and try new methods for new crops to the area such as sweet potatoes, ever berry strawberries extending the fresh local food supply.

As the market and season has grown and extended they have brought in International seasonal workers to enable them to meet the growing demand. They also employ many local adults and youth to support this.

They are big supporters of Ag education — being part of the Cornwall and Stormont Farm Fairs for Grade 4 students for 10 years — as host and part of the organization of Strawberry Sundae in 2018 with proceeds from the sundaes supporting our local 4-H, Junior Farmer and Lions Club. They have also hosted Farm to Table dinners, educating the public on Agriculture. 2019 was the fifth year for this ever-popular event. The Phillips have opened up the farm to many school tours, hosted 4-H tours-farm tour clubs, the Soups On club, Cloverbuds, and Junior Farmers to name a few, for educational purposes. 

Pam has also helped organize a local fundraiser, Avonmore Ladies Night.

They are very generous with donations of products to many local community groups and events.

They are Famous for their Pantry Pies, jams, muffins, and Biscuits.

Known as the great family outing providing a playground, hayloft, pick your own fruit experiences and wagon rides all for free, enhancing our community putting Avon more on the Map with their brand and Agri-tourism destination.

The farm and orchard has provided a beautiful backdrop for many photo sessions for wedding and special occasions.

They have been recognized with the Award of Merit in 2007 and the Roxborough Agricultural Society 2019 Meritorious Service Award.

As they have grown the family business they have also enhanced the Agri-Tourism in Stormont and Ag-education of everyone in the area.

Marvin Waldroff receives Award of Merit

STORMONT — Marvin is the father of two Daughters Alyssa and Miranda, husband to Roseanne. Born and raised in Newington on the family farm which he still helps at, he now resides in Finch. He is an active community member and encourages his family to be as well, getting his daughters to be involved in the many groups he is, ensuring the next generation knows how to get things done.

Marvin Works for Coco Paving (formerly Cruickshanks) for many years after leaving the family farm.

He was the Provincial Director for Stormont Junior Farmers in his early years, he was President for Stormont Agricultural Society 1989-91, and he is still managing the Beer Gardens and training his replacement, he is also the recipient of the 2001 OAAS service Diploma from the Stormont Agricultural Society. Marvin was the co-chair of the Lounge Committee at the International Plowing Match in 2015 hosted by Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Counties. He is an active Member of the Stormont Plowing Association, he mentors new plowers ensuring the tradition continues, and was the Top Plowman at the Stormont Plowing Match more than once.

Marvin also Coached Avonmore Aces Hockey team and Berwick Hotel Ball team for many years.

He was a past Member of the Newington Fire Department, and received an Award for Distinguished Service for Fire Fighting in 2007.

Marvin is a very active member of this community and has spent many years helping make it a strong Agricultural community and actively shares his knowledge with the next generation ensuring we keep going strong.

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