© COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 2017
Subscribe to Country Life in BC today!
The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915
Dairy vs eggs in outstanding young farmer competition [David Schmidt]
ABBOTSFORD – After graduating from high school, Gary Baars hung up a shingle as TNT Agri-
In 2006, TNT Agri-
“We sell a lot of hay to different dairy farms,” Baars says.
Not long after, the young entrepreneur expanded TNT to include cattle sales. When Farm Credit Canada offered him a large loan with “no strings attached” in early 2011, Baars used it to start his own dairy farm.
“I had enough money to buy quota for 15 cows,” he recalls.
Two years later, Marie’s grandmother asked the Baars to also manage her 160-
“We amalgamated our small herd with her larger herd and have been steadily improving the facilities,” Baars reports.
His entrepreneurship did not stop there. Last year, he purchased additional hay-
“We have already grown that farm by 20%,” Baars says.
He has also served as a director of both the Mainland Young Milk Producers and the BC Young Farmers.
Baars’ entrepreneurial spirit extends itself to his recreational activities. Twice a year, Gary and his father-
To earn the 2017 award from judges Rick Thiessen (2004 BC & Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer), Mark Sweeney (retired BC Ministry of Agriculture berry specialist) and Kurt Bausenhaus (partner in KPMG Abbotsford), the Baars outpointed Jeremy and Tamara Vaandrager of Vaandrager Farms in west Abbotsford.
Vaandragers close second
After managing several egg farms for other owners, the Vaandragers obtained a 3,000-
They have since increased their quota to 6,000 birds and are in the process of converting their farm from a free-
“Aviaries are common in Europe but still relatively new in North America,” Vaandrager notes.
Gary and Marie Baars will represent BC at the national OYF competition to be held in Penticton in November.
Vol.103 Issue 1