Cobble Hill egg and vegetable producers James and Cammy Lockwood of Lockwood Farms are BC & Yukon’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2019.
The couple received the award in Abbotsford, March 12, beating out chicken and hop growers Ray and Tracey Bredenhof of Abbotsford’s Bredenhof Farms in a very close competition between two excellent, innovative and resourceful young farming couples.
James Lockwood was on track for a career with the RCMP when he and Cammy decided to grow a few vegetables for themselves. They also bought three hens to produce their own eggs.
While the Mounties are reputed to always get their man, agriculture claimed the couple and in 2011 they formed Lockwood Farms with James’ father Barry. A few rows of vegetables, 399 laying hens and a stall at the Duncan farmers’ market led to an operation with two acres of intensively farmed vegetables and a flock of 4,250 free-range layers in a state-of-the-art aviary system. The Lockwoods are also the first Canadian egg producers to include Black Soldier Flies in their layer diet.
The Lockwoods use organic farming methods but are not certified organic, saying “local” has become more important to people than “organic.” Selling at farmers’ markets helps them determine what products to grow and puts them close enough to their customers to answer any questions about their practices.
In addition to their farm, James has served as a director and chair of the Duncan Farmers’ Market and currently represents Vancouver Island on the BC Egg Producers Association. Cammy has been a liason between her church and a committee sponsoring a refugee family.
OYF recognizes farmers who exemplify excellence and promote agriculture’s contribution to the country. To be eligible for the regional award, applicants must be between 18 and 39 and derive most of their revenue from on-farm sources. They are judged on the progress in their agricultural careers, the sustainability of their farming operations and involvement in their industry and community.
The Lockwoods will represent BC at the national OYF event in Fredericton, NB, December 4-8.
See our feature story in the April edition of Country Life in BC.