As British Columbians welcome autumn and prepare to give thanks next weekend, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is honouring the province’s farmers with the announcement of the winners of the fourth annual Ode To a Farmer poetry contest.
The contest is part of the BCAFM’s celebration of Farmers Appreciation Week (Septe. 12 – 18), an annual event highlighting the important contributions that local food and farmers make to the lives of British Columbians. B.C. residents of all writing levels were encouraged to submit their farm-themed poems for a chance to win $150 to spend at the B.C. farmers’ market of their choice.
Gerald Eggert of Chilliwack took home the grand prize with his original poem, “The Farm Wife,” which reminds readers of the importance of honouring farmers in today’s fast-paced world. “Late at night reading about this poetry contest set me to thinking back and about the changes (not all good) in farming, possibly the oldest of all foundations of our country,” said Eggert. “I thought about the farmers I knew and met throughout my lifetime; about their commitment, their hardwork, honesty, and their continued devotion to family values. I thought, too, about how much sadness the changes and pressures of globalization must be putting on them and their families.”
Eggert’s poem was chosen out of 96 submissions that came from across the province. In addition to the grand prize, a winner from each region of B.C. was selected and awarded $50 to spend at a B.C. farmers’ market of their choice.
The six winning poems can be read on the BCAFM website.
2016 Winning Poems
Grand Prize and Vancouver Coast & Mountain Regional Winner: “The Farm Wife” by Gerald Eggert
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: “Ode To Farmers” by Karen Steinson
Kootenay Rockies: “Hail to Our Farmers” by Debbie Korn
Northern B.C.: “Ode to a Farmer” by Malcolm Coupe
Thompson Okanagan: “Dependable” by John H. Fair
Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands: “Belonging” by Michael Armstrong