BLUEVALE — A hog farming family that has expanded its business to the United States has been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
Amy and Mike Cronin, of Bluevale in Huron County, won the award on Nov. 20, along with Alberta dairy goat farmers Patrick and Cherylynn Bos.
The Cronins — who were named as Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers in March — bought their first hog farm together in 1998, which happened to be the worst year for the Canadian hog industry since the 1930s. They expanded during the mid-2000s, during another downturn in the hog industry. They now own a second hog farm at Seaforth, and expanded into the United States with a finishing farm in Iowa and two farms in Missouri.
Amy — also chair of Ontario Pork — told Farmers Forum in March that their most innovative creation is a crate-free system on one of the Missouri farms. The system has electronic sow feeders and cameras so customers can see what’s happening inside the barn. In the farrowing room, the sows farrow in Ontario-made crates to protect the piglets. Within two to five days, the crate opens so the sow has the ability to turn and move around.