Nutramix stirs 'Imagination' of Farm Queen contestants
In Hill Run, St Catherine, lies a 400-acre agro campus hosting the Caribbean Broilers Group's own grow-out facilities for pigs and poultry.
The group also has extensive contract farming relationships with independent agriculturists across the island.
Recently, the 2016 National Farm Queen contestants were given the opportunity to tour the facilities on behalf of second-time title sponsor of the event, Nutramix, in an effort to educate them on the ins and outs of large-scale commercial agriculture.
Winfred Lopez, livestock production supervisor at Imagination Farms, who facilitated the tour of the livestock operations, spoke to the uniqueness of its facility, highlighting self-reliance, as the company has its own well and is run on solar power during daylight hours.
"Once the sun rises, we are off the grid," Lopez joked.
The Hill Run property produces poultry and pork for the market's leading CB Chicken and Copperwood Pork brands. The contestants got the chance to tour inside one of the poultry grow-out houses, where Lopez told them about the practices the company follows to ensure that the highest-quality chickens reach consumers' tables.
pig finishing farm
The contestants were also given a tour of the property's 'pig finishing barns', where they had a first-hand look at the feed systems used for animals, which are of premium genetic stock.
Nutramix has continued to show its support for women and youth in agriculture and remains committed to sustainable agriculture and the development of brighter agriculture sector for everyone.
Speaking to Nutramix's partnership with the competition and the ongoing campaign of youth in agriculture, Andrew Raymore, communications coordinator with the CB Group, said: "We're excited to be on board for a second year. The view of agriculture as a 'fallback' needs to be changed if our country is to grow. Farming isn't a 'Plan B' - it's a very profitable Plan A. We're working with the JAS (Jamaica Agricultural Society) and these brilliant young women to tackle this problem and show agriculture is not only fun, but serious business, for serious people."
The contestants were also able to tour the crop operations at Imagination Farms, having a first-hand look at cash crop research, development and management. That leg of the tour was hosted by Donia Nembhard of Imagination Farms, who assists with the oversight of the production.
This part of the tour was of particular interest for some of the contestants who are themselves crop farmers and enjoyed the technical and personal advice provided by Nembhard who, as a woman, is breaking stereotypes within the industry.