Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Niagara woman emerges as Champion Farmer

Published:Wednesday | April 19, 2017 | 4:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Elaine Dennis (second right) accepts the first-place trophy for the Champion Female Farmer of 2017 from Daphne Corrodus (second left), wife of St. James Custos Ewen Corrodus. Looking on (from left) are Glendon Harris, president of the St James chapter of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS); Winston Simpson, principal director in charge of field services for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority; Senator Norman Grant, president of the JAS; and Dr Horace Chang, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

WESTERN BUREAU:

On a day that saw Elaine Dennis of Niagara district emerged as the 2017 female Champion Farmer for St James, patrons got a wonderful treat of food and music alongside colourful displays of farming produce and their by-products at the Montpelier Agricultural Show on Easter Monday.

The event, which was being staged for the 36th time since it was revived by former Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) president Violet Nielson in 1981, was staged under the theme, 'Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow: Agriculture Transforming Communities.'

The annual show, which lived up to its tradition of excellence, was also staged as part of the JAS's 34th annual celebration of National Farmers' Month.

However, in all the excitement, Dennis was probably the toast as she took the first-place trophy for the parish's Champion Female Farmer. She took the trophy ahead of Leonie Fray of Flower Hill and Sharon Jones of Maldon who rook second and third places, respectively.

In addition, prizes were awarded for the top three performing branches of the JAS St James division. The top spot went to the Kensington branch, while Cambridge secured second place and Maroon Town came in third.

In a brief address, Glendon Harris, president of the JAS St James chapter, said the success of the annual event was due to the perseverance of the farmers and the support of the patrons.

"Each year we have challenges, and this year's challenges were no less than what previously (obtained). We took the challenges and ensured that we overcame because, as Jamaicans, we are better at solving the problems and challenges and getting ahead," said Harris. "That is why we have so many champions, and our farmers have proven to be the most resilient set of persons.

"The Montpelier Agricultural Show is your show. You, the patrons, have been supporting us over the years, and I will say to you, that you are all supposed to be proud of this product, because you have laid it (out) for St James and western Jamaica," Harris added.