Gemma McNeill and Doug Zaklan of Zaklan Heritage Farm at left; Mike Bose at right. (Photos: Surrey Board of Trade) Gemma McNeill and Doug Zaklan of Zaklan Heritage Farm at left; Mike Bose at right. (Photos: Surrey Board of Trade)

Bose, Zaklan farmers given Surrey’s inaugural Agriculture Leadership Award

Award winners chosen on basis of achievements and innovation in agriculture

SURREY — Mike Bose and Zaklan Heritage Farm are winners of the inaugural Surrey Agriculture Leadership Award, presented during an event last Thursday (Nov. 16).

The award winners were chosen on the basis of their achievements and innovation in agriculture, according to presenters Surrey Board of Trade.

Bose grew up in a family with a long farming tradition in Surrey, where he operates the Bose Corn Maze in every fall.

• READ MORE: A-maze-ing tales from the Bose corn field in Surrey, from 2016.

“He has not only demonstrated excellence as a successful farmer and entrepreneur but also distinguished himself by his outstanding dedication for Surrey’s agriculture and the protection of agricultural land,” the board said of Bose, who won the Individual category award.

“He is an agricultural representative on a variety of community committees, represented Surrey on Metro Vancouver’s land inventory and taxation committee and is a member of the Surrey Agriculture and Food Security Advisory Committee since 1995 to present. He has also worked as a Commissioner for the Agricultural Land Commission.”

• READ MORE: Young farmers grow business in the heart of Newton, from 2015.

The Business category award went to Newton-based Zaklan Heritage Farm, which has “a rich and long heritage of farming in Surrey that few can match,” the board says.

“The farm started in the 1920’s and has undergone continual revitalization led by the next generation of Zaklans. With ample support from family, the farm has transformed into a diverse mixed vegetables and livestock operation. Despite significant pressure from urban sprawl and housing development, the farm has remained true to itself and continued to produce local, healthy produce even while now totally surrounded by housing real estate. It is a clear winner against the threats of our ever-increasing population growth and pressures on land values.”

The Surrey Agriculture Industry Reception on Nov. 16 featured guest speaker Lana Popham, B.C.’s agriculture minister.

The event and new award “builds on the work of the Surrey Board of Trade’s Agriculture Team, said Anita Huberman, CEO of the organization.

The team, she said, “has advocated for the importance of global supply chains on local agriculture as it relates to free trade agreements, reviewing agricultural land reserves, food security, innovative urban food growth industries, skills training and regional food system action plans.”

Judges of the award assessed competencies including “innovative efforts to increase agricultural production, consumption of local products, longterm protection of the agricultural land base in Surrey, viability of agricultural land, innovations in business management or technology, protection of agricultural assets and enhancement of policies that support and protect agriculture.”

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