Canadian farm writers get a taste of Neepawa


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Photos by Kevin Geisheimer, Hylife Foods

Neepawa businesses HyLife and The Farmery were on the itinerary for the Canadian Farm Writers Association tour. A pork cook-off was conducted complete with a panel of judges.

By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

A large contingent from the Canadian Farm Writers Association converged on Neepawa on Sept. 21 to tour two local businesses. The group had a tour of the Farmery brewery and attended an information presentation by HyLife. Both local businesses showcased their growth and success as local Ag industry companies in expansion mode.

On a cold and blustery day, the group gathered in the cozy confines of the Neepawa United Church CE building to hear HyLife officials describe how the company grew from two families with a traditional hog barn to a multi million dollar company. That one hog barn expanded to more barns, then a feed mil, a hog genetics company and then took the big step of buying the Springhill Farms hog plant at Neepawa in 2008. HyLife has since expanded the plant and the workforce (1375 employees at Neepawa) and markets pork products around the world but largely to Japan.

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This cook-off team of farm writers took their cooking assignment very seriously in preparing a delicious tasting and attractive looking plate of BBQ pork for the judges’ consideration.

HyLife emphasizes that the take a fully integrated global reach approach to produce “premium Canadian pork, from farm to fork.”

The farm writers group got a crash course in how grill a great pork steak from HyLife resident chef Dave MacPherson and then they spread out into several teams to apply their new found skills. In a timed contest the the teams prepared, cooked and presented the steaks to a panel of three judges. Conducted on the Beautiful Plains County Courthouse grounds the teams not only grilled the steaks, they used leaves, berries and various plant material to dress up the visual presentations.

Needless to say everyone, including the judges, were stuffed with fantastic grilled pork and judging by the laughter, the event was a hit.

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HyLife’s very own chef, Dave MacPherson was the instructor and one of the judges for the Pork BBQ competition.