Educator Jessica Reeves has been named the 2019 recipient of the Women's Institute Woman in Agriculture Recognition Award.
This recognition is for an Island woman making a major contribution to the PEI agriculture sector and is presented bi-annually by the PEI Women’s Institute. Reeves, who was nominated by the Augustine Cove Women's Institute, has been instrumental bringing agricultural awareness to the education system, and promoting local produce in her culinary classes.
Reeves has also served on provincial and national organizations through both Atlantic and Canada Young Farmers’ programs known for celebrating excellence in Canadian Agriculture. She has received numerous awards and has been featured as a spokesperson for promotion of agriculture. Ms. Reeves also sits on numerous other national committees, councils and boards within the agricultural Industry.
From a young age, agriculture has always been a part of her life. She grew up in Lady Fane, Prince Edward Island where her family grew chip stock and seed potatoes, and raised purebred Charolais and commercial cattle. She enjoyed helping her grandmother, Marion Howatt, with various WI activities in the community. She was an active member of the North River 4-H Club, and later helped to organize Provincial 4-H Camp.
Jessica now lives in Freetown where she and her husband, Steve, and two children, Luke and Bella, have a dairy farm. Jessica ensures their children know the importance of agriculture, and every spring, you will find her and her family participating in the annual WI Roadside Cleanup.
"Jessica spends endless hours preparing information on current agricultural issues to discuss with her classes," noted the citation. "She takes her students on many overnight trips to explore agriculture in areas across Atlantic Canada. Jessica uses her knowledge in agriculture to help educate the general public through her personal Twitter account, but also through the National Outstanding Young Farmers account, and Islanders for Farmers account. "
When talking with one of Jessica’s current students, Harrison Duffy, about how she has brought awareness of agriculture to him and his fellow students, this is what he had to say:”Jessica has opened the world of agriculture to me and my peers through the agriculture program at KRHS. Jessica has a deep passion for the agriculture industry, and for teaching it. She takes us on numerous field trips to farms all across the Island, and recently, to the Atlantic Farm Show. She also arranges for people in the agriculture industry to come and speak to us. She has greatly impacted my view on the agriculture industry, as well as many others.”