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JIS News

Leighton Davis, a 26 year old farmer of St. Mary who has twice won the National Young Champion Farmer title has won again for the third time.
Speaking with JIS News at the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show now underway in May Pen Clarendon, Chairman of the National Champion Farmer Competition, Derrick Vermont said Mr. Davis first copped the title at the age of 18 years and then again at age 19.
The Young Champion Farmer competition is open to farmers 35 years and under, and unlike the National Champion Farmer Competition there is no division of land into class sizes and there is no limit on the size of land that he or she can own.
Mr. Davis farms 20 acres of land and producing pawpaw, plantains, pineapple and peppers.
Mr. Derrick Vermont told JIS News that “We had to seek so hard for a young champion because out of 13 parishes, only four farmers under the age of 35 were found for this competition. This is worrying, we need more young people in agriculture.”
Mr. Davis emerged winner in the categories of Best Layout of Farm, Best Suitability of Crops, and Best Types and Relevance of Crops.
“I expected to win because I entered to win and I was prepared. I am always prepared, by keeping my farm properly cultivated and keeping things updated,” he explained.
Perseverance and discipline are two of the young farmer’s traits, Mr. Vermont pointed out, “He was told by people that it would be too hard to farm that land and it could not be done, but he did. He grew crops with the help of drip irrigation. He wanted more land to expand his farming and so he approached the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands which helped him to increase from five acres to 20 acres.”
Mr. Davis will receive his garland and prizes today as the Show winds down to its 8:00pm closing time.