Rebecca Archibald, President

Upper Stewiacke, NS

Rebecca was born and raised on a small beef farm In Upper Stewiacke. As a member of the Stewiacke Valley 4-H program from age 7-21, Rebecca kept busy with both livestock and life skills projects. Rebecca graduated with her Degree in Agricultural Business, minor in Animal Science from the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture in 2014.

Since then, she has worked full time for Truro Agromart in Onslow doing Customer Relations, Sales Support and Logistics of crop inputs specializing in fertilizer, seed, crop protectants, and crop advising.

In 2017, Rebecca and her husband Alex purchased her grandparents’ 4 generation dairy farm in Upper Stewiacke. They milk about 35 Holstein cows in a tie-stall barn, while growing a mix of grasses, alfalfa, and corn silage on about 75 acres. Rebecca and Alex enjoy showing their cattle each summer at the local fairs.

Additionally, Rebecca participates in agricultural organizations such as Nova Scotia Young Farmers, the Dalhousie Agricultural Students’ Association, and the Central Nova Holstein Club. She is excited about the agriculture and food industry, and absolutely loves gathering with friends and family around good food. She also enjoys decorating cakes as a little side business!

Jillian Sogorka , Vice President

Middleton, NS

Jillian grew up on her family’s dairy farm in the Annapolis Valley, with her agricultural roots she decided to attend Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences majoring in Agricultural Business and double minoring in Agricultural Economics and Plant Science. After graduating from university, Jillian traveled to New Zealand to work on a dairy farm that milked 540 cows, she did this for five months and explored the country on her days off! Following her time abroad, Jillian settled back on her family’s dairy farm where they milk 110 cows, and has plans to eventually own the farm alongside her older brother.

Allan Melvin, Corporate Secretary & Treasurer

Pereaux, NS

Allan Melvin actively farms on his family’s 6th generation vegetable farm in Pereaux, Kings County. After studying Business Administration at Acadia University, Allan obtained his Chartered Accountants designation and worked across Canada and Internationally before settling back to rural Nova Scotia, where he resides with his wife Heather and two sons Ryker and Arlo.

In addition to working on the family farm, Allan also works at Bishop and Company Chartered Professional Accountants, where he provides accounting and advisory services with a focus on Agriculture based clients. Allan splits his time between these two roles, which allow him to support the agriculture industry in many ways.

Allan is the 1st Vice President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, currently serves as Past President on the Kings County Federation of Agriculture board, and is a board member on the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. Allan has also earned a certificate from Texas A&M for his participation in The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP).

Alana Bent , Director

Middleton, NS

Alana was born and raised on a dairy farm in the Annapolis Valley. Alana graduted from the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus with a Bachelor of Agriculture Sciences majoring in Plant Science in 2017. She now works for the Truro Agromart as a Sales Representative and continues to help out on the family farm.

Alana has been involved in her local 4-H program for over 10 years, and is excited to continue her work on the board of Nova Scotia Young Farmers. Her goals for NSYF include bringing more awareness to the group and having a more active membership, especially in the Valley region.

Tyler Jordan, Director

Gaspereau Mountain, NS

Tyler grew up on his family’s fourth generation farm in Gaspereau, Kings County. A small beef farm that operates on 250 acres of owned and rented land consisting of pasture, forage and woodland. Over the past decade Tyler and his family have diversified the operation to small-scale lumber production, grass fed beef, pasture raised poultry, free range layers and free range pork. Most of the products are directly marketed to consumers through farm gate sales, two farmers markets and a restaurant. A group of feeder cattle are sold as yearlings on an annual basis as well.
Tyler is currently president of the Kings County Federation of Agriculture. Tyler has many interests in all forms of farming, soil conservation, regenerative agriculture and habitat conservation. In addition to farming Tyler also works for a local directional drilling company that installs pipe infrastructure using trenchless technology.

Sara Swinkels, Director

Afton, NS

Sara lives in Antigonish county with her husband, Devin, and their son, Dirks, on his family’s dairy farm. Sara’s family has been involved in the agriculture community in Antigonish for generations. She is passionate about including her family in the day to day operations of their farm business.

She was a 4-H member for 11 years and her passion for agriculture grew from there. She worked on a dairy farm in high school and college. Sara and her husband went to Australia and worked on a large grain farm for a year, while traveling the country in their spare time.

Sara has been a Registered Massage Therapist for 10 years and works at a Physiotherapy clinic in Antigonish. She also has her own health and wellness business, specializing in nutritional supplements and products.

Nichole van Dyk, CYFF Representative – NS/NFLD

Caledonia, NS

Nichole Van Dyk is a third generation member of the Van Dyk Blueberry family of businesses. Van Dyk Blueberries of Caledonia, NS grows and processes wild blueberries and related value added products. In 1996 the company built its first processing facility and began producing blueberry juice in 2001. The Van Dyk group of business includes two companies that are family owned by a combination of her father, aunts and uncles. The third company is owned by a mixture of family and non-family shareholders.

Nichole is a 2018 Dalhouse University graduate with a BSc in Agricultural Business. In 2015 she started raising bees and is now at 200 hives supporting the blueberry production side of the business with hopes to continue growing this division. Nichole is the only third generation Van Dyk in the business and is working closely with her father in developing her managerial skills in preparation for the future day when she will enter the business as an owner.