© Eric McCarthy/TC Media
Kyle Maynard, left, and his brother Bryan were presented with the Kent Phillips Memorial Young Farmer of the Future Award during the 2015 P.E.I. Potato Blossom Festival. The brothers took over their grandfather’s farm operation this year and named it Farmboys Inc. They recently completed the harvest of their 1,250 acres of potatoes.
ARLINGTON - Bryan Maynard was sounding thankful after he and his brother, Kyle, co-owners of Farmboys Inc., had just completed their first-ever potato harvest.
“We couldn’t be more satisfied with what we got out of the cards we were dealt,” said Bryan, 32.
He was referring to the challenges of a late spring, followed by a hot, dry summer and topped off with a wet fall.
“Overall, the crop was great,” Bryan declared. “From the outside looking in, ... it was tough to make a go of it, that’s for sure, but things did finish up nice.”
This might be Farmboys Inc.’s first year in business, but farming’s not exactly new to the brothers.
Bryan has worked on his grandfather, Allison Dennis’s farm steadily for the last 15 years, and Kyle, who is two years younger, was actively involved in his teenage years. Then he headed off and got his red seal as a precision machinist and worked for several years at Vector Aerospace.
Kyle is now back on the farm fulltime. The brothers took over their grandfather’s operation this year, purchasing his land and keeping up his rental properties.
The Maynards had about 30 people working on the farm during the potato harvest. The farm employs about five people year-round.
It will be a while before the next generation will be helping with the harvest. Bryan has a two-year-old daughter, Brynnley, and Kyle has a three-year-old daughter, Kate, and a son, Kent, who was born on Sept. 24, the day before the new farm operation started its first potato harvest. Kent is named after the Maynards’ father who lost his life in a farm accident 22 years ago.
“I’ve seen 15 crops here and when you get dealt the weather that we got dealt, I would never expect to get what we got,” Bryan said.
They grew 1,250 acres of potatoes this year and got them all out, less a few wet spots. They also grew wheat, barley and hay.
Bryan quoted an old saying about never getting a barley year and a potato year in the same year.
“I’d say this year we probably got the best of both years: the barley was average and the potatoes were good.”
“It was a great way to get her kicked off,” he said of their first year as owners.
“That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of sleepless nights, and there still will be,” he added. “Just because they’re dug and put away, they’re not sold. They’re sitting in the warehouse.”
While Farmboys are pleased with their yield, Bryan acknowledges that’s not the case everywhere. He notes that many growers are reporting reduced yields. It all boiled down to where the timely rains fell, he suggested.