Premier Alden McLaughlin and Agriculture Minister Kurt Tibbetts will oversee nominations of Caymanian farmers who will be recognized as pioneers of agriculture in the 2016 National Heroes Day celebrations.
Mr. Tibbetts, speaking at a press conference Tuesday to announce the launch of the nomination period, praised the strides made by farmers, saying Caymanians are “marching out into areas of agriculture here in the Cayman Islands that we never thought of before” and noting an increase in cattle farming and farmers growing herbs and spices.
Next year’s National Heroes Day, on Jan. 25, will honor Caymanians who have played important roles in Cayman’s farming industry. The nomination period began on Tuesday and will continue until Sept. 30.
Mr. Tibbetts said that in addition to National Heroes Day, which will recognize farmers, he is looking forward to the opening of the farmers market near the Cricket grounds (slated for October) and the annual agriculture show (scheduled for Feb. 10.)
He also noted that Cayman will host the annual Caribbean Week of Agriculture in October next year, which will be the first time an overseas territory has hosted the event.
“The task of agriculture is hard work,” said Ministry of Health and Culture Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn, who along with Premier McLaughlin and Minister Tibbetts will be on the committee overseeing the nomination process. “It’s a commitment, it’s a passion, and these awards are really an opportunity for us to recognize those who have made the sacrifices and continue to put the effort in and have made the contributions that have got us to where we are in the Cayman Islands.”
Councilor for the Ministry of Health and Culture Roy McTaggart, speaking on behalf of Premier McLaughlin at the press conference, said, “We’re asking the public to nominate people or persons they believe have played a very pivotal role in growing crops, raising animals for food or working the areas of science and research in agriculture.”
“There are many, many men and women in the agriculture sector who deserve to be honored,” he added. “Please help us to make sure they get the credit that they so rightfully deserve.”
The government officials encouraged the public to nominate individuals, even if they assume that others might nominate the same individuals.
Nominations can be made in five categories: Early Pioneer, Pioneer, Emerging Pioneer, Memorial Scroll and Long Service Award.
Nomination forms for the 2016 National Heroes Day awards are available at at post offices and at the reception desk of the Government Administration Building. They are also online at www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky.