Farmers fail to inspire hero nominations

| 16/09/2015 | 49 Comments
Cayman News Service

Kurt Tibbetts, Minister of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure

(CNS): Government officials could be faced with an embarrassing problem in the New Year with few farmers to honour National Heroes Day in January. A government release on Tuesday revealed that so far very few names have been submitted for the agricultural heroes awards, as the nomination period passes the halfway mark. With only two weeks to go, less than a dozen people have been put forward for consideration, and with five nomination categories, this could leave some conspicuous holes in the annual roll call of honour.

Fearful that the community will fail to recognise its pioneering farmers at the next National Heroes Day, officials are urging people to submit names before the end of this month. Nominations, which must be submitted by the end of September, can include farmers, ranchers, vets or those involved in dairy farming or the turtle industry.

There are five nomination categories for outstanding contributions to the development and/or the delivery of agriculture in the Cayman Islands:

Early Pioneer – Anyone who has made a significant contribution before 1960 (may be alive or deceased).

Pioneer – A person who has made a significant contribution between 1960 and 2005 (may be alive or deceased). A commemorative insignia and certificate will be awarded.

Emerging Pioneer – Persons who have made significant contributions from 2005 to present. These persons will receive certificates, but will not receive a commemorative insignia.

Memorial Scroll – Any deceased persons who were leaders or notable contributors to the development and/or delivery of agriculture in the Cayman Islands. These persons will be recognised with certificates, but will not receive commemorative insignia.

Long Service Award – Persons (living) who may not necessarily have been a leader, but who have contributed for ten years or more. These people will be recognised with certificates, but will not receive commemorative insignia.

To nominate someone for National Heroes Day 2016 recognition, complete the forms which are available at post offices, the Government Administration Building, or online at:

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Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The people that commented on this article have no idea what goes in to supplying the island with locally grown produce and cattle. It is extremely expensive and it requires a lifetime of dedication with sometimes little to no profit being made. You would think more people would be appreciative of it. After Ivan it was some of the local farmers that had to provide food to local restaurants so we could actually have food to eat. Do you realize that we import EVERYTHING? If something happened and we could not import anything you would all be praising the farmers then. No dis-respect to anyone’s opinions but farmers do what they do for YOU to make sure YOU will have food locally and won’t have to rely 100% on imports. They deserve to be recognized and I hope that more nominations are submitted.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Heroes Day – tinpot third world vote-buying pseudo-nationalist joke.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can I nominate the Turtle Farm?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Hero Awards. Prime example, along with giving out awards to kids for showing up to school 50% of the year, of why Cayman is broken.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Hero is generally reserved for people who have gone far beyond what was ever expected or those trying to pick up the pieces after serving in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    Just because someone managed to bring carrots to the islands in the sixties or someone who has managed to keep their chickens in one place this year, does not qualify them as a hero in the grand scheme of things!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that when you see a farce like last year’s when they chose a topic that benefits Alden’s entire family then it just becomes a joke! Now it’s agriculture so Kurt and his whole family and friends will get an award. It’s just a joke!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m a local green grower. The countless number of satisfied doctors, lawyers and accountants that use my product give me a constant stream of high accolades. Due to my customer satisfaction ratings, albeit they are anonymous, might I qualify as a stress busting hero farmer? I failed to mention the spin off fast food business I generate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What has Kurt Tibbetts done to encourage local agriculture? Kurt, anyone, care to elaborate? Clue, bringing in genetically-modified produce in by boat or plane does not count.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wotes, it’s all about the Wotes.

  10. Anonymous says:

    more wonderland gold….thank you cayman…hahahaha

  11. Anonymous says:

    10:48 we all understand that low IQ is involved here. Understand totally what you are saying Good Governance. Keep up the good work. You’re welcome. Keep on keeping on and ignore the dumb turkeys and assorted negative comments. We the educated will rule!!!!

  12. Banana Suckers says:

    I hereby nominate the many Jamaicans and Filipinos who, for minimum wage, no pension and limited health cover, toil under the blazing Cayman sun to pick our home grown fruit and dig our root crops from hardened red mole and then man the roadside stands to sell it.


    (With heartfelt apologies to the sensitive types for hitting the caps lock.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    How about Govt start looking into ways that make agriculture rreally successful like 1 financing hydroponic facilities and 2 offering anyways

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should the government subsidise non-profitable private enterprise?

      • Anonymous says:

        It is a national security issue. Cayman cannot allow itself to be totally dependent on imported produce.

        • Fred says:

          Good luck with that – a population of over 50000, limited arable land of any quality, very little ground water, and an unforgiving climate.

          PS what exactly is the threat to national security? You anticipating an embargo by the US?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sadly Kurt is doing this without any sense of irony.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can we vote for heroic idiots instead? Got a room full of candidates in a certain govt building.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can I vote for gunja supplier. He says its home grown and it pretty good. Gotta go pizza man just turned up with my family size .

    • Anonymous says:

      Marijuana, Caymaniana,
      Cheaper than booze,
      safer than pills,
      you can buy it from your nearest farmer

  17. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone consider there might be just too many “categories”?

  18. Anonymous says: says:

    This is so undermined ”

    One would imagine in this hard times going forward issues Caymanians facing his topic is FARMING ! School issues, locals losing homes, generic issues, substance abuse victims breaking into homes on a regular basis help us lord please send a miracle to allow these politicians to understand what it is to wake up with no help. Farming is good but as it stands a lot of people on island has begun to have a farm in there own backyard to keep healthy and pay less at the supermarkets as to heroes am quite sure this cant spend at the bank. Cayman people ! wake up stop sleeping
    Stop talking and find solutions to settle these politicians from getting paid for there own benefits don’t try to find who I am use the money to feed the hungry men and women in this island who cant find funds for there kids lunch to attend school being promise to get back there jobs and nothing being done, People look around see who’s is benefitting some has fail ye I must say but a lot has tried to make it better and was not been given a chance. NOW I SAY WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR OUR PEOPLE BESIDE FARMING.

    Heroes can come later sad day in this island I would imagine this speech would be about the issue facing this country people are fed up not interested can you not see. I have no job and boss to be fired tomorrow never the lest am want not to be demoralize
    Caring fed up local not asking for sympathy just asking for legislators revisit the existing laws and to enforce them to protect our people.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Paul and JuJu for their tireless travels to distant locations over the years, all to improve farming back home.

  20. To tell you the truth says:

    Problem is, most of ya all commenting on here can’t vote, most of the farming community can and do vote. You may therefore continue to complain until the cows comes home (pardon the pun) but the PPM Government know where their bread is buttered.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me but our family would be happy to nominate several quiet Brackers that have contributed in a huge way to farming.
    Mrs. Dorette Chantilope…….produce farming, poultry farming
    Mrs. Aditha Bodden……cattle farming, poultry farming,
    Melvin McFarlane……veterinary work, cattle farming, vegetable produce farming.
    Many other Brackers and Grand Caymanians could be added to this list.
    The Bothwell family and others in GC have been involved in cattle farming for years.
    Mr. Joel Walton…..produce, etc.
    Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Hew…..produce, fish farming, poultry, etc.
    Fruit, vegetable and other produce.
    Why the wall of negativity that seems to have cropped up in this previous number of blogs?
    It’s a wonderful idea to call out the people that even in a small way contribute to the table that we all come to three times a day. Maybe some others will be inspired to plant a yam or a cassava stick to supplement the food budget. Get real folks. There are really lots of people out there that make a huge difference to The Cayman Islands Agriculture theme. Thank you Mr. Tibbetts for being insightful, thoughtful and being a leader.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Not being negative, and to be sure there are many good people on your list, it’s just that the bar for what constitutes “heroism” seems lower than a pumpkin vine.

      And don’t farmers already get their due at the various agricultural shows?

      • Good Governance says:

        Please understand that although the awards happen to be presented at the annual National Heroes Day celebration (that day established separately) the awardees are not being considered heroes – there are only a small handful of very special people in this country (as in other countries) elevated to that level. The awards are to identify pioneering people and those who contributed also with long service – not heroes. Thank you 3:19 for your positive comment.

        • Anonymous says:

          The majority people so elevated are not “heroes” in any sense of the word. Most did their job for a long time. Which is not considered heroic in other countries.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think they should all have their driveways paved free of charge (assuming Ju Ju hasn’t done so already).

  22. Old MacDonald says:

    I nominate the old man that gets the produce from other peoples yards and sells it under a makeshift tent. Him and the lady at the “Farmers Market” who imports all her produce and sells is as locally grown.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I grew some tomatoes last year, can I apply?

  24. K. Kurtdashian says:


    (Apologies to all you sensitive types for the full caps but I needed to emphasise the new campaign slogan for 2017.)

  25. Gong Show says:

    Can’t we just host the “I’m A Caymanian” awards every 18 years, just have everyone line up collect in one lick? There could enen be free food and fruit punch. Imagine the savings.

  26. Grow your own! says:

    How about we stop lavishing hundred of thousands of taxpayer dollars on private hobby farmers?

    This is not an arable land and, despite politicians’ pronouncements year after year, we will never become self sufficient in agriculture. Just another political fantasy, like Cayman Airways making a profit.

  27. Farmers are so fed up with the Services of the Department of Argiculture, as only “some” farmers are recognised when help is required. Right now the Department has a list as long from here to Hell with requests of the people to spray, prune, mulch etc. as the black lice and iguanas has made life a living Hell for most the farmers. Only to be told they only have two people in that department and more help is needed.I heard a cattle farmer sad story that he has lost an animal because help took so long to arrive. Now they have came up with a new idea to close the doors for lunch hours Fortunate or unfortunate most of the farmers are working people and in the past took their lunch hours to rush to the Sales office in Lower Valley as when they leave work 4:30 they cannot reach there by closing time 4:30 to purchase feed and supplies. You go to meetings after meetings and not even a representative from the Department come out any more. Who really have time for this stress?

    • Anonymous says:

      1:28 That department should be closed. They are paying people to work on week ends and one of that group is busy doing maintenance elsewhere and using the departments vehicle, while collecting on call wages as well. A rotten, useless department.

      • Just Driftwood says:

        Don’t forget to give them credit for enforcing arbitrary, nonsensical and extremely pricey pet importation policies. Thanks for curbing the large numbers of loose pitbulls and aggressive dogs by making it an expensive nightmare to bring our own altered, purebred lap dogs in (and refusing a good many, costing owners thousands of dollars and much heartache, because you think in one picture they look vaguely like a bulldog).

  28. Anonymous says:

    Heroic gardening? I wonder why there weren’t many nominations…

  29. Knot S Smart says:

    Have they not thought of the ‘eenie.. meenie.. mannie… mo..’ selection system?…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ok, call me a cynic but there are not many farmers to choose from. Stop this nonsense of awarding every tom dick and harry for breathing.

  31. Lone Ranger says:

    Goodness. Are there any “turtle farmers” still living?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Waste of money and another dumb idea from a government. Go ppm

    • Woof woooof says:

      How can people nominate farmers if there has never been any wholesale information process which told people who is who in farming. Please OPM think before you act, thin before you open your mouth. Also for this to work, you need consistent marketing of the farming industry via radio, social media television etc, so these people who deserve accolades and honor are indeed known by the populace. An Fricultural show once a tpyear is not sufficient. There have been many strides in farming, but sadly john public has not been given the opportunity to know their history.

      Ok ppm Bulldogs come off the farm to get me woooof woooof

  33. Anonymous says:

    This silliness has gotten out of hand.

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