Meet Our Growers
Earl Kidston, CEO, Nova Agri Inc.
Earl Kidston is a powerful visionary whose entrepreneurial spirit and love of farming have carried multiple companies through rapid and continuous growth. Earl started his career at the young age of 16 when he started a pig farm with the support of his parents Robie and Edith Kidston. He became very active in 4-H and represented Nova Scotia nationally. He went on to graduate from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and today is the CEO of the Nova Agri Group of Companies that he started in 1970 with his brother Bobby.
Earl has been an active leader in the agriculture and business communities serving as President on many organizations, including the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. He served as the inaugural chair of the Taste of Nova Scotia, Industry Chair of the Canadian Horticulture Value Chain Round Table in Ottawa, as well as being a member of several marketing boards.
In 1986 Earl received the “Motherwell Award” for Most Outstanding Young Farmer in Canada. In 1994 he was recognized by the Nova Scotia Agrologist Society as “Most Outstanding Farmer”. In 2000 he was a member of the team that received the “Award 2000” from the federal government for technology transfer. In 2002 he was the recipient of the Royal Bank “Innovator of the Year” award. Most recently, he received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Chamber of Commerce.
Robert (Bobby) Kidston, Director of Blueberry Acres
A graduate of the Nova Scotia Agriculture College with a specialty in Agriculture Engineering, Bobby is the Director of Blueberry Acres. He has been involved with the family farm for his entire life. His crop experience includes tobacco, pork, fruit, beef, grains, and processing beans and peas. He has a tremendous knowledge base in the art of farming equipment and practices. As an active shareholder in the Nova Agri Group of Companies, Bobby provides an invaluable knowledge base to the team. He is a nationally recognized expert on blueberry production.
“We are committed to working with Mother Nature to produce the best tasting fruits and vegetables”
Ian Newcombe, BSc. Director of Dykeview Farms Ltd.
Ian’s first farming experience came from summer employment at Dykeview Farms Ltd. (parent company of Nova Agri). He received his formal training at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, graduating in 1988 with his B.Sc. in Plant Science (Agronomy). It has now been 39 years since Ian started with Dykeview Farms.
Throughout the years, Ian’s responsibilities have changed from direct farm operations, to the position of Operations Manager. In this role, he is responsible for management of 2500 acres of intensively farmed land and crops. His crop experience includes; peas, beans, celery, potatoes, onions, corn and field crops. He has a tremendous knowledge base on state of the art farming equipment and practices. As an active shareholder in Dykeview Farms and Nova Agri, Ian has gained a great deal of business sense, through negotiations, business and strategic planning. Ian is President of Dykeview Farms.
“When you make your living from the environment, you have to respect it”
Scott Newcombe, BSc, Director of Dykeview Berwick and Onion Manager
Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Scott always had an interest in farming. In 1992 he graduated with BSc in Plant Science (Agronomy) from the Nova Scotia Agriculture College in Truro.
Scott started his career in 1991 with Minas Crop Care as a crop scout and then as a crop consultant, this involved scouting vegetable and potato crops for insects and diseases. During this period of time he was also involved with irrigation scheduling in various crops.
Scott joined the Nova Agri team in 1996 as a manager responsible for onion production and irrigation for Dykeview Farms. In 2004 he became the director of Dykeview Berwick which is an 80 acre farm which produced lettuce and a variety of cooking greens on muck/peat soil, until we ceased production in 2019. In 2018, Scott took over the management responsibilities of our onion storage facilities as well. Scott has also served as a director of Horticulture Nova Scotia.
Sean Edwards, BSc (Agriculture) Business Economics, Blueberry Acres Farm Manager
Sean graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 2011 with a diploma in Dairy Management. After he finished his diploma, he began a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. Sean joined the Nova Agri team in 2009 as a summer student while working on his degree and continued to return each year. He is now fulfilling the position of Blueberry Acres Farm Manager. He graduated with his degree in Agricultural Business Economics in 2016.
Sean in cooperation with Bobby oversees the overall plant health of the crop and business side of Blueberry Acres.
Garry Hart, Vital Berry Foreman
Garry Hart graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1987 as an Animal Science Technician. He joined the Nova Agri team in 2007 originally seeking an operator position, and was hired as Vital Berry Tunnels Foreman. Garry runs the tunnel operation growing grape tomatoes, early beans, blackberries and the Raspberry U-pick.
Brian Morse, Potato Manager Dykeview Farms
Brian was born and raised in the agriculture industry, rooted in the Annapolis Valley. He graduated with his Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University and went straight to work on the family farm after university. In 1992 he moved to his own farm with his wife and young family growing strawberries, potatoes and mixed vegetables. Brian joined the Nova Agri team in 2006, managing the potato division for Dykeview Farms.
Rolf is a Swiss Citizen who graduated from Community College in Switzerland and moved to Canada over 30 years ago. Before moving to Canada, Rolf traveled the world, while living in Israel for a year he picked up his interest in Agriculture.
He eventually settled in Kingston starting his own farm growing fruits and vegetables. He was one of the earlier farms in the region to use plastic mulch and row covers. Rolf began working for Nova Agri in 2007 after selling his farm.
Ag Dr. Hector Jaldo, Researcher and Hydroponic Manager
Hector was born and raised in Tucuman, Argentina. He developed his passion for research trying to find a solution for pest control in his father’s farm. He went to graduate from Tucuman University with his Doctorate in Agronomy. Hector spent 10 years working in the research and development field, becoming involved in the blueberry expansion in Argentina, fruit fly control projects and new soilless techniques for strawberries.
Hector became a reference for the berry industry in Tucuman while serving as the Director of the Horticulture Department in Experimental Station Obispo Colombres in Tucuman. In 2012. Nova Agri offered him a position in Nova Scotia, he saw an opportunity for a new challenge. Hector has been instrumental in the development of a covered hydroponic system that will allow for better manage the ever-changing climate. His key focus the last three years has been to develop a system that will allow growers to profitably produce berries in a covered hydroponic system.