A Colchester County farming couple is hoping to convince Canadians of their entrepreneurial zeal in a competition to help fund their dream. Tim and Kimberly Stokdijk, are among nine finalists competing for $100,000 in the Business Development Corporation’s Young Entrepreneur Award contest. The winner will be chosen by an online vote, that closes June 11. “Stokdijik Greenhouses is a great example of innovation in Nova Scotia agriculture,” said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. “I congratulate the Stokdijiks and encourage Nova Scotians to show their support by voting for them.” The Stokdijiks’s grow vegetables in Beaver Brook, Colchester Co. If they win, the couple will use the prize money to introduce a line of high-quality gourmet spreads and condiments made from their produce. The expansion will help ensure the long-term viability of their third-generation business. “We are privileged, as Nova Scotia farmers, to have been selected as finalists in the BDC contest,” said Kimberly Stokdijk. “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase what our industry does best, which is to innovate. If we are successful, we will be able to do more of what we love, which is to feed people in Nova Scotia and beyond some of the best products available.” The Stokdijiks plan to test their creations locally before introducing them to retail grocery, specialty and online markets across Canada and possibly internationally. To vote for the Stokdijks, or to view their video profile online, visit www.bdc.ca/yea.
High blood pressure or hypertension is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Often there are no symptoms. That’s why it is called the “silent killer.” The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked by a health professional regularly. Based on U.S. and U.K. data, the Health Association of African Canadians is concerned that African Nova Scotians are at a much higher risk for high blood pressure. People of African descent have one of the highest rates of high blood pressure in the world. It affects more than 40 per cent of the African Americans. High blood pressure develops earlier in life and is usually more severe in this population. Those who are sensitive to sodium, who smoke or are overweight are at even higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Although high blood pressure can damage your organs, especially the heart and kidneys, there are things we can do to reduce risk and lessen complications: Every May, the “Come On Nova Scotia…Check It!” blood pressure challenge encourages blood pressure screening activities throughout the province. All Nova Scotians should take part, especially those of African descent. Have your blood pressure checked, learn about your targets and live a healthier life. Visit www.novascotia.ca/bloodpressure . -30- lose weight, even 10 pounds will help eat a healthy diet, low in saturated fat and sodium, but high in fruits and vegetables increase your physical activity, aim for 30 minutes a day limit alcohol, less than one drink a day for women and less than two for men stop smoking find ways to reduce stress if you take blood pressure medication, follow instructions