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Young Barton farmer wins top national 4H award

Award one of 15 Thian Carman has won for farming since starting at age 14

BARTON, NS – Thian Carman has done it again – won another award for his farming, that is.

Carman has been awarded the L.E.A.D National 4H Scholarship, worth $20,000.

His reaction was as big as his surprise. He found out as he was working with his tractor, and he jumped up into the air and shouted.

“I was in disbelief – I was thinking, ‘there’s no way I can win this from a small farm in Nova Scotia,’” he said, “but I did, and that’s really something.”


Working up to the win

Carman expressed an interest in farming as early as 6, when he got his first animals. At 8, he was working in a neighbouring farm’s gardening fields, and by 12, he wanted to do it full time.

At 13, he got his parents’ backing to start his business.

“We hummed and hawed, and found ourselves in offices, setting him up as a business,” said Emily, Carman’s mother.

She and husband Paul never doubted their son, and said the signs always pointed to him having a strangely special way with nature.

When visiting friends with dogs, Carman would befriend them. He was also always best at growing plants and tending gardens. And, when on walks or picnics, nature always seemed to find him.

“He’s my butterfly child. They always seemed to find him – I’d look over at my three kids, and Thian would just be absorbed in nature. It’s always been like that,” said Emily.


An innovative mind at a young age

Carman’s young age has done nothing to keep him from finding creative solutions to farming.

He tries something different every day, he says, and uses ideas that come naturally to him, like when he discovered playing acoustic music for his chickens produced larger, heavier eggs.

With a learning disability that makes reading and writing difficult, Carman studies by meeting with other farmers and talking techniques, drawing inspiration for what does and doesn’t work for them.

“I do things that come naturally to me. I’m good at thinking outside the box, and at breaking the mould,” he said.


Family support a key to Carman’s success

Parents Emily and Paul couldn’t be more proud of their son for his latest award and the success he’s achieved in his 18 years.

“It’s almost speechless. That’s how you feel inside – you come up with a breath and no answer,” said Emily, who’s happy her son’s efforts have been noticed.

“Farming is a thankless job, and it’s a job that never ends for Thian. He works dawn til dusk, and many days even after dusk.”

Carman is now at the Dalhousie Agricultural College in Truro studying in the Bachelor’s of Animal Science program.

He thanks his parents – who are also innovative, creative people with unique jobs – for taking him seriously at 13 and helping him start, when others didn’t.

“Farming is something you’ve got to want to do the rest of your life. You’re working dawn to dusk, past dusk, but I enjoy what I do. It’s not work, it’s just a normal day,” he said.


A complete list of Thian Carman’s awards:

L.E.A.D National 4H Scholarship

W. Garfield Weston Family Scholarship, National 4H Award

TD National 4H Agricultural Scholarship

George MacNeil 4H Scholarship

Department of Agriculture 4H Nova Scotia Scholarship

Sister Rita O’Keefe Bursary

King Solomon Lodge N0 54 Freemasons Scholarship

John Abbass Scholarship, Family Business Association

P.A.A.N.S Scholarship

Monsanto National Scholarship

Nova Scotia Power Scholarship

Harrison McCain Scholarship

Dalhousie Entrance Scholarship

Jean Ann Mitchell Memorial Award

DRHS Principal’s Award


See also: Bach makes for bigger eggs – young farmer’s experiment wins science fair

Barton student wins silver at national science fair

Nova Scotia’s youngest registered farmer

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