Young Manchester farmer Diandra Rowe topping her field

A young Manchester farmer Diandra Rowe has blazed a trail of excellence in her chosen field.

Among her accolades are: the -2017 Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Champion Greenhouse Farmer, -2017 and -2018 Most Innovative Farmer,  -2017 JAS 2nd Place Young Champion Farmer, -2017 Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Agri- Tourism Award, -2017 JAS 2nd place class A farm-2017 Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Agriculture, – 2018 JAS Champion Female Farmer and -2018 JAS 2nd place Champion Greenhouse Farmer.

Rowe reaping rewards from her hard work.

Diandra believes, ‘Success is not an accident and dreams don’t become reality through magic, it requires grit, determination and hard work.”

She was born in Mandeville, Manchester and grew up in a small community called Gabby’s Street, which is where she still resides to date.

Farmers reaping and planting crops in Rowe’s greenhouse.

Diandra grew up with both parents, her biggest influences and motivators. Her mom has been a teacher for some 30+ years and dad a farmer and Greenhouse Consultant.

Diandra says through example, her mom has taught her compassion and patience and her dad has shown her the value of hard work and the benefits of being an entrepreneur.

“I had a happy childhood. I have two brothers and many cousins. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my siblings, cousins and neighbours. We spent hours in the bushes and yard climbing trees, picking fruits and filling our tummies before dinner time.

We played many outdoor games. We rode our bikes, drove go-carts, explored caves etc. Some of my best and most memorable moments are from my childhood.”

She was educated at the Church Teachers College Early Childhood, Mandeville Primary and Junior High, Bishop Gibson High School, University of Technology Jamaica

In December 2014, Diandra resigned her job as a car sales agent, to return home to assist her father with the farm which over the years ran into financial difficulties. The farm suffered from a lack of proper management and attention, as her father had started a new company and no longer had the time to give it the required oversight.

Rows of leafy greens ready to be reaped

“I have been managing the farm full time from January 2015 to date.”

Diandra Rowe

My mission when I started was and still is to grow my family’s business for many other generations to benefit.

Her farm, Abbey Farms at Kingsland, in Manchester, Jamaica, now grows a variety of produce items: lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, herbs and a number of leafy greens.

Diandra attributes her success in farming to her drive. “ I say this to myself when I get frustrated and I want to give up – Diandra live how others won’t now, so you can live how others can’t later.”

“Farming is no joke…”

— Diandra Rowe

She is a member of the Jamaica Greenhouse Growers Benevolent Society and Nutramix Youth in Agriculture Ambassador.

Among her qualifications and awards is a BSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a Rotary Club of Mandeville Vocational Service Award for Outstanding Community Service Leadership and Devotion – Empowering our Youth.