Our family is a BMO Farm Family Award recipient.
To be a farming family means to be prepared for lots of uncertainties. One never really knows what to expect when there are so many elements which we have little control over. We just went through a summer of next to no rain, which led to shortage of pasture, cattle being able to go through swamp, reduction in yields, and being restricted to water sources to the barn from wells. Every year is a different year though. This is also the reason we do rotational pasture management and no-till to better utilize moisture and mitigate some of the risks.
BMO Farm Family Award
Receiving news that our family was one of the eleven families to receive the BMO Farm Family Award this year, is a huge honour and is very humbling. To be mentioned among so many outstanding farm families is something I wish my late father would have been able to see. My father was so shy of being in the limelight, but was very community oriented and was always experimenting with new farming practices and procedures.
While I have continued on with community involvement (as my wife has as well), we are still trying new farm experiments such as growing switch grass for a number of uses (like straw bale house construction to mulch and bedding).
My father placed high value on community service. I’ve tried to carry on the tradition. Through the involvement of community organizations, I have received training that as useful as it was for the group, has also been useful to me on the farm and in life.
My wife, our nine year old daughter, and I are all involved in serving the community through volunteering for different functions and organizations. It is my belief that if we look after our community, our community will look after us. This is why as a strong community member, being involved in the church, volunteering, and being on the Board of Directors for Manitoulin Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Manitoulin Livestock Co-operative and Manitoulin Cattlemen’s Association are all very important to me.
Farm & Food Advocacy
My wife has hosted to date, twenty-three ESL (English as a Second Language) students from all parts of the globe. Through exposing city kids from around the world to rural life and life on a working beef farm, we believe this is advocacy for understanding where your food comes from.
Christine has also worked extensively on social media with different agricultural organizations and food producers to be a bridge between the farmer and the consumer. Her first foray into social media with a farm-related platform was with Canadian Beef as a Canadian Beef Ambassador and she contributed to the Canadian Beef Blog back in the day. She has also worked with Chicken Farmers of Canada and Grain Farmers of Ontario.
We are very honoured to be recognized as one of Ontario’s farm families. There are so many hardworking farm families that do not receive recognition for their contributions.
About the BMO Farm Family Award
BMO Bank of Montreal and the Ontario Plowmen’s Association will honour 11 farm families at the annual BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards during the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Pain Court, Ontario on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
The BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards recognize the outstanding contributions made by farmers across the province by bringing the community together to celebrate both these exceptional families and the vital urban-rural relationship.
The winning families will be celebrated during the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, which runs Sept. 18 to 22 in Chatham-Kent. The awards presentation is set for the Pride Seeds Main Stage on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.
“BMO has a long history of supporting the agricultural community, and we are proud to join with the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, to honour these families and their contributions to the rural way of life that is the very heart of Canada” says Julie Barker-Merz, Senior Vice-President, South Western Ontario Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “The BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards recognize the contributions made by farmers across the province, from their deep roots in the community to the stewardship of the lands on which they work, and the values of hard work and commitment that they embody. These 11 families demonstrate how heritage and innovation can work hand in hand to further farming in the province.”
“Ontario’s farm families contribute to their community and to the province in so many significant ways,” says Cathy Lasby, Executive Director, Ontario Plowmen’s Association. “They uphold the traditions of the past while strengthening Ontario’s economic growth, and it is truly an honour to recognize them.”
BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards, which have been handed out annually since 2012, have seen the efforts of 72 families throughout the province celebrated.
– From the Ontario Plowmen’s Association website
Oshadenah Holsteins – Anstice Family (Manitoulin Island)
Shayrina Sheep Farm – Bishop Family (Huron County)
Bradley Farms – Bradley Family (Chatham-Kent)
DeGoeys Flowers – DeGoey Family (Essex)
Foxburg Enterprises, Inc. – Fox Family (Chatham-Kent)
Clovermead Apiaries – Hiemstra Family (Elgin)
Koch Farms/Agri Sales Inc. – Koch Family (Temiskaming)
McNaughton Farm *us* McNaughton Family (Manitoulin Island)
Pryme Farms – Prins Family (Northumberland)
R. B. R. Fur Farms Limited – Rankin Family (Perth)
Raisinview Farms – Zummach Family (Stormont)
You May Also Enjoy Reading:
- McNaughton farm family selected by BMO as role model (Manitoulin Expositor)
- Tehkummah, Ont. farm family wins BMO award (Farms.com)
- Fellow farm family and fellow Islanders: Anstice farm family gains provincial acclaim (Manitoulin Expositor)
Thank you to BMO and Ontario Plowmen’s Association for having this platform to recognize farmers in Ontario. I only wish my dad were alive today to receive the BMO Farm Family Award with us.