Congratulations to the 13 families who are being awarded a 2019 BMO Farm Family Award. For 50 years, farm families from northern and central Alberta communities have been recognized as the recipients of the BMO Farm Family Award. The Northern and Central Agricultural Service Boards select outstanding families who best represent values of the family farm within their rural community. The award honours both their farming business practices and community involvement. The below families will be honoured at the BMO Farm Family Awards Gala at Farmfair International 2019 and will be presented with their commemorative gate sign.
Clarence & Rose Olthuis – County of Barrhead
Clarence and Rose Olthuis own and operate Sunburst Farms Ltd. with their sons and their wives – Kurtis & Helena and Graham & Corinne. Their farm is headquartered on the original homestead established by Clarence’s father in 1934. Originally a hog and poultry operation, their farm now consists of 6000 acres of grain and oilseed. The entire family is heavily involved in their community including lifetime membership with the Neerlandia Christian Reform Church. Clarence previously served as the Chair of the North West Peat Soil Association and was on the UFA Board for over 25 years and Rose is an active member of the Neerlandia Refugee Board.
Kent & Stacey Rude – Beaver County
Kent & Stacey Rude farm with their teenage children, Kaitlyn and Ty, near Tofield. They run a mixed operation consisting of a 10,000 ft2 greenhouse, 800 acres of cropland, and a herd of beef cattle. The Rude Family use modern farming practices including drip irrigation in the greenhouse and GPS and direct seeding in the field to produce annual and perennial bedding out plants, canola, wheat, barley, hay, and beef cattle. Kaitlyn and Ty are active members of the Holden 4-H Beef Club and Kent volunteers as Club Leader. Kent also volunteers as a Coach and his son is a player with Tofield Minor Hockey.
Wayne & Sharyn Terpsma – Clearwater County
Wayne & Sharyn Terpsma farm with the help of their four children—Jim, Brady, Don, and Chantel—and their families. Together they run 225 cow/calf pairs and farm over 1100 acres. Their operation consists of cow/calf pairs, backgrounding calves, and selling bred heifers. Wayne has always had a love of horses and was instrumental in bringing the sport of team roping to the area. Wayne & Sharyn are both musically inclined and regularly donate their talents to local seniors’ homes. They spent many years volunteering for sports teams in the area and have also served on the boards of the Leslieville and Alhambra Community Halls.
Jim & Evelyn Malbeuf – Lac La Biche County
Jim and Evelyn Malbeuf own and operate Malbeuf Farms near St. Lina. Their operation is located on land they purchased from Jim’s father over 40 years ago and consists of 400 head of beef cattle. The Malbeuf Family use solar technology to water their cattle, as well as rotational grazing and planting on their farm. Jim started his career as a mechanic, a skill that has proven very useful in repairing farm equipment over the years. They raised their three children, Kelly, Jeff, and Amy, and all were active 4-H members. Jim has been a volunteer firefighter with the Rich Lake Fire Department for over 25 years.
Will & Joan Petluk – Northern Sunrise County
Will and Joan Petluk farm with their son, Kyle, and his wife, Jasmin. Their operation, P-Nutz Farms Inc., produces grain on 10,000 acres of owned and rented land. Will is a founding member of the East Peace Water Co-op, where he has continued to serve for 28 years. He was also a founding member and Chairman of the Peace River and District Health Foundation. Joan is part of Ukrainian dance, church, and 4-H groups. Kyle has served on the Agricultural Service Board since 2015 and is involved with the Peace River Boating Association. Will and Kyle are both active members in local political constituency associations.
Robert & Carrie Dickson – Municipal District of Peace
Mighty Peace Honey is owned and operated by Robert and Carrie Dickson and their sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew and Kyla, and Brendan and Heather. They raise their own queens to propagate their 4000 hives. The entire family is very involved in their industry and the community. Past and current involvement includes the Alberta Honey Producers, the Grande Prairie Regional College Beekeeping Program, East Grimshaw Water Co-op, Grimshaw Minor Hockey, Grimshaw Figure Skating Club, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and local sporting and seniors’ groups. The Dickson Family also regularly donate honey products to local fundraising events.
Doug & Lyla Yanishewski – Saddle Hills County
Doug and Lyla Yanishewski farm near Spirit River with their daughters and their husbands, Candace and Cody, Kristen and Reid, and Jaclyn and Blaine. As their daughters married and bought land, their grain farm grew and now covers 9000 acres in owned and rented land. The entire family is very community minded. Their extensive volunteer involvement includes St. Joseph Parish Council, Fourth Creek Community Association, Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, Savanna Agricultural Society, Bonanza Fire Department, Spirit River Victim Services, Fourth Creek Ladies Club, Prairie Winds Quartet, Savanna Fire Department, and various school groups, 4-H clubs, and sports teams.
Bernard & Monique Maisonneuve – Municipal District of Smoky River
Fermes Maisonneuve Farms was established in 1947. Today, the farm is owned and operated by Bernard and Monique Maisonneuve and their sons and daughters-in-law—Christian and Sylvianne, Michel and Denise, and Andre and Monique. The operation consists of 34,000 cultivated acres in grain and forage. Family involvement in the community includes the High Prairie Seed Cleaning Co-op, Smoky River Surface Rights Board, St. Guy Parish, Guy/Donnelly Sportex Board, and various sporting organizations. The Maisonneuve Family is also instrumental to several Francophone groups in the region including Café Nord-Ouest, La Société du Centre Communautaire Rivière-la-Paix, Ecole Heritage School Council, and the Federation of Francophone Parents.
Kevin & Janice Wirsta – County of St. Paul
Kevin and Janice Wirsta own and operate K-Cow Ranch with their daughters, Kailey and Lexi. Their operation, consisting of 250 head of purebred Charolais, Hereford, and Angus cattle, includes the homestead established by John Wirsta in 1916. Kailey and Lexi are both members of the St. Paul 4-H Light Horse Club and Elk Point 4-H Beef Club and their parents volunteer as leaders. Kevin and Janice also volunteer with the Stoney Lake Community Association. Kevin currently serves on the Beef Committee for Farmfair International and K-Cow Ranch is a long term Farmfair exhibitor. K-Cow Ranch has hosted international delegations and agricultural students from Russia, Brazil, Finland, France, and Austria.
Carol & Darrel Maier – Strathcona County
Carol and Darrel Maier have own and operated Country Road Greenhouses for the past 21 years with the help of their children Melanie, Denver, and Tracy. They produce flowers and vegetables in over 12,000 ft2 of greenhouse space. Their operation has adopted many innovative practices including using only 100% compostable pots which has prevented over 2 million pots from entering the landfill since 2009. Carol and Darrel have offered their greenhouse as a host site for many Agriculture Service Board tours, garden tours, and various food and horticulture events. The family has also raised several assistance dogs for the Dogs with Wings program.
Greg & Marie Lychak- County of Two Hills
Greg and Marie Lychak farm grain with their children—Dana, Erin, and Connor, on 1500 acres near Derwent. Greg is the third generation to farm the same land since 1932. He has served as President for more than five years with the Derwent and Area Agricultural Society and on the Derwent Fire Department since 1992. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Myrnam Seed Cleaning Plant. The entire family actively participate in the Derwent Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Parish. When not busy farming, the Lychak family enjoying relaxing at their lake lot and snowmobiling together.
Todd & Janine Hames – County of Vermilion River
Todd & Janine Hames own and operate Hames Ridge Farms Ltd. with the help of their daughters Justine, Brittany, Brooke, and Shelby. Their fourth-generation farm consists of 5000 acres in grain and oilseeds. Todd is very involved in industry groups including the Canadian Canola Growers, Grain Growers of Canada, Alberta Wheat Commission, and Cereals Canada. His extensive community involvement includes the Marwayne Agricultural Society, Marwayne Community Hall, Marwayne Curling Club, and Lloydminster Catholic Church Board. He received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 for his volunteer work. Janine’s involvement includes the Figure Skating Association, Marwayne Dance Association, and Midwest Family Connections.
Randy & Sandy Lorentz – County of Wetaskiwin
Sunrise Farms Ltd. is owned and operated by Randy and Sandy Lorentz and their daughter and son in law- Amanda and Ty. They grow grain and forage and raise 90 head of beef cattle on nearly 1100 acres. The farm started in 1952 with Randy’s parents, Ed and Marian, who are now semi-retired. Randy is active in industry groups including the local seed cleaning plant, Pigeon Lake Cattle Feeders Association, and Alberta Cattle Feeders Association. Ed and Randy are both long term school bus drivers and serve on the Wetaskiwin School Bus Association. The entire family are very active in church and sport activities.