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BMO and the Calgary Stampede Celebrate 17 Farm Families; 20th Anniversary of Recognizing Alberta Agriculture

Calgary – Today, BMO Bank of Montreal and the Calgary Stampede recognized 17 southern Alberta families who best represent the values of the family farmer to our society. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the BMO Farm Family Awards were created to promote a renewed urban-rural relationship and focus on recognizing the contribution to the enhancement of quality of life as a family unit.

“The BMO Farm Family Awards are fundamental in recognizing the many innovations and world-class business and environmental practices Alberta farmers and ranchers implement every day,” said Susan Brown, Senior Vice-president, Alberta and Northwest Territories Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We’re thrilled to honour these families for their commitment to promoting western heritage to future generations and support of the Alberta economy.”

The Alberta minister of agriculture, Oneil Carlier, attended alongside Bill Gray, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede, and Brown, to congratulate the winners of the 2015 BMO Farm Family Awards.

“Alberta farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our thriving agriculture sector and rural communities,” says Carlier. “These awards recognize their unwavering commitment to community and agriculture in our province.”

Each year, the municipal districts in southern Alberta nominate one family. Selected families, who best display the qualities of a Farm Family, are brought to the Stampede for the BMO Farm Family Awards, which includes a reception, greetings from Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture, brunch, awards presentation, and family photograph session. The winning families are then treated to the afternoon Stampede Rodeo.

“For two decades, the BMO Farm Family Awards have recognized the important work done by families in the agriculture world,” says Gray. “They’re an important part of the Stampede and showcase the importance of sustainable agriculture and help bridge the gap between urban and rural communities.”

The winners of the 2016 BMO Farm Family Awards are:

Farm Family Family Name Area
Gruninger Farms Alberta & Shirley Gruninger Cardston County
Papworth Farms Ltd. Richard & Gloria Papworth & Family County of Lethbridge
Hubert & Wally Rommens Farms Patti & Scott Rommens, Wally and Jeanette Rommens County of Newell No. 4
Eliason Farms Ltd. Troy & Sabrina Eliason & Family County of Warner
Neubauer Farms Mark & Nichole Neubauer Cypress County
Ferguson Family Farm Don & Krista Ferguson & Family Kneehill County
Pine Canyon Cattle Company Flores & Margaret Groeneveld & Family MD of Foothills #31
Dryforks Ranches Lester & Doris Hochstein & Family MD of Pincher Creek
Anchor P Cattle Company Ltd. Clark & Ethel Schlosser & Family MD of Ranchland No. 66
Molnar’s Taber Corn & Pumpkins James & Jennifer Molar & Family MD of Taber
Darch Family Farm Douglas and Olive Darch MD of Willow Creek
Dennis & Joanne Overguard Family Farm & Ranch Dennis & Joanne Overguard Mountain View County
Jones Hereford Ranch Allen & Shanna Jones Rocky View County
Broadview Ranch Ltd. Louise, Brian & Debra Berg & Family Special Areas #2
3MC Stock Farms Ltd. Elson & Pat McDougald & Family Starland County
Groves Family Farm Dale & Diane Groves Vulcan County
Praeker Family Farm Herman & Barb Praeker & Family Wheatland County

Each family was presented with a personalized farm gate sign and tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.

More information is available at http://ag.calgarystampede.com/events/640-bmo-farm-family-awards.html

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
About BMO and the Calgary Stampede
BMO Bank of Montreal’s ties to the Calgary Stampede are long and remarkable. The relationship between BMO and the Calgary Stampede is the oldest business relationship in Western Canada, dating back to 1884. BMO has been the banker to the Calgary Exhibition since 1899 when lands were christened at Victoria Park. The Agricultural Society had purchased 94 acres of land from the Dominion of Canada and built a race track, cattle sheds and an exhibition building. BMO continued as the banker in 1912 when the first rodeo took place and it became the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.

See more at calgarystampede.com