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Malyk Family Rocky View's 2010 Master Farm Family

Rocky View County awarded its 2010 Master Farm Family Award to the Malyks, who farm 1,400 acres near Goldenrod.
(Left to right) Lloyd, Kay, Matthew, Gary, Ben, Erin and Debbie Malyk pose for photos with Earl Solberg of Rocky View County after accepting the 2010 Master Farm Family award
(Left to right) Lloyd, Kay, Matthew, Gary, Ben, Erin and Debbie Malyk pose for photos with Earl Solberg of Rocky View County after accepting the 2010 Master Farm Family award during a lunch break at Dartique Hall near Bottrel, June 25.

Rocky View County awarded its 2010 Master Farm Family Award to the Malyks, who farm 1,400 acres near Goldenrod.

The Award, which has been given out every year since 1989, is presented to a family that shows excellence in the areas of community involvement, agricultural business, industry involvement, team farm management and technical farm practices.

“It’s quite an honour,” said Gary Melyk. “I think back over the past people who have won it, and I find it to be quite an honour to be included with them.”

The Malyk family’s history in the area dates all the way back to before the First World War, when Lloyd’s father Ollie worked for two farmers in the region. He bought his first section of land in 1921.

“The award really speaks to the character of our ancestors and the quality of the land here, this is a great area,” said Gary. “You wouldn’t see families sticking it out for three or four generations if it isn’t good.”

The family consists of Lloyd and Kay, father and mother of Gary. Gary and his wife Debbie have three children, Erin, Matthew and Ben.

The Malyk’s 1,400 acre operation both rents and farms the land, primarily barley, hay, peas and canola, while the family also run a 120-head herd of commercial beef cows, breeding and raising the replacements.

More recently, the Malyk’s have diversified their operation by adding a commercial greenhouse business to the farm.

“The reasoning behind that is my wife has her papers in horticulture,” said Gary. “She started a business a few years back working out of a friend’s greenhouse, but they needed the space back. We looked at other options, but the most plausible was to build our own facility. It’s right in the backyard.”

The family has utilized modern farming practices like conservation tillage, crop rotating and GPS seeding and spraying.

When the family is not on the farm working, they are spending time in their community.

Lloyd spent 25 years on the West Airdrie Rural Electrification Association, and still sits on the Alberta Wheat Pool Advisory Committee and the United Farmers of Alberta Advisory Committee.

Kay helped found the Goldenrod Multi-Club 4-H, and served as its leader for more than 10 years, and makes time to volunteer at her local Bethany Care Centre weekly.

Debbie has been a member of the Goldenrod Community Hall Board, as well as leader of the Airdrie 4-H Beef Club, and she helped found the Airdrie Horticultural Society.

Gary has served on the Rocky View Rural Crime Watch and the Alberta Wheat Pool Committee, while maintaining the farm at home.

The Malyk children are all enrolled or just finished post secondary studies, but always find some time to come home to help out.

Ben, 25, has just finished his journeyman welders program and is working out of Crossfield.

Twenty-three-year-old Matthew is currently studying to be a doctor of veterinary medicine and hopes to become a large animal vet.

The youngest Malyk, Erin, is studying to become an animal health technician at Olds College and, according to her father, is a good machine operator around the farm.

“If any of them want to return to the farm, that would be nice,” said Gary. “What they want to do is more important than what I want them to do.”

Gary says that it’s the generations before him that have made the life he is living today.

“I don’t think we are doing anything real profound, our agricultural operation is fairly conventional, I think its just the attention to detail,” said Gary.

“I don’t think that we would be where we are today without our predecessors doing what they did. Dad got his help from his dad - that’s just the way a farming family works.”

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