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Nominations now open for 2019 Master Farm Family

Nominations are now open for Rocky View County’s (RVC) 2019 Master Farm Family Award, which annually recognizes a local agricultural family for their involvement in the industry, community service, sustainability practices and business management.
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Nominations Open
(From left) Don, Gerald and Betty Schissel were the recipients of the 2018 Master Farm Family Award, presented by Coun. Daniel Henn. Nominations for the 2019 Master Farm Family Award are now open.

Nominations are now open for Rocky View County’s (RVC) 2019 Master Farm Family Award, which annually recognizes a local agricultural family for their involvement in the industry, community service, sustainability practices and business management. “Sometimes, these are hundred-year farms,” said Kristyn Smigelski, agricultural services officer with RVC. “They’re involved in their communities, they’re advancing their practices technically. This award is a really good way to highlight that agriculture is still happening within the county. It’s still driving our economy.” Application forms are available at rockyview.ca. Nominators will need to provide information about the farm including the name of the operation, the name of the family members, the farm’s location and why the family deserves to win the award. “We’re looking for a little bit of history about the family farm, their community involvement [and] how many generations, or how long, the farm has been in operation,” Smigelski said. Once completed, nominations can be emailed to AgServices@rockyview.ca or mailed to the Agricultural Service Board. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 28. Once nominations close, Smigelski said, they are reviewed by the Agricultural Service Board, which evaluates the nominees based on industry involvement, community service, team farm management and technical farm practices. The board looks for participation in ag societies, service clubs, youth organizations, educational workshops and commodity boards, as well as family participation, labour management, marketing and sustainable practices. The award recipient is usually chosen in early March, Smigelski said, and notified shortly thereafter. However, the selection is not made public until the award is presented during the County’s annual Ag Tour, which will take place July 25. The award was first handed out 30 years ago, in 1989, and has recognized farms located throughout RVC. In 2018, Schissel Family Farm – run by Don and Betty Schissel near Beiseker – was selected as the award recipient. “Years ago, [the award] was a really big deal, and nowadays, I think it still means something,” Don Schissel said after receiving the award. “I’m one of the few in the area that somebody recognized the fact that we try to do a good job farming.” The Schissel family first arrived in the Beiseker area in 1910 and purchased their farm homestead in 1926. The farm has been a grain operation since the mid-1980s, rotating through wheat, spring wheat, malt barley and canola. “We want to continue to tell agriculture’s story, and we want to make sure that people are aware [of] what’s happening in the rural areas and that farming is still alive and thriving,” Smigelski said. “This is a great opportunity to recognize…the families that are actively farming, providing food and doing all those wonderful things for us.”