11 families will receive BMO Farm Family Awards
By Diego Flammini
A select group of Ontario farm families will receive a prestigious honour next month.
BMO Bank of Montreal will present 11 farm families with BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards during the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) on Sept. 21 in Verner, Ont.
The awards, which BMO started distributing in 2012, recognize farmer contributions across the province and those families who display the values and hard work associated with farm life. More than 80 farm families have received the distinction so far.
Anyone can nominate a family, which makes the honour more special, said Marc Quesnet, a cash crop and dairy farmer from Moose Creek, Ont. whose family is among the award winners.
“When you get into farming, you never expect to win any awards or be recognized like this,” he told Farms.com. “We’re very happy and humbled to win the award and are looking forward to sharing the day with the other families.”
Getting from Moose Creek to Verner can take between five and seven hours, Google Maps says.
But everything needs to be in order at the farm before leaving for the IPM, Quesnet said.
“It won’t be a whole family trip because someone has to stay back to feed the cows and milk them,” he said.
Johanne Lafrance, a cash crop and dairy farmer from St. Eugene, Ont. agrees.
She and her husband Michel will make the four-and-a-half-hour drive to the IPM to receive their award, but someone needs to stay on the farm, she said.
“We get to take a few days off to go to Verner, but our two sons will have to be here to harvest corn,” she told Farms.com. “It speaks to the notion of the family farm that, even when there’s an opportunity to celebrate, there’s work that needs to be done.”
Each family will receive a plaque to put on their farm gates.
Attaching the plaque to the gate comes with a sense of pride, Lafrance said.
“It’s a very special honour,” she said. “We’re one of 11 families to receive the award (this year) so, when people drive by our farm and see it on our gate, they’ll know we’re kind of part of a special club.”
The other 2019 BMO Ontario Farm Family Award recipients are:
- The Burgsteden family from Thunder Bay
- The Campbell family from Chatham
- The Deschatlet family from Sturgeon Falls
- The Howell family from St. George
- The Parsons family from Sturgeon Falls
- The Rutherford family from Woodstock
- Two Seguin families from Noelville and one Seguin family from Monnetville
Farms.com would like to congratulate all the winners!