The family has been farming in the Sexsmith area for about 75 years
By Diego Flammini
A farm family from the Sexsmith, Alta., area has been named the County of Grande Prairie’s 2022 Farm Family.
The Vavrek family, who raise about 3,200 acres of grain and oilseeds, and cattle at Vavy Valley Farms, received the honour Jan. 12.
“My family and I are very excited and thrilled to receive such a great award,” Michael Vavrek Jr., told Farms.com.
Vavrek Jr. and his wife Melody took over the farm from his family in 1993. Today, they farm with their sons, Daylan and Brett.
The award dates back to 1969. It recognizes significant contributions to the local, regional and province-wide ag communities.
The Vavrek family (front, l-r) are Michael Vavrek with granddaughter Nataly Vavrek and wife Melody, and (back, l-r) Chandra Oliver, sons Daylan and Brett Vavrek, and daughter-in-law Aly Vavrek. The family welcomed a second granddaughter, Lucy, in 2020.
The Vavreks have been involved in the community for many years.
Since the mid-1990s the family has operated the Sexsmith Curling Club and hosts annual bonspiels to benefit the Organ Transplant Charity.
In addition, the family helped create the Sexsmith Farmers Market in 2017, which utilizes the curling rink in the summer months.
Grande Prairie is full of great farm families. To be recognized among them is special, Vavrek Jr. said.
“It means so much for many farm families in our area to be acknowledged for this great title of trying to make out county a better place to live and farm,” he said. “We thank the County for this great honour.”
A fellow member of the Sexsmith ag community nominated the Vavreks for the award.
Walter Paszkowski, a past chair of the Canola Council of Canada, Alberta Agriculture Hall of Famer, member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and former provincial minister of agriculture, put forward the nomination papers.
The way the family farms is an example of using best tools available, he said.
“Their farming operation functions as the top level of agricultural skilled management and work ethics,” he wrote in in the nomination paper. “Their equipment is a product of the latest technology. Their farming practices are products of not only the latest research but also of their industriousness, which includes proper organization and preparedness.”
The family will be officially acknowledged during the Peace County Classic Agri-Show on March 11.
Anyone interested in attending can call 780-532-9727 for tickets.