CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/08/13 -- The Calgary Stampede and BMO Bank of Montreal today recognized 16 southern Alberta families for their outstanding contributions to Alberta's agricultural sector at the 17th annual BMO Farm Family Awards.
"What these outstanding farm families demonstrate is how far farm management has come, as a result of vast changes in technology and business and sustainability practices," said Mike Darling, vice-president, Southern Alberta Commercial District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "As a bank, we need to keep pace and provide financial solutions that are innovative to be able to match progress."
The Hon. Verlyn Olson, QC, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was on hand along with Stampede executive and board members and BMO agribankers to congratulate the recipients of the 2013 BMO Farm Family Awards.
"Alberta's farm families are the backbone of our rural communities, and their spirit and hard work have made our province into what it is today," says Verlyn Olson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. "As agriculture continues to grow and evolve, exceptional farm families like these will continue to have an important role in driving our agriculture industry."
"Family and agriculture lie at the heart of the Stampede's values," says Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board. "As Alberta becomes increasingly urban, we strive to find ways to draw connections back to our rural surroundings and roots. The families being recognized today embody that connection. Their contributions and community involvement enrich all of our lives and the municipal districts of southern Alberta have handpicked the families you see here today."
Survey: Canadians Believe it is Important to Support Canadian Family Farms
In celebrating the BMO Farm Family award winners, Mr. Darling also revealed the results of a BMO study conducted earlier in June that asked Canadians how they perceive the family farm. Not surprisingly, Canadians overwhelmingly agree that running a family farm is a difficult job (97 per cent) and that it is important to support Canadian family farms (98 per cent).
"The best way for Albertans to show their support for the family farm is through their wallet," said Darling. "The BMO survey confirmed that nearly all Canadians would be more likely to buy produce if they knew it was grown on a Canadian family farm. Albertans are also top of the 'buy local beef' band wagon. At 74 per cent, consumers in Alberta are more likely to buy local beef versus 60 per cent for the national average."
The results of the survey demonstrate the importance of Alberta's agricultural sector to consumers. Agriculture has been a constant theme of the Calgary Stampede and an important component of BMO Bank of Montreal's commercial banking business in the province.
The BMO Farm Family Award recipients were chosen for this honour by the Alberta Agricultural Service Board based on the difference they have made to the farming community. The awards highlight many innovations and skilled business and environmental practices of Alberta farmers and ranchers within an industry that also upholds western heritage and family values.
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