Rocky View County farm family awarded at the Calgary Stampede
By: Kristen Spruit
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:23 am
Rocky View County (RVC) residents Rod and Cheryl Morison were among the 20 southern Alberta families recognized by the Bank of Montreal and Calgary Stampede for their contributions to Alberta’s agriculture industry.
At a special event held at the Stampede Park in Calgary on July 7, the Morisons received a 2014 BMO Farm Family Award.
“Today’s modern farm families are both savvy entrepreneurs and innovators, who continue to embrace new techniques to improve their day-to-day operations and put high-quality food on our tables,” said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Verolyn Olson during the presentation of the awards.
“Their hard work and commitment to their families and communities makes them part of the bedrock of our agriculture sector and rural Alberta,” Olson added.
“These families have successfully melded the ideas and traditions of the past with modern agri-business practices,” said Mike Darling, regional vice president of Commercial Banking for Southern Alberta for BMO Bank of Montreal.
Morison said “it was a total honour,” to be awarded, adding humbly he thinks “there are a lot more deserving people in the community.”
The couple have roots in the community that date back to 1920 when Rod’s grandfather settled on the land located west of Airdrie.
“We had four generations on it at one time. My grandfather built this place and we expanded on it since,” he said.
At one point, the family was running a 400-head commercial herd and a 4,500-head capacity feedlot. But, Morison said they have scaled-back to a yearling operation and growing barley and canola for harvest.
“For 25 years, we worked 345 days a year, so there’s a ton of work that goes into it. It was a lot of hard work building this, so now we have to enjoy it,” he said, adding they have done a lot of work over the years with GrowSafe Systems to research residual feed intake – a tool used to calculate the efficiency of growing cattle – to aid in their success. The Morison family was also named RVC’s Master Farm Family in 2011. They were recognized for their outstanding community spirit and forward-thinking in the agricultural industry.
Morison and Cheryl are members of various volunteer groups and organizations, including the Airdrie Agricultural Society, the Calgary Central Feeder Association, and the Calgary Stampede. They have also been involved with 4-H clubs in various ways, and their two sons, Harley and Carter, were members of the Balzac 4-H Beef Club.
Each 2014 BMO Farm Family Award winner received a personalized farm gate sign and tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.