With over 50 years of experience in the agricultural field, Dave Price of Kneehill County near Acme, Alta. has been inducted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Price has been an innovator and visionary in swine genetics, production, processing and marketing for more than 50 years in this county as well as provincially, nationally and even internationally.
When asked how he felt when receiving the award, he said “It was a surprise. I didn’t know the nominators were doing this kind of work about it at all and in fact when I got the letter from the Minister [of Agriculture] I had to read it twice because I thought it must have been for somebody else.”
He added that family and teamwork has always been key to making anything possible.
“The big thing to recognize too is there aren’t many things that individuals can accomplish – it’s almost always a team effort and there are people that I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and learn from over many different areas in time.
“I hope people recognize their part in that and they take that as some credit for themselves too.”
Both his parents and grandparents were farmers which Price was born into, giving him the experience of the farm life growing up on a mixed operation.
“The genetics business and looking for ways to improve products that other farmers could use was kind of in our blood,” he said.
Although Price is not involved in the day to day operations of Sunterra any longer, he still has a senior position on its board of directors.
He also helps his son on the cropping side of things.
Price was a school trustee for the area becoming the chair for the board for seven years as well as time spent in health care improvements with Greg’s Wings Projects Ltd.
Dave is not the first of the Sunterra family to be recognized with this honour; he joins his dad, Stan Price, who was inducted to the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2002.
Price and four others – two of which were parents Flo and Stan – were approached by a European company to start Pig Improvement Canada Unlimited (PIC) now known as Sunterra Meats, specializing in creating an increased standard for pork producers worldwide beginning in the 1970s.
“Our primary market was the Canadian market and it was at a time when the pig breeding and genetics business and even the production of pork changed from being one part of a mixed farming operation into being more specialized and focused on meat quality and health and performance.
Many know of Trochu’s Sunterra Meat processing plant where local and international markets provide high-quality products. This was purchased in 1989 from a group of farmers.
“The Canadian pork industry rapidly changed through a number of different factors and really became world-class before the rest of the world figured out the ingredients and took advantage of what others had learned from the original company in England and what we were doing here in Canada. It’s been a big change,” he said.
Today, the company has also established Soleterra d’Italia just outside of Acme which creates cooked and cured meats and Sunterra has eight retail locations across Alberta.
Kneehill County council welcomed Price as a delegation to congratulate and recognize him on his induction on Tues. April 13.
Every two years, Alberta’s Agriculture Hall of Fame recognizes up to three individuals whose outstanding leadership, innovation and business practices have advanced Alberta’s agriculture and food industry at the provincial level or beyond.