The Quast family from Special Areas #2 are this year’s BMO Family Farm of the Year award winners at the Calgary Stampede.. From the left, back row: Brian Quast, Michelle and Glenn Quast, Aly Quast, Oscar Quast, Nolan and Erica and baby, Emily Ball, Mike and Carole Bara. Seated: Ryan Quast, Hayden and Quinn Bara.
With Canadian, family farms being sold at an alarming rate these days it’s great to be able to celebrate the farms that have stayed in the family for generations.
The Quast Family Farms are in Special Areas #2 northeast of Hanna and has been owned and operated by them for 105 years and the Quast family was awarded this year’s winner of BMO (Bank of Montreal) Farm Family of the Year award on July 6 at the BMO Centre in Calgary.
Promoted to create a renewed urban-rural relationship and to recognize outstanding southern Alberta farm families who best recognize to BMO the value of the family farmer to society the Quast family is a great example.
Oscar Quast, his sons Brian and Glenn, along with Glenn’s wife Michelle run the Quast mixed farm with crop and cattle, that was started by Glenn’s great grandfather.
Glen said he came from Russia, didn’t speak the language but homesteaded the property in 1910 and began to build the farm.
Now, with over 14 sections of land, Oscar, who is 81, does the farming side of the business and Glenn and Brian take care of the cattle and everyone pitches in to do all the rest of the work that keeps a farm running, as families often do.
The awards are given out every year at the Calgary Stampede with the municipal districts in southern Alberta nominating one family.
In a phone interview Glenn said that the whole experience has been great and the award meant a lot to the family.
“It’s hard to start out now,” Glenn said, “ farming as a family is important to keeping the farm working.”
The awards ceremony included a reception, greetings from the Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture, brunch, awards presentation, and a family photograph session.
The winning families received tickets to an afternoon Stampede Rodeo performance and also received a family farm gate sign.