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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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BMO and the Calgary Stampede Celebrate Alberta Farm Families Honourable Achievements

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/07/14 -- BMO Bank of Montreal and the Calgary Stampede recognized 20 southern Alberta families for their incredible contributions and honourable efforts to Alberta's agriculture at the 19th annual BMO Farm Family Awards today.

"The BMO Farm Family Awards are an exciting way for both farmers and ranchers in the province to come together, show support for and promote the increasingly important urban-rural relationship," said Mike Darling, Regional Vice President, Commercial Banking, Southern Alberta, BMO Bank of Montreal. "These families have successfully melded the ideas and traditions of the past with modern agri-business practices. Further, these significant advancements in farm management highlight the impact these best practices have made on the Alberta economy."

The Hon. Verlyn Olson, QC, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was present along with BMO's Mike Darling and Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede, to congratulate the winners of the 2014 BMO Farm Family Awards.

"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 Olson. "Their hard work and commitment to their families and communities makes them part of the bedrock of our agriculture sector and rural Alberta. It is an honour to recognize this year's award recipients for their achievements."

The BMO farm families are chosen by the Alberta Agricultural Service Board; the awards are given to families who demonstrate various environmental initiatives and skills that have changed farming communities around southern Alberta. The BMO Farm Family Award recipients demonstrate a strong commitment and passion to the rural way of life, assisting their communities and sharing knowledge with the up-and-coming generation. All of their attributes positively represent western heritage and family values.

"The Stampede is pleased to recognize and honour the chosen families who make a difference in Alberta communities by demonstrating new agriculture innovations and practices," said Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede.


The winners of the 2014 BMO Farm Family Awards are:
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Farm Family               Family Name               Area
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Bauer Family              Norman & Jean Bauer       Cypress County
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Bricker Family            David & Phyllis Bricker   Mountain View County
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Red Wing Farms Ltd.       Allan & Ramona Chiliak    Special Area #3
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Hogg Farms                Bruce, Drann, Norris &    County of Kneehill
                          Devinn Hogg
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Irwin Ranches             Julia, Todd & John Irwin  County of Newell
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Dry Coulee                Doug Jensen Family        MD of Taber
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Wickstrom Farms Ltd.      The Wickstrom family      County of Vulcan
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Hatview Dairy Farm        The Weiss Family          MD of Cypress
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The Diamond V Ranch       Wambeke Family            MD of Foothills No. 31.
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Silver Top Dairies        William & Rita            MD of Willow Creek
                          VanRootselaar & Family
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Thistle Ridge Ranch       Ben & Carol Tams          MD of Taber
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Sereda Farms Ltd.         Ron & Sereda Family       County of Newell
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Sawyer Farms Ltd.         Matthew Sawyer            County of Kneehill
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Lone Star Cattle Company  Ron & Carla Ostrom        County of Wheatland
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The Nelson Family Farm    Rod Nelson & Family       County of Starland
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Morison Family Farms      Rod Morison & Family      Rocky View County
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Chinook Country Farms     Larry & Joy Gano          County of Mountain View
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Snake Trail Hereford      Howard Davis & Family     MD of Pincher Creek, No.
Ranch                                               9
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Tony Crooymans & Sons     The Crooyman Family       County of Forty Mile,
                                                    No. 8
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Caseley Farms             Jack Caseley & Family     Special Areas #4
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Blake Family Farm         John & Rod Blake &        MD of Ranchland
                          Family
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B H Farms Ltd.            The Bergen-Henengouwen    County of Lethbridge
                          Family
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The Barfuss Farm          The Darcy Barfuss Family  County of Cardston
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David Dick Farms          David & Jackie Dick       Special Areas No. 3
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Olsen Prairie Farms       The Olsen Family          County of Warner
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GPL Christensen Farm      Grant and Linda           Special Areas #2
Ltd.                      Christensen
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Each family was presented with a personalized farm gate sign and tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.

Detailed biographies are available at http://ag.calgarystampede.com/events/544-bmo-farm-family-awards.html.

BMO Farm Family photos are also available upon request.

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We're Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

About BMO and the Calgary Stampede

BMO Bank of Montreal's ties to the Calgary Stampede are long and remarkable. The relationship between BMO and the Calgary Stampede is the oldest business relationship in Western Canada, dating back to 1884. BMO has been the banker to the Calgary Exhibition since 1899 when lands were christened at Victoria Park. The Agricultural Society had purchased 94 acres of land from the Dominion of Canada and built a race track, cattle sheds and an exhibition building. BMO continued as the banker in 1912 when the first rodeo took place and it became the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.

The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through its world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities. For more about the Stampede, visit www.calgarystampede.com.

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