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.

Each family was presented with a personalized farm gate sign and tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.

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.