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BMO Celebrates Alberta Farm Families at the Calgary Stampede Centennial

BMO Bank of Montreal survey shows concern for youth migration from rural to urban Canada

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2012) - The Calgary Stampede and BMO Bank of Montreal today celebrated 100 years of history together with the presentation of the annual BMO Farm Family Awards, which recognize 20 southern Alberta families for their outstanding contributions to Alberta's agricultural sector.

"The BMO Farm Family Awards celebrate farmers and ranchers in the province," said Bill Hogg, vice-president, Alberta/NWT Commercial District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "These families are outstanding examples of how far farm management has come and the tremendous contributions they make to Alberta's economy. They combine the ideals and traditions of the past with advanced agri-business practices, which are being passed along to future generations," Hogg added.

The Hon. Verlyn Olson, QC, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was on hand along with Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede to congratulate the recipients of the 2012 BMO Farm Family Awards.

"Alberta has an exciting and successful agriculture story to tell and it is largely due to families such as those we are honoring today," said Minister Olson. "The devotion of these families to agriculture, family, community and the environment in which they live and work is something that absolutely is worthy of recognition."

The BMO Farm Family Award recipients were chosen for this honour by the Alberta Agricultural Service Board based on the difference they have made to the farming community. The awards highlight many innovations and skilled business and environmental practices of Alberta farmers and ranchers within an industry that also upholds western heritage and family values.

All of the Farm Family Award recipients expressed a deep and abiding commitment to the rural way of life, supporting their communities and passing along knowledge to the next generation.

"We are proud to recognize these farm families who uphold the traditions of the past while strengthening Alberta's economic growth," said Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede.

The winners of the 2012 BMO Farm Family Awards are:
Farm Name Family Name Area
Bauer Family Norman & Jean Bauer Cypress County
Bricker Family David & Phyllis Bricker Mountain View County
Red Wing Farms Ltd. Allan & Ramona Chiliak Special Area #3
Hogg Farms Bruce, Drann, Norris & Devinn Hogg Kneehill County
Irwin Ranches Julia, Todd & John Irwin County of Newell
Dry Coulee Doug Jensen Family MD of Taber
Krooshoop Farms Ltd Theo & Regina Krooshoop County of Forty Mile
Leeds Family Charles & Doug Leeds & Families MD of Willow Creek
Madge Farms Ltd Phil & Judy Madge Special Area #2
Mason Farm Ltd. Barry & Dawn Mason Starland County
McCann Farm Donald & Marlene McCann County of Lethbridge
Mowat Farm George Mowat Family MD of Pincher Creek
Deitz Farm William Deitz Family County of Vulcan
Redel Farm Ltd. Barry Redel Family Special Area #4
Rowland Farm Phil Rowland Family MD of Foothills
Rowney Families Dennis & David Rowney & Families Rocky View County
Schmitt Family Farm Cameron & Janelle Schmitt County of Warner
Tower Ranches Terry Tower and Family Wheatland County
Webster Family Ranch Barry Webster & Family Cardston County
Mapiatow Ranches Glen & Betty Wideman MD of Ranchland

Each family was presented with a personalized farm gate sign, and had a professional photograph taken. The families will receive admission to Stampede Park and tickets to Stampede Rodeo.

Detailed biographies are available at Farm Family photos are also available upon request.

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

For further information:
Lauren Webb
Media Relations Coordinator
C 587.436.6366

Laurie Grant
BMO Media Relations
C 604.318.0735

Krysta Cooke
BMO Media Relations