BMO survey shows Albertans overwhelmingly support Canadian-grown agricultural products
Calgary, July 11, 2011 – The Calgary Stampede and BMO Bank of Montreal today recognized 18 southern Alberta families for their outstanding contributions to the Alberta agricultural sector.
The Hon. Jack Hayden, Minister of Agriculture, was on hand along with Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede to congratulate the recipients of the 2011 BMO Farm Family Awards at a ceremony held at the Calgary Stampede.
Each farm family from Southern Alberta was nominated for combining the ideals and traditions of the past with advanced agri-business practices.
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.
“Serving agribusiness clients is very important to BMO Bank of Montreal in Alberta and the BMO Farm Family Awards are an excellent way to show our support for farmers 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 the Alberta economy,” Hogg added.
In a speech at the BMO Farm Family Awards, Bill Hogg highlighted results from BMO’s recent survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, that revealed the critical role Canadian farmers play in the grocery shopping and eating habits of consumers across the country. When asked about their grocery purchases, 94 per cent of Canadians said they believe it is important to buy Canadian food; Albertans were the most loyal with 98 per cent saying it was important to buy Canadian food products.
When asked how often they purchase certain Canadian food products, the survey showed that:
· Three quarters or more say they purchase poultry (77 per cent per cent), vegetables (77 per cent), or beef (75 per cent) either always or frequently.
· Seven-in-ten purchase fruit (70 per cent), cheese (70 per cent), and/or maple syrup (69 per cent), and two-thirds (67 per cent) purchase pork either always or frequently.
· Regionally, Albertans are most likely to always/frequently purchase Canadian beef (84 per cent).
The results of the survey demonstrate the importance of Alberta’s agricultural sector to consumers. Agriculture has been a constant theme of the Calgary Stampede and an important component of BMO Bank of Montreal’s commercial banking business in the province.
All of the families are deeply involved in their local community; at least 16 out of 18 employ environmental practices, such as wildlife habitat retention and ten have lived in the same place for over a century, passing on the family operation from generation to 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 for the Calgary Stampede.
The winners of the 2011 BMO Farm Family Awards are:
1. Kneehill County Jay and Lenora Davis, Acme
2. Cardston County Clayton and Senta Gast, Magrath
3. County of Forty Mile No 8 Ken and Kim Kultgen, Foremost
4. County of Lethbridge Eugene Wauters, Lethbridge
5. County of Newell No.4 Bruce and Jodi Niznik, Brook
6. County of Warner No. 5 Keith and Lynne Palmer, Raymond
7. MD of Foothills No. 31 Jesse and Sarah Hari, High River
8. MD of Pincher Creek Hilton and Alta Pharis, Lundbreck
9. MD of Ranchland No. 66 John and Donna Keeley, Nanton
10. MD of Willow Creek Stan and Arlene Lamb, Claresholm
11. Mountain View County Larry and Grace Mullen, Didsbury
12. Rocky View County Harley Walsh, Madden
13. Special Area No. 2 Tom Osadczuk, Jenner
14. Special Area No. 3 Bruce and Karen Peacock, Cereal
15. Special Area No. 4 Kenneth and Vivian Webb and Winston and Darlene Webb, Veteran
16. Starland County John and Nadine Duncalf, Rosedale
17. Vulcan County Mark Lindstedt, Lomond
18. Wheatland County Dwayne and Mary Marshman, Rockyford
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 the Rodeo.
Detailed biographies are available at http://ag.calgarystampede.com/events/453-bmo-farm-family-awards.html#general-information (Click on the Farm Name). Farm Family photos are also available upon request.
The BMO survey was completed online from June 27 to 30, 2011, using Leger Marketing’s online panel, LegerWeb. A sample of 1576 Canadians, 18 years of age or older were surveyed with a margin of error of +/-2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
About BMO’s Sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede
BMO is the official bank of the Calgary Stampede since the first Stampede in 1912 and has been a sponsor for 31 years. This year, BMO will host family-fun events such as the BMO Farm Family Awards, BMO Kids’ Day and the 10-day BMO Kids’ Zone. The partnership includes the title sponsorships of the Farm Family Awards, honouring the contribution of those working in the agriculture industry, and BMO Kids' Day on July 13, which welcomes more than 25,000 people annually for a free pancake breakfast and plenty of fun family entertainment. BMO Centre in Stampede Park is one of the largest consumer/trade show facilities in Western Canada, and was awarded the Consumer’s Choice Award as the city’s favourite banquet and reception hall.