Legacies honoured at Century Farm Family Awards

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June 5, 2014 - 12:00pm
Bob Sanders and his daughter Cheryl at the Century Family Farm Awards ceremony at the Western Development Museum. Megan Lacelle/News Talk Radio
Bob Sanders and his daughter Cheryl at the Century Family Farm Awards ceremony at the Western Development Museum. Megan Lacelle/News Talk Radio

Bob Sanders farms on the same plot of land as his father and his father's father.
 
In 1914 his grandfather homesteaded by Shell Lake, Sask., and since then the Sanders family has continued the farming tradition. Sanders is just one of the more than 300 families honoured with the Century Family Farms Award this year.
 
"It's got a lot of prestige, someone put a lot of work into it to start with and just to try and keep it going."
 
Sanders' great grandmother's family also homesteaded a hundred years ago in the same area, he maintains both plots. He said family farms have changed drastically over the past century.

"Well from oxen and dragging an old cart behind to air seeders and pretty high tech equipment, it's come a long ways."

Information Services Corporation has presented the award to more than 3,600 Saskatchewan since 2007.
 
Torance Tornquist farms by White Fox and Nipawin. His parents homesteaded in 1914 and since then his family maintains the tradition.
 
"The approach to farming is entirely different from the homesteading days," Tornquist said.  "You had to have cattle, have your own gardens, make your own butter and now it's all supermarket stuff. You sell your grain, take your cash, pay your power and your taxes."
 
However, he says many of the new generation farmers are educated formally, something he says helps them manage the farm more effectively.
 
Talking about the family farm stirs up emotions for Randy and Kelly Nieckar. The couple took over Randy's family farm by Rama more than 20 years ago. The century-old homestead means hard work and tradition to their family.
 
"It's a business, but it's still a livelihood," Randy said.
 
The pair say they love what they do, but would caution new farmers.
 
"It's blood, sweat and tears in every aspect and you have to be willing to sacrifice in order to reap bounties of benefits. So you have to be mature enough to take that on," Kelly said.  "If you're going to do it, caution is a big one. Set your goals, think it through and work at it diligently, but cautiously. If you do that, and manage it well, you'll do well."
 
mlacelle@rawlco.com

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