From humble beginnings on a farm in Holland, one BMO Farm Family’s Alberta agriculture involvement has grown substantially over the years. “We moved here in 1954, just one week after our wedding” said Margaret Rommens, who grew up on a farm in Holland. Margaret and her husband Adrian began their Canadian journey by worked for other Albertan farmers, while saving up to one day buy their own land. In 1971, the couple had saved enough to purchase three quarters of land and begin their own operation.
“Irrigation was new to us, but we had to start somewhere and take the opportunity,” Margaret explained. “And good thing we did because we’ve been quite successful.” In less than 30 years, the operation had grown from 30 dairy cattle to 120 – and continued to expand from there, with approximately 200 head today, which are all purebred Holsteins. Along with the number of cattle, the Rommens family grew as well – Margaret and Adrian had six children, and now have several grandchildren, many of whom are in their twenties deciding on career paths (including university graduates with medical doctor and finance degrees).
As the family’s operation expanded, so did their land. The Rommens now own 1,200 acres, which are irrigated with energy-efficient, low-pressure pivots and variable frequency drive pumps. Their interest in energy efficiency brought them to sign up for a solar project. “There’s going to be 100 acres of solar panels,” Hubert Rommens, son of Margaret and Adrian, says.
The Rommens family are an excellent example of the hard work dedication that the 17 families honoroued at the BMO Farm Family Awards demonstrate daily. Their commitment to the environment and focus on community and western values makes the Rommens and each of the 2016 families very deserving of these special awards.
*The BMO Farm Family Awards happen annually and are presented to southern Alberta families who farm together and who focus on bettering their community. These important awards demonstrate the Calgary Stampede and BMO’s support of agriculture and the western way of life.