A fourth generation family farm in Rocky View County has been recognized at the 22nd Annual BMO Farm Family Awards at the 2018 Calgary Stampede.
The Taks Farm west of Crossfield was one of 20 to receive the honour on Monday (July 9). Murray Taks, who farms with his two sons Kevin and Ryan, says his the farm started in 1928 when his grandfather emigrated from the Netherlands. His father took the farm over and Taks joined his father on the farm in the early 70's.
His son Ryan is involved in the grain aspect of the farm while Kevin who looks after the cattle. Taks also gives credit to the person he calls the most important of the farming operation, his wife Reba.
Taks says he and his family really enjoy the lifestyle that goes with farming. "It's hard work but it has its rewards. Number one we're working together as a family unit and that means a lot to us. Not every day's the most pleasant every day but we're all after the same goal at the end of the rainbow. We're want to do things right and try to be as productive as we can on what we have."
The BMO Farm Family Awards celebrate outstanding entrepreneurial dedication to the agricultural sector and to the rural way of life. When it comes to entrepreneurs, not many people can top the Taks'.
Murray says, "My son Kevin started a hormone-free meat business called Long-Run Ranch Beef that's adding stability to his end of the cattle. We were one of the cattle. We were one of the first in the area years ago to start with GPS (Global Positioning System). We do satellite imaging of our fields."
Taks says if there's one thing you can count on in agriculture it's change. "I'm lucky," he says, "I've got two sons that have come up through the ranks of our organization and they keep up with the technology. I probably would have got lost in it at my age but they keep it coming. Sometimes I shake my head at what they suggest but usually, in the end, it's a payback situation."
The current farm consists of around 5,000 acres of cropland and another 1,200 to 1,500 acres of pasture and hayland.
Taks says farming is his life and it's the life for his sons as well. And, with three grandchildren and another on the way, he believes the farm is in good hands for years to come.
"Right now I'm at the age where I don't do a lot of the business end of it anymore. I have input and help make the final decisions but I do the easy work. I like to sit on the tractors and the combines. I call that the easy work 'cause the business end is the big end. Grain futures and cattle futures are so important now to keep a farm viable."
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