The Wakulchyk family farm near Iron River has been selected as a BMO Farm Family Award recipient by FarmFair International.

FarmFair is one of Canada’s leading cattle industry expositions, held in Edmonton every November.

The Wakulchyk family first came to Canada from Russia in 1928, homesteading at Garth, Alberta south of Wolf Lake. Twenty years later they moved their operation a few miles east to the Iron River area.

The three Wakulchyk brothers and their spouses—Bill and Victoria, John and Faye, and Tom and Helen—operate 2,000 acres of cropland and another 2,000 of pasture and forage for their 120 cow-calf pairs.

All three couples were married in 1975. Two sons are working to operate the farm into the next generation.

Helen says family and community are at the heart of the operation, and it all centres around the land—the core of farming life.

“Nature is so important to them. My husband is not happy if he can’t be in the outdoors,” she said. “That’s just how he is because that’s how he’s lived all his life.”

Iron River, she said, is “a wonderful place to raise a family.” 

“There’s a great school close by, and a community that is very involved with functions.”

And neighbours know the coffee’s on at the Wakulchyk farm office.

“Every morning or in the afternoon, in the winter and on Saturday mornings, lots of people stop by. It’s kind of a place that local people know. There’s always somebody there if they want to have a visit.”

According to the Farmfair International website, the Northern and Central Agricultural Service Boards select outstanding families “who best represent values of the family farm within their rural community” for the Farm Family Awards. 

The award honours their farming business practices and their community involvement. This year’s Farm Family Awards Gala will be in Edmonton on November 11.