The Morbeck family farm, a mixed farm nestled in the heart of Alberta, was honoured with this year’s ATB Agriculture Farm Family Award for the County of Stettler.
Sheri and Glen Morbeck of Erskine received the award this month in Edmonton at the 40th anniversary of Farmfair International.
“That’s an honour, for sure,” Sheri said. “We’re basically just doing what we love to do, and want to do for a living.”
This year, 11 farm families received ATB Agriculture Farm Family Awards. ATB has handed out the award for the past 44 years to farm families in central and northern Alberta.
County of Stettler councillors James Nibourg and Joe Gendre nominated the Morbecks. The award is given on the basis of farming business practices and community involvement, and the recipients receive commemorative gate signs.
The Morbecks farm with their aunt and uncle, Wendy and Murray Rowledge, Sheri’s parents Terry and Janet Rowledge, and Sheri’s cousin Cody Rowledge.
The family operation consists of about 6,000 acres of crop and they calve about 400 cows a year, as well as running a small feedlot in the winters. They plant canola, wheat, barley, sometimes peas, winter wheat, rye and triticale.
“It keeps us busy,” Sheri said.
Besides working together on the farm, the entire family is active with East Central Hockey School in Stettler each summer. All of the Morbecks’ children are members of the Erskine 4-H Beef Club.
Glen farms full-time, whereas Sheri works on it part-time and is the librarian at Erskine School. The couple has three children, twins Gracie and Rachel, 13, and nineyear-old Chance.
Glen and Sheri are involved in coaching hockey, and Glen also coaches baseball. Glen has served as a director on the Stettler Minor Hockey Association board. Sheri coaches volleyball, curling and softball. She has been president of Stettler softball for many years.
Sheri grew up on the farm, which her parents began farming in 1970. Her paternal grandfather, Grant Rowledge, who came from Ontario and is now 93, started the farm after buying it from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Although Grant doesn’t live on the land anymore, he still has a role in the farm.
Sheri left the farm to attend Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, where she took civil engineering technician.
She went to Fairview to work, met Glen, and the couple came back to her family farm.
“We built a new house where the old house was that I grew up on,” Sheri said. “Did my dad expect out of two girls, one would end up on the farm — probably not.”
Now, the family will soon celebrate 100 years on the land.
And of the couple’s three children, so far, their nine-year-old son Chance has taken to farm life.
“He loves cows immensely,” Sheri said. “His world revolves around cattle and he’s thrilled to be in his first year of 4-H.”