Tom and Florence Stachura are the recipients of the 2019 Farmer Recognition Award.
The annual award, presented this year by Hammond Realty, goes to a deserving farm family in the area as part of the grain show awards night at Grain Millers Harvest Showdown.
“To me it’s an honour. I still can’t believe it,” said Florence Stachura in a video shown at the presentation. She said as famers they “get doing day-to-day things” and you begin to think “people don’t notice, or appreciate what you do.”
However, being selected for the award makes you realize others do “appreciate the work you put into things,” she added.
Later the couple was asked what their initial reaction had been when first contacted about getting the award.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said Tom.
“Shocked,” added Florence. “We thought they’d made a mistake.”
In selecting the Stachura’s the committee found both a family farm and mixed farm in its truest sense.
Tom said he has always been a farmer.
“I started right out of high school,” he said, adding that was 43 years ago.
And dirt was under his fingernails earlier than that too.
“I farmed with Dad all my life,” he said.
Even today some of 3000 acres the Stachura’s crop each year can be traced back to Tom’s father.
In addition to the crop land the Stachura farm, located 15 miles south of Yorkton on the west side of Crescent Lake, runs 250 cows, with the calves wintered on the farm.
A small flock of sheep is raised, initially as a tool to teach their children “how to work with animals,” including time in 4-H, said Florence.
There are some pigs too.
Florence said they try to produce “as much of our meat off our farm as we can.”
When you have a large family raising your food makes sense, and as noted this is a family operation with the Stachura’s raising six children.
Five of those took agriculture-related training post high school, and two are still actively involved in the family farm.
With some obvious pride Florence noted three of our daughters “are married to farmers.”
“It got in their blood just like it did ours,” she told Yorkton This Week.
There are horses for riding too, although not just for pleasure. The mounts are used when moving cattle in the pasture, although a quad also gets some action now too.
While Tom says he has no preference; cows or land, Florence has a favourite.
“Driving the combine, that’s my baby. Harvesting the crop at the end of the year is a gratifying experience after all the time and work that went into it (the crop),” she said.
The family farm has been good to the Stachura’s and they hope that the way they have done things can endure in the years ahead, although they admit to worrying it may not.
“We hope the family farm can continue,” said Florence, but with bigger corporate farms buying up land it won’t be easy for smaller farmers to continue.
But for those who make it work a mixed farm, the family working together, it can be a gratifying way of life.
For additional Harvest Showdown coverage check out; Farmer Recognition Award winner, chore team competition, Clydesdale Cup winner, students tour event, unique jams and jellies, commercial cattle show, Council herds sheep, horse pulls