The Tollefson Family Farm is the latest recipient of the BMO Farm Family Award.
The 5 generation farm was first established in 1951 when Elna Tollefson started homesteading near Sweathouse with their sons Wally, Ken, Cliff, and Leroy, and was eventually taken over by Wally’s son Ed.
Ed now owns and operates the farm with his wife and children, and Ed says it is an honour to be recognized for his family’s efforts.
“Kind of ironically my dad won the same award in 1970 when I was five years old, so it’s definitely a huge honour to win it again that many years later with my family.”
Tollefson says the award is meaningful for the entire family farm community, as the number of operational farms grows fewer each year; however, he says his kids’ interest and embrace of the lifestyle gives him hope that the farm will continue far into the future.
“I think there’s just getting to be so few of them around now, and it’s getting harder and harder to make a living farming and there’s not a lot of them out there anymore.”
“I’m 58 years old and it was getting to the point where I was thinking of retiring, but to have your kids farming with you just gives you that rejuvenation.”
Tollefson says he hopes his children will continue to operate the farm and innovate as the future of farming continues to evolve.