Kilmagar Farm receives Alberta Century Farm and Ranch Award

Above: Bill Bocock, Dale Nally, MLA Morinville-St Albert, John and Jenny Bocock and daughter Rachel de Vos. – Lucie Roy Photos

by Lucie Roy

The Bocock/de Vos families were awarded Alberta’s Century Farm and Ranch Award.

This award recognizes pioneer families who continue to own and actively operate the same land for 100 years or more.

On Tuesday, July 19, Morinville-St. Albert MLA Dale Nally presented the families with the Century Award.

Dale Nally, MLA Morinville-St Albert, St Albert Mayor Cathy Heron, Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw and Councillor Kristin Toms. Seated -Rachel de Vos, Bill Bocock and John and Jenny Bocock.

Bill Bocock (90), John (88), and his wife Jenny, along with Pieter and Rachel de Vos and other family members gathered for a group photo with the award.

Other presentations were made by St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron and Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. Sturgeon County Deputy Mayor Kristin Toms was also in attendance.

Reflections from  Bill Bocock on farming and agricultural change were followed by his brother John Bocock, who spoke of when the men were called out to war and the families left behind with a labour shortage. He spoke of youngsters, like himself, who, even at the age of seven, were learning how to drive a tractor. His brother Bill started milking the family’s dairy cows at the age of five.

With family, friends, past and current workers on the farm, it was a special time as Bill, John and his wife Jenny Bocock, and their daughter Rachel de Vos and those in attendance reflected on the hard work, foresight and perseverance of the ancestors and family members no longer with them.

On the name Kilmagar, Jenny said Barney Cooper named it. He was the landowner they purchased the land from. The name is Irish, meaning Hills and Trees.

One mentioned that from 1921 until about five years ago, a cow was milked every 12 hours.

MLA Nally said the farm has an amazing history. “Five generations that come around to celebrate 100 years- just think of that,” he said. “This is such a significant event that the government recognizes it with a plaque. That is how significant this event is. Thank you for your contribution to making Alberta what is.”

In her presentation, Sturgeon County Mayor Hnatiw spoke of rebranding and the words that came up in the branding; that Sturgeon County has wide open spaces, innovation, ambition and community, and those are the points that defined this family and the contribution they have made to Sturgeon County and to Alberta.

The presentation was originally planned for 2021 but was delayed due to Covids-19.

Bill Bocock, Dale Nally, MLA Morinville-St Albert, John and Jenny Bocock.


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