Long-time farmer earns golden award

One of Bentley’s long-time farming families has just struck gold.

Gerry Winia

Gerry Winia

One of Bentley’s long-time farming families has just struck gold.

The 2012 Golden Furrow Award was presented to the Nelson family, who live near Bentley, for outstanding agricultural contributions and community service.

The Golden Furrow Award was created in 2005 to honour agricultural pioneers of central Alberta.

“In this nomination the focus was Glen Nelson,” said Sunnybrook Farm Museum executive director Ian Warwick.

The museum advertises the award in the spring and consults with local historians for families the Golden Furrow award nomination committee should focus on. But, according to Warwick by others in the community must nominate the family for them to be considered.

The award committee received two nominations this year. “We had two strong nominations but one needed more development,” said Warwick.

The award focuses strongly on community involvement and volunteering. “One of the components was missing,” said Warwick, referring to the nominee who didn’t receive the award.

The award committee looked at Nelson’s numerous contributions to the community and decided this year to honour those contributions.

According to a Sunnybrook Farm Museum release Nelson served 15 years as a delegate with the Alberta Wheat Pool, nine years as a Lacombe county councilor, four years as a member of the Lacombe Regional Hospital Board, five years as the secretary/treasure of the Gull Lake Gas Coo-op, 10 years as secretary/treasurer and director of the Deer Creek Gas Co-op, as well as serving the Bentley United Church for 42 years in various positions and coaching hockey for 14 years.

“It was a nightly thing. I’d work all day and do this at night,” said Nelson.

Nelson also designed tractor cabs, cranes and hopper-bottom bins for when he needed them around the farm. He also built a few for his neighbors. “It was a hobby. It never amounted to much,” Nelson said, except its contribution to his award.

“This is an individual and a family that cares deeply about their community and they’re giving back. That’s mainly what the award is about,” said Warwick.

As impressed as the museum is with Nelson, he’s just as impressed with them. “I’d sure like to applaud the Sunnybrook Farm for everything they’re doing,” Nelson said. “They’ve got a great thing for the kids.”