The County congratulates the Ray and Dunnigan families of the Halcourt Land and Cattle Company as being named the 2020 Farm Family of the Year. With over a century of farming history in this area and an entrepreneurial spirit that has helped shape the local agri-business landscape, this family has exemplified longevity on the land and a deep commitment to agriculture and family.
About the Ray and Dunnigan families
The Ray and Dunnigan families of the Halcourt Land and Cattle Company are being honoured as the 2020 County of Grande Prairie Farm Family of the Year. The award recognizes a local farm family that has made significant contributions to agriculture and their community. This year marks the 52nd year of the award.
The family has been in the Halcourt area since 1911, starting with Gary’s grandparents, Scotty and Helen Ray and continuing with Gary’s parents, Eldon and Thelma Ray. Today, Gary and Daphne Ray, their son Josh, and his wife, Catherine, along with their three children, son-in-law Don Dunnigan and daughter, Chelsea Ray, and their three children, and their youngest daughter Callie and her husband Bart Balderston, and their three children work together to make their family businesses a success.
Currently farming 3,500 acres of mixed grain and husbanding a thriving cattle operation, the family keeps busy year round. They also own and operate All Peace Realty, Artesian Insurance Beaverlodge and the Riverbend Golf and Country Club.
During the summer, the family takes time to camp on the shores of the Redwillow River and the winter months always include coaching hockey, as well as volunteer work for the minor hockey association and daycare. All of the kids participate in activities including hockey, baseball, volleyball, swimming, and dance. They fundraise extensively to support their involvement in sports. The entire family enjoys the time spent at games.
“We’re thrilled with this honour,” said Josh Ray. “It’s important to be able to carry on a long-standing family tradition and raise our children to be proud of this heritage. We love our farm life and being part of the local community.
Farm Family Recognition
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County postponed hosting the March banquet recognizing the Ray and Dunnigan families and previous Farm Family recipients. An outdoor barbecue event was held in July honour to the family.
About the Farm Family Awards Program
The Farm Family Awards is an annual program hosted by the County Agricultural Service Board which recognizes a local multi-generational family that has made significant contributions to agriculture and the community.
The County in partnership with the Peace Country Agri-Show has been honouring multi-generational farm families since 1969. To express appreciation for the annual Farm Family, and accomplishments of multi-generational farming families and previous Farm Family recipients, the County hosts a banquet at the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show which takes place in March of every year. Nominate [PDF - 53 KB] a deserving Farm Family.
Congratulations to all past winners!
- 2019 Farm Family - Balisky Family [PDF - 318 KB]
- 2018 Farm Family -Slette Family [PDF - 71 KB
- 2017 Farm Family - Eady Family [PDF - 239 KB]
- 2016 Farm Family - Richards Family [PDF - 63 KB]
- 2015 Farm Family - Johnson family [PDF - 218 KB]
- 2014 Farm Family - Schudlo Family [PDF - 245 KB]