The County congratulates the Balisky family as being named the 2019 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 truly demonstrated leadership in building and supporting agriculture as a key driver of our economy.
Balisky family from left to right: Todd, Lexi, Emma, Luke, Heidi, and Wyatt
About the Baliskys
Lexi and Todd Balisky, and their children of Balisky Farms are being honoured as the 2019 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 51st year of the award.
The Balisky family is notable for its partnership approach to farming and agri-business. As a multi-generational farming family, several members of the Balisky family have created partnerships to establish farm operations in the region. The family also partnered to start Peace Farm Power in the 70s, which has grown to become Prairie Coast Equipment, and Balisky Fertilizers, which later sold to Neils Agri in the early 80s.
"We are truly privileged and honoured to be named the County’s Farm Family for 2019," said Todd Balisky. "Our family has always been close and we’ve been fortunate to work alongside one another over the years."
Todd and Lexi currently live and ranch near the family’s original Bear Lake homestead.
Todd’s grandparents, George and Nellie, homesteaded in Bear Lake in 1912, after they arrived in Canada from North Dakota, U.S. In 1963, Todd’s parents, Terry and Marcy Balisky, and his aunt and uncle, Bob and Ruth Balisky, settled in the Goodwin area near DeBolt, operating a cow/calf, oilseed and grain farm.
In 1998, Terry and Marcy; Bob and Ruth; Todd and Lexi; along with Todd’s cousin Wade Balisky partnered in operations that included beef cow/calf and buffalo ranching, and grain and oil seed farming. As part of a succession plan, in 2007, Lexi and Todd began working with Todd’s sister Lynn and her husband Albrecht Scheidegger to operate the beef cow/calf and oilseed farming operation. Seven years later, in 2014, Lexi and Todd took over the beef operation, which has now grown to over 400 head of cattle. Lynn and Albrecht own and operate the grain and oilseed farm.
"The entrepreneurial spirit keeps us motivated to try different things and diversify our operations," said Todd. "I think it’s a Peace Country trait, as many people in our region have that spirit."
The Balisky family’s volunteer activities are extensive. They range from government committees and boards, to the Peace Country Beef Congress and the Peace Country Forage Association, to local school boards. The family also supports numerous community organizations and youth organizations such as 4-H and minor hockey, and is involved in the Peace River Bible Institute, Bear Lake Bible Camp, and the Peace Country Wilderness Camp – to name only a few.
Farm Family Recognition
The County hosted a banquet at the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show at Evergreen Park on March 8, 2019 to recognize the Balisky Family and previous Farm Family recipients.
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!
- 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]