Anstice farm family gains provincial acclaim

From left, Jim, Dorothy, Caroline and Emily, Alex, Justeen and Ron Anstice.

Chosen as select 2018 BMO Ontario Farm Family

TEHKUMMAH—Tehkummah Township can boast not one, but two farm families that have been selected as recipients of a 2018 BMO Ontario Farm Family Award. Both the Anstice and McNaughton families are among 11 families chosen from across Ontario that will be honoured at the International Plowing Match next month.

“This coveted award, handed out by BMO Bank of Montreal in cooperation with the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA), recognizes recipient families’ focus on sustainability, community involvement, land stewardship and adaptability in their farm management practices,” a press release from the Ontario Plowmen’s Association states.

“We are honoured, but honestly didn’t know much about the award before this,” Alex Anstice told The Expositor.

Mr. Anstice explained that there are four generations of Anstices living and working on the family dairy operation, Oshadenah Holsteins, which begins with his grandfather Ron, who is still an integral part of the operation. Both Alex and his father Jim are graduates of the University of Guelph and continue to see the dairy operation grow.

“We’re slowly working at expanding the operation and looking at current technologies,” Alex Anstice said, noting that part of the criteria for the award, he learned, was environmental stewardship and incorporating modern technologies.

The Anstice family enjoys attending the International Plowing Match when they can. Alex admits that they likely wouldn’t have attended this year due to the distance to Chatham-Kent, where it’s being held September 18-22, but his mother Dorothy, wife Caroline and daughter Emily will likely attend.

“Agriculture is very important to us,” Mr. Anstice concluded. “Being that it’s on the Island and in the dairy industry (in the case of the Anstice family), it’s a nice thing to see two families from this community honoured. It becomes more and more of a challenge to farm in this area as operations close and distribution points change. It’s nice for people to know that there is opportunity here.”

As was reported previously, the McNaughton family of John, Christine and Robyn-Ashley has also been named as a BMO Ontario Farm Family and will also be attending the International Plowing Match. The families will be treated to a special luncheon in their honour, a family photo and will be gifted with a plaque to place at the end of their laneway.