By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
On June 5 the M.D. of Taber presented the Geremia Family with the Century Family Farm Award.
“The Century Farm Family Award is intended to recognize and celebrate those founding families who have continuously owned and actively operated the same land in the M.D. of Taber for 100 years or more,” Carley Grant, Communications Coordinator for the M.D. of Taber, said.
The award, Grant says, was presented to the Geremia Family during the June 5 Agricultural Service Board Meeting in Council Chambers. All family members, members of Council and a few staff members were present, Grant says.
“Keeping the farm or ranch actively operating from generation to generation is an impressive achievement for any family,” Grant said.
The Geremia Family, Grant says, operate the Geremia Family Farm, which is located in Division 6 of the M.D. of Taber near the Retlaw area at NE 24-13-18-W4. The farm itself was established in 1908 and was originally farmed by Isidore (Joe) Mancini, who was born in Italy and came to Canada in 1904. Mancini, Grant says, farmed the land in the summer and worked in the coal mines in the winter. Grant says that in 1918, Mancini was joined by his daughter and son-in-law, Christina and Angelo Geremia when he convinced them to move to the farm. After initially working as a section hand for Retlaw’s CP Rail Depot, Grant says, Angelo Geremia eventually took over the farm in 1927. In 1958, Norman and Bertha Geremia took over the farm and expanded it with the help of their family of four. Norman and Bertha’s eldest son, David, operated the farm until 1984 with help from his wife, Fran, and his children. Travis is an engineer with the St. Mary River Irrigation District; Laine is a precision agrologist in Lethbridge and Bryden owns/operates Horse Coulee Farms and works with Bow River Irrigation District, Grant says. The farm was expanded in 1992, and Bertha Geremia also lived on the property until 2015.
“The contributions they have made to our agriculture sector are immeasurable,” Grant said. “Their dedication to agriculture, family and our rural community has helped build a vibrant and sustainable agriculture industry in southern Alberta. Again, we are very proud and honoured to recognize our founding families in such a unique and memorable way.”