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Two area couples nominated for Alberta Young Farmers award

The Outstanding Young Farmers of Alberta nominees have been announced and two local farm families will be in the running for the award.

The Outstanding Young Farmers of Alberta nominees have been announced and two local farm families will be in the running for the award.Clint and Marsha Aarsby from the Didsbury area, and Brad and Cheryl McDermid of Torbay Farms located west of Olds, have been selected as semi-finalists for 2011.The Outstanding Young Farmers Award is given to young agricultural producers in the province who are between 18 and 39 years of age.Nominees for the award are selected based on the progress of their crop and livestock production, their financial management, and their contributions to their community, said Karilynn Marshall, the Alberta Outstanding Young Farmers event coordinator.The producers can run any type of operation from cow-calf, to horses, to a mixed operation, in order to be considered for the award.ìBasically we are looking for the leading young agriculture producers in our province right now,î said Marshall.Clint and Marsha Aarsby own a mixed farming operation just east of Didsbury and have, with some help from Clint's uncle, built their operation from the ground up.They farm 2,000 acres of grain and have a 250-head cow-calf operation.Clint said he has farmed all of his life and is still farming the land that his mother grew up on.He started farming with his uncle right out of school and one of the things he enjoys most about it is the challenge.ìThe challenge is the big thing ñ we get to do different things every day and get to raise our kids (ages four and six) the way we want,î said Clint.Clint and wife Marsha were nominated by their banker at the Treasury Branch in Carstairs.ìOur banker said it was because we are the only ones that pay our loans back early,î laughs Clint.ìAnd also we have done pretty much everything on our own and have really grown and expanded (our business).îBrad and Cheryl McDermid own a mixed farm and feedlot just west of Olds, running the operation with Brad's parents and one hired man.They farm a total of 3,600 acres, 1,800 being crop and the rest pasture. They have a 250-head cow calf operation and a herd of about 750 in their feedlot.The McDermids were nominated by their bank, the ATB in Olds, which Brad said was quite an honour.ìIt's an honour that they felt like we deserved to be nominated. I imagine she deals with a lot of people and so it's great that she thought to nominate us.îBrad said the best part of farming is that you have the freedom to be your own boss and you are never stuck doing the same thing.Brad and Cheryl have two children, ages 12 and one.Both nominees will be honoured in Olds on March 17 at the Olds College Alumni Centre, along with Matt and Tara Sawyer of Acme and Dean and Farrah Williams of Arrowwood.From the semi-finalists one farming couple will be chosen to represent Alberta at the national award program in November.