Long Acre Ranch receives the 2023 Master Farm Family Award from Rocky View County.
In the County's Yankee Valley, Tracy Hanson and Earl Munro are fourth-generation cattle ranchers and the newest recipients of the prestigious Master Farm Family Award.
"Long Acre Ranch Ltd. has roots dating back to 1913 when Tracy’s great-grandparents immigrated from Sweden. In 1947, Helmer and Mae Hanson purchased the section of land bordering Graeme Dam – part of the Western Irrigation District," stated the Rocky View County (RVC) press release.
Since 1989, the County has given this honour to a ranching or farming family in Rocky View County that exemplifies excellence in community service, involvement in the agricultural business and industry, team farm management, and technical farm productivity and sustainability techniques.
According to RVC, "Helmer and Mae raised four sons: Bob, Bonar, Murray, and Gary, who all farm in Rocky View County. Bonar and Sandra Hanson stayed on the original farm, and their daughter Tracy, along with husband Earl Munro took over the reins to the ranch in 2000, continuing with a commercial cow/calf operation and retaining ownership to raise grass-fed yearlings. Bonar’s passion and understanding of low-stress livestock handling have been instilled in the operation and continue to be adopted by Long Acre Ranch. They use horses to work with the cattle and swath grazing in the winter which reduces the need for bale production. With their location at the end of the Western Irrigation District, the family was able to install an irrigation system initially with side rolls now a centre pivot, which has allowed for a more consistent feed system year-round."
The Rocky View County Agricultural Services Board evaluates applications after receiving nominations from peers in the community for candidates for the Master Farm Family award.
Rocky View County recently purchased some Long Acre Ranch property in order to build the East Balzac Water Treatment Plant, which supplies water to the Cross Iron Mall and East Balzac projects.
The Hanson’s ranch evolved into what is today known as Long Acre Ranch Ltd. The name honours the many hours Tracy and her three sisters spent as youth grazing cattle beside ditches, or as they say in Australia, grazing the "long acre."