Alan and Yvonne Whitrow of Southampton Farms are the recipients of this year's Golden Sheaf Award.

The Yellow Grass area farmers were presented with the honour during the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce's annual Agriculture Appreciation Night, held last night at McKenna Hall.

"Farming has afforded myself and my wife and my kids, and so many of you in the room, the flexibility to do what you wanted to do with your life," said Alan during his reception speech. 

"We need to celebrate what we've done as farmers, and how we need to look forward to the next generation of farmers and make sure that the community aspect that farming brings to the community is able to carry on."

Whitrow said thanks to contributions from ag producers, there will be more rinks built in small towns.

"They'll be building more things that that push communities forward, [...] because of the farmers in this room and their anticipation, and their intrigue, and their sense of 'well, let's get things done'. So thank you very much."

He thanked Meyers-Norris-Penny for the nomination and the Chamber of Commerce for considering his nomination.

"I'm blown away by this by the chance to stand up here and accept this award, so thanks very much."

Alan and Yvonne represent the third generation farm family to live in the house on the farm built in 1922 around Yellow Grass. The original barn was built in 1923 and is still in use with the loft converted to a living space, and the original shed built in 1925 still stands. This family cherishes what was built before them and strives to improve what they have.

Upon returning home in 1985 from Olds College, Alan was determined that summer fallow would not be a part of his farming practice and lentils would be. This was the start of Alan trying different things on the farm. Expansion on the grain farm was slow and steady. His dad was influenced by the 1930s and the lessons from that, and the war-risk was always very calculated and risky as far as he was concerned.

In the 1990s a herd of elk was built and continued to be raised for 25 years until the last one left in 2020. The beef herd started with a Hereford base to a crossbred herd, using some composite bulls along the way. Today with family all involved they run a combined herd of 250 breeding females.

Alan and Yvonne started their family in 1995, and now have four children. Over the years with the kids in school, he spent many years as the Yellow Grass minor hockey President, Yellow Grass rink board president, and coached. Today he is still involved as an assistant coach with the Weyburn U18 AAA female Gold Wings hockey team. The farm has allowed so much flexibility to the daily schedule. He has also been a part of the board that managers a converted PFRA as the president since its conversion to a patron-managed corporation in 2014.

The Whitrow family motivated and operated corporation, has worked together in all seasons, and projects. The contribution of every one of them over the years is what has enabled the operation to continue and the life they've led to be achieved.

The Weyburn Chamber has been presenting the Golden Sheaf Award since 1994 as their way of recognizing excellence in agriculture and citizenship.

Candidates are judged in five areas - Community Involvement, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Longevity, Professional Involvement, and Stewardship.