Bob Luce, 91, stands in his favourite spot - his greenhouse - on the property where he was born north of Crestomere along what is now Secondary Highway 792. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Farm north of Crestomere honoured for century’s worth of longevity

Luce family farm one of the last family owned operations still running after 100 years

It’s uncommon these days that a working farm has remained in operation by the same family for a full century.

However, that’s the case with the Luce family, Ponoka County’s latest Century Farm that was officially recognized during a sign raising and ceremony on July 28 at the ranch located nine kilometres north of Crestomere on Secondary Hwy. 792.

Originally settled in 1919 by the grandparents of 91 year-old Bob Luce, the property is currently being worked as an organic beef operation having evolved and changed a few times over the past century.

“My grandparents, along with my father and his brother and sister, came up from Montana after the original 1912 homestead failed to produce a decent crop in seven years,” he explained.

“There are very few families left on their own land this long up here, but even less are still farming the same land.”

The farm is entering its fifth generation and is showing no signs of slowing down, with Bob and his wife Rhonda still living in the house he built more than 60 years ago and their son Brian with his family residing in houses on the same property.

Bob was actually born in a log home on the land and only left briefly to go to Olds College, at which point he got more involved in the operation in late 1950s. Bob’s dad took over the farm in 1925 after showing up on his honeymoon, learning then that his father was going back to the U.S. after suffering a heart attack.

“We’ve always run beef, but I sold off the dairy and pigs and never regretted it. Just wasn’t enough time to do everything,” said Bob, who was all gung-ho for progress and innovation.

“Modernizing was a good thing and not owning all the land, you couldn’t get big enough so we eliminated the rest. The cattle business though is like an insurance policy, it’s always there. You can sell a cow anytime and, so, it’s worked out well for us.”

Brian took over in the 1980s, even though Bob kept working a bit until about five years ago, going from a mixed farm to grain and beef then to grazing and now back to more grain plus certified organic beef on about 1,700 acres.

“Having the kids – David, Matthew, Thomas, Rachel – around to help continue on, its really nice. That isn’t the usual on the farm anymore,” Brian said.

“It’s a lot less physical labour now and easier with the automation, but the economies of scale and having to crank out the product hasn’t changed. Though, the real challenge is dealing with things with no chemicals or weed spray.”

For Bob, he is proud of the recognition, calling it quite an accomplishment to maintain a running farm in the same family and he really hopes the latest generation can keep it going for another century.

 

Just Posted

Ponoka County grader lease program will continue

Bridge tender awarded, gravel work extended until September

Over 1,000 barrel racers pouring into Ponoka next week for ABRA Finals

Over a thousand barrel racers will be converging on Ponoka next week… Continue reading

Downhill Derby deadline due directly

Ponoka’s annual soapbox race slated for Sept. 7

PHOTOS: Samson Pow Wow

This year showcased the unity for Maskwacis first nations and the strengthening of treaties

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

What could be next? Five questions in the SNC-Lavalin saga

Will police lay charges? Will report resonate with voters? Will Jody Wilson-Raybould get re-elected?

Alberta government strikes panel to advise on wage cut for alcohol servers

Panel is tasked with consolidating existing studies on the effects of a minimum-wage increase

‘Tips on steroids:’ Social media both a help, hurdle for Canadian police investigations

More than 1,000 tips were received by police in the hunt for fugitives Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky

B.C. homicide victim’s brother says he may never know why she was killed

Stetson Deese the family is preparing for the possibility they’ll be left in the dark on motive

Alleged child porn upload to internet leads to charges against Edmonton doctor

Police say the 47-year-old man was arrested Aug. 11 after an investigation

Alberta, Saskatchewan say they have no plans to put carbon tax stickers on pumps

The federal government has imposed a carbon tax on Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick

Most Read