Smith area family receives Farm Family award

Leader staff

Fred and Darice Laughy and family, of Hondo, are among the 2021 Farm Fair International nominees for 2021 Farm Family Awards. They received their award at the recent Farm Family Awards banquet, held during Farmfair International, in Edmonton.

This year’s event was unusual in that two years’-worth of awards were handed out. Among the 2020 honorees recognized were Jim & Cheryl Sheldon, of J&C Sheldon Ranch, near Kinuso (a story on this appeared in the Sept. 9, 2020 Lakeside Leader).

The awards recognize “outstanding contributions to their communities,” and reflect “the values of the family farm,” says the news release from Farmfair International.

The following biographical information on the Laughys was attached to the Nov. 13 news release.

“Fred and Darice Laughy farm near Smith with the help of their young sons, Ryland and Austin. Their operation, Hidden Creek Farm, consists of 35 head of beef cattle on 300 acres.

“The farm was originally started by Fred’s grandparents and his grandma still resides on the property today.

“Fred’s volunteer involvement is extensive. It includes 23 years on the Smith Fire Department, with 14 of those years as Captain. He has also served on the Smith & Hondo Agricultural Society for eight years, including time as president and vice president.

“Fred was also instrumental in establishing a Scout troop in the community. Ryland and Austin are both active members of the Smith 4-H Beef Club.”

Reached last week by phone, Fred said it’s important to note it’s not just or even mostly about him.

“Me and my wife are both volunteers,” he said.

Hidden Valley Farm is at km. 2 on Croswell Road, in the Hondo area.

The Laughys were nominated by the M.D. of Lesser Slave River’s Agricultural Service Board. Ag Fieldman Russ Jassman says the Farm Family Award program is for all municipalities north of Township 34 in Alberta.

“The M.D. has participated in the program for at least the last 25 years that I have been here,” he says.

Fred and Darice Laughy, with their children Ryland and Austin.

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