Family farm to win award
The McBrides, Shawna, Vera, Stuart, Paul and Jessica, stand in front of their family farm. The McBride family farm was one of the farms in Ontario that will receive an award at the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo for their dedication to farming and to the community. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
COBDEN – The McBride family farm will receive an award at the BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards Ceremony on Sept. 17. The ceremony is a part of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Mitchell, Ontario.
The Renfrew County Farmers Association nominated the McBride family to receive this award because of the family's dedication to Ontario's agricultural sector, the rural way of life and their community.
This dedication is shown in the many different volunteer activities that Stuart McBride has participated in during his stolen spare time. Stuart is currently the president of the Cobden Agricultural Society, and as such he is heavily involved in the Cobden fair. He is currently helping the rest of the fair board members build a portable stage that they can use instead of having to rent one from elsewhere.
In addition to working for the fair board, Stuart is the director of the curling club and he has also been on the emergency planning committee, taste of the valley planning committee, cemetery committee, fire committee, dump committee and the board of stewards for his church.
When the McBrides found out they were being nominated they were asked to provide a list of all of the organizations that they have been involved in over the years. That took the family a while because Stuart has always been involved in something, and he is often involved in several organizations at once.
“At one time I was on six or seven (committees) at one time. It was just meetings three or four times a week,” said Stuart as his wife nodded and remarked that it was too much.
Because of his love for the community and desire to help out, Stuart has also pulled his family into volunteering with different community groups including the fair board.
“He got me. We were going out; we weren't even married yet and I started working at the fair,” laughed Vera. “It's always something to look forward to.”
All of the different organizations that Stuart is involved in keep him very busy, but he doesn't mind because it means that he is making a difference in the area he lives.
“I'm just trying to better the community,” said Stuart.
For winning the award the McBride family will be able to spend a day at the Plowing Match enjoying the events and they will receive a plaque for their farm that will identify them as a “farm family.”
The farm is currently run by Stuart and Vera McBride as well as their daughter Shawna, son Paul and his wife Jessica. Stuart and Vera also have another daughter Shelly Hawthorne, son-in-law Steve and two grandchildren Ryan and Makenna who are not involved in the farm.
Christina Van Starkenburg is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.