Sangudo & District Agricultural Society Essays

In 2002, the SDAS initiated a scholarship program consisting of two $1,000.00 scholarships to be given to youth who have graduated from Sangudo High and who are furthering their education at a post secondary institution. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 scholarship program. Emme Harapchuk, and Hannah Kastelic. Below you will find the essays they submitted as a part of the application program.

What Agriculture Means to Me

“When I think of agriculture, all sorts of images come to mind like fields of gold wheat blowing in the wind, cows grazing in a pasture and my family. I am the daughter of a farmer. My father has worked the land all of his life and takes pride in the fact that he took over the farm from his father. Agriculture means hard work, commitment and family.

We live on the home quarter purchased by my grandfather 76 years ago. My father is the second generation to farm this land and I am the third generation. I have watched my father rise early to seed, cut or bale hay and watched my father come in late from seeding, cutting or baling. I have seen the lines of worry, the smile of success and the heartbreak of loss due to agriculture.

Agriculture is hard work. You don’t have a boss that tells you it is time to do this task, you don’t have a clock to punch out and you don’t have the option of putting off what needs to be done. Yes agricultural success can come in some form of luck but most of it is planning and implementing. Both of these rely on hard work from the farmer.

Furthermore, it takes a full commitment from the farmer to make it a success. My dad plans and keeps detailed records of his crops, livestock, and machinery, whether it is repairs or purchasing, seeding timeline, or weather forecasts, etc. Now, keeping all this information straight and running a farming operation is a full time commitment. May dad does not even stop when he is sick. I have seen him get into a tractor in the freezing cold on a damp and snowy morning to check on his cows and make sure they have enough to eat and straw for bedding even when he has a fever and can barely make it out of bed. As for the commitment, he has made it through a drought, BSE, and hail/loss of crops. Thru it all he keeps saying, “Everyday cannot be Christmas…we will learn and it will be better.”

Finally, agriculture teaches us what it means to be a family. It has taught us patience, especially with each other when we are learning to operate a new piece of equipment. It has taught us to grow, especially when we planted our first canola crop. WE would drive out to the field to check it like a newborn baby and see if we could see the progress. It has taught us to work together to accomplish a common goal, like when we vaccinate our calves. We work as a team to make the process go smoothly and so no one is left to do it by themselves. Everyone is included and at the end of the day , we have accomplished our goal. Patience, growth and team work along with love is what makes up a family.

In conclusion, what agriculture means to me is hard work, commitment and family. In order for our farming operation to work, we rely on each other to help, to encourage and to learn from our successes and mistakes. Agriculture is not for the faint of heart. It can feel disappointing one minute and amazing the next but in the end we are in it together and can’t live without it.

Submitted by Emme Harapchuk.

The Chicken or the Egg

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? This age old question can also be applied to biology and agriculture. Without biology, how did we learn to farm? Without agriculture, how do we get close enough to study living things. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of both biology and agriculture, I am sure that one cannot live without the other.

Biology is defined as “the study of living things” and farming is essentially harnessing living things to produce products for consumption. Having grown up on a farm, I’ve seen agriculture first hand. For most of my life, every spring, I would go out to the field with my dad to check our herd of cows for any new calves. For the past few summers, I have spent most of July out in the fields, helping bring in hay crops to feed our livestock through the winter..Without any knowledge on biology, I am sure that our herd of cows would have died out long ago.

Prior to high school, I had a solid base on biological functions. In addition to growing up on a farm, my mother is a nurse. This made it quite difficult to fake being sick to miss school as a child as she would ask me to make a list of my symptoms so she could figure out if I needed to go to the hospital and what kind of medicine I needed. In high school, I took biology classes that furthered my knowledge on why I was experiencing my symptoms and both how the human body works and how our environment works.

Without our knowledge of how the world works, we could never harness agriculture to produce what we need, as human beings to survive. The chicken is hatched from an egg that requires a chicken to form. Similarly, biology is hatched from agriculture that requires some knowledge in biology to come to be. The answer to the question is neither came first. Biology and agriculture are a package deal. So, seeing as I am going to university to study biology, I will also be studying agriculture. The real question is not what came first but which is more vital to the others existence.

Submitted by Hannah Kastelic

On behalf of the Sangudo & District Agricultural Society, Congratulations to this years recipients, Emme Harapchuk and Hannah Kastelic. Good luck in school and we wish you the best on all your future endeavours!

Election Update!

A Race

Well as most of you know there is an election race going on right now to pick our local United Conservative Party candidate in this riding, the Lac Ste Anne Parkland riding. I have been watching this race and the candidates that are running. The candidates, Barbara Costache located NW of Acheson, Dale Johnson located in Rich Valley area, Everett Normandeau located in Calahoo, Leah Wood located just south of Entwistle and Jerry Molnar located in Spring Lake. I am sad to say that the only candidate that thought it necessary to door knock or make phone calls in the area west of Cherhill was Leah Wood. Not one of the other candidates that I have listed above made any sort of appearance in our area that I am aware of. Perhaps we are too small and they did not feel we were worth it.

Unnecessary Negativity

I am a UCP member and I have had the thrill of being able to watch the emails and ads in papers. The negative ads that really in my mind have no business being a part of politics. The big headline is that 2 of the candidates in this riding do not actually live in this riding. In fact I have checked, they are just barely outside the riding and they do most of their business and day to day living within the riding. I even saw one comment that one of the members bought a post office box in the riding to say that’s where she gets her mail. Hogwash! Petty bull crap from really negative people. First the rules of the party state that they do not have to live in the riding to run in the riding! Second, I was taught to treat people the way I would expect to be treated. With respect for starters.

So candidates in the riding, I really don’t know that you would be the best pick for this job because you lack integrity in my eyes for treating others around you so badly. Are these the people you want representing you in the Alberta government. Have we not had enough of that to last us a lifetime already! I really don’t think it matters a damn what side of the tracks we live on. That is not what our reputation should be based on. You need to pick your candidate based on what sort of job you think they will do. I don’t care if they live beside you. That’s not a reason to vote for them. Do you think they are honest, or are they blowing a cloud of smoke at you? Do they have respect for the folks around them or are they rude and arrogant because they think they are better? There is already enough arrogance in government thanks! Are they committed, do they have time in their lives to take on this kind of responsibility? Are they experienced or maybe they are not but they are filled with fresh ideas?

Be Informed!

Please take the time to consider who you are voting for. Read the member emails and see who is naughty and who is nice. Who is playing fair and who is out for blood.

Make your own choice and do not be railroaded by candidates, neighbors, ratepayers assoc. or anyone else. The three candidates who live in this riding seem to have trouble playing nice . The people of this riding need to pay close attention to that behaviour because I sure don’t think it makes them worthy of representing me!

A Job Jar: A simple family tool

When coaching with couples (especially those with young children), we often hear concerns about household tasks that don’t get done, or resentment about which person needs to do them.  The resentments are often due to unmet and uncommunicated expectations about “the way it should be.” Yet, at the core, these parents usually share a common desire to have a clean, safe environment in which to live and raise their family.  They also want their kids to grow up to be confident, effective, productive members of society, and to understand the value of contribution and working as a team.

Hearing these concerns, I reflect on my own childhood.  My father was an alcoholic, so couldn’t be counted on for much help.  Mom ran the household as a single-mom with four kids.  She used a ‘Job Jar’ as a way for us to be involved in the household tasks, help get things done, and to learn valuable skills we needed as we matured.

A Job Jar?  It worked like this.

On Saturday morning (after our treat of sugared cereal), all four kids drew jobs out of the Job Jar.  The rule was that the tasks were to be completed by noon.  They included things like:  taking out the garbage; washing the sheets on a certain bed; cleaning a cupboard drawer in the kitchen; cleaning the toilets; etc.  Some were quick and easy, some a bit harder or even undesirable.  We each drew two or three jobs and then set about doing our tasks.

As the youngest, I sometimes drew a task that was bigger or more complex than I could handle.    Since there was no option to put a task back in the jar, one of my older siblings would lend a hand and we would complete the task together.  Because they had their own jobs to complete, I was often able to give them a hand, or at least feel as if I was helping.

What was the motivation?

To reward us for our efforts, Mom always had a low-cost (or probably no-cost) outing planned for our family – once the jobs were complete.  We might have a picnic or go swimming in the nearby Elbow River.  The sooner we could get our jobs done, the sooner we could have fun as a family.

As a child, the Job Jar was a Saturday morning ritual in which we all participated as a family team.  The jobs were never difficult, especially when we worked together.  And we knew the reward was well worth our effort.

As an adult, I recognize this was a way for Mom to instill her values of family helping one another, having pride in a job well-done, contribution to something bigger than “just me”, and it ensured that our house ran somewhat smoothly.

The life lessons?

Get at your tasks early in the day.

Jobs are easier, quicker, and usually higher quality when people agree to work together (that’s why I love volunteering for community projects).

Pride is the result when a job is well-done, and it is even better when a group can share the pride, as in, “we did it together.”

Building “caring” sibling relationships is critical.  With high levels of trust and compassion, siblings are always there to lend a hand (I can always count on mine, even today!).

It’s OK to take on tasks that seem bigger than what you are capable.  These provide an opportunity to ask for help/advice, learn, and ‘grow into’ greater accomplishments and skills.

And most importantly, plan time for fun and celebration.

I am grateful for the many things my mother taught and modelled for me.  Not everyone is as fortunate as I am.  Even at 90 years young, my mom is still incredibly resourceful and able to handle whatever life throws her.  Although she doesn’t use the Job Jar anymore, she always has a list of chores for any of her kids who come to visit.  We are all thrilled to help, and the reward of her love and friendship is ample motivation.

If you feel a bit resentful about tasks that need to be done around your house or yard, I invite you to use the Job Jar as a family tool.  It will help you get household tasks done quicker, build your children’s confidence and skills, and instill the value of working together as a team.  Besides modelling something very powerful for your little ones, it will also be a lot of fun.


Author Bio:

Dan & Carol Ohler are Relationship Alchemists.  Through coaching, they support you to make your relationships GOLD.  Call them at 780-785-3700. Check out their website

A Final Tribute to Wayne Fortin

Last month I did a front page dedicated to Wayne Fortin and covered his celebration of life just briefly.  I said that his story would be continued this month in the Keep Me Journal and true to my word I have done a little digging into the Fortin history because I believe local heroes deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments during their time here on this earth.

That being said, The Keep Me Journal is going to continue with a historical article every month.  It may be about one of the founding families or another piece of history from Sangudo’s history.  I would like to reach out to the surrounding communities and encourage them to submit interesting facts, stories  or memorabilia from their past as well.  If you send it to me I will make every effort to print it!  Now as promised  a bit of history on the Wayne Fortin and the Fortin family.

Wayne Fortin  1940 – 2018.  The important part of that statement is not the 1940 or the 2018, the important part is the dash and everything it represents.  It is what happened between 1940 and 2018.  Its what people talk about when hearing Wayne’s name.  They don’t mention the year he was born and they will in a short period of time not really remember the year he died but they will remember many things that are represented by that seemingly insignificant little dash.  There was a lot that happened in those 77 years.  His friends and family tell me he loved trucking, that he was a trucking legend. However being new in this community the thing I got from both covering Wayne’s Celebration of Life and also catering  the event… The Fortin’s were and are loved by many starting before Wayne with his Dad and the very extensive Fortin family.

Wayne’s dad, Roy, arrived in this area with is parents and siblings back in 1912.  He later married Martha McConaghie in 1930 and they went on to have three boys, Carl, ,Harvey and Wayne was the youngest.  After they were married they settled in Sangudo, Ab and has a little house on the north end of town.  Roy had a new house built for his family in 1945, on the south side of Sangudo facing the Pembina river and it is still there today.

Roy created Fortin Transport in 1934 with his first truck which was an International with a wooden box and he started hauling grain and livestock.  By 1949 Roy had a very prosperous business and two body trucks.  The New Horizons book tells us that during that same year the Fortins suffered tragedy when the building that he stored his trucks in burned to the ground as well as the 29 loaded hogs ready for transport the next day.  This was a terrible loss.  Roy was resilient though from all I have read and his neighbor loaned him a truck and within one year Roy was back in the good and had two trucks of his own again.  He continued to haul livestock, some freight but I found out he also hauled the beer order for the Sangudo Hotel.  I am sure many were thankful for that!  In 1951  Roy and Martha were ready to start farm life and they started a dairy farm north of Sangudo which Roy and his son Harvey farmed .  Carl and Wayne continued the Fortin trucking business and they trucked until February of  2000 when they sold Fortin Transport to Ross Bohnet.  At the time of the sale Fortin Transport held one of the oldest operating authorities in Alberta.

After the sale of Fortin Transport, Wayne went on to drive for Lynden Transport,  Schmidt Livestock in Barrhead, AB.  He also drove  Grossenbacher Trucking, Degner Farms,Graydon Trucking and TGT Transport & Holdings.  This man truly loved trucking.

Wayne married Irene Hanson in 1966 and they have one daughter, Michele born in 1970.

Wayne and Irene love to travel, loved camping, playing cards and they were big pro rodeo fans.  Irene worked for CIBC for 35 years before retiring.  They loved and doted on their grandchildren Bryar and Shelbie.  Sadly, Irene passed before Wayne in 2011.

I am told that Wayne had a way of making people laugh with some of his antics.  He and his buddy Larry McBride would as young lads get caught swimming in the town water tower.  The two of them are said to have created a lot of mischief together.

By all accounts, this man will be missed by many.  He left  his mark on many hearts in and around this area.  I was witness to that when 500 people showed up to pay their respects at his Celebration of Life.  I suspect those words were never truer regarding anyone…. Celebrate his life friends and family, by all accounts it was great one!


Quite a number of area truckers brought their rigs and had a procession in honour of Wayne Fortin starting from the large truck stop east of Sangudo and travelled west on Hwy 43 to the local Sangudo school where his service was to be held.

This past Saturday, April 21st, 2018, approximately 500 family and friends gathered together in Sangudo, AB to say a big beautiful goodbye to loved one, Wayne Fortin.

 Leonard Wayne Fortin, was born on August 28th, 1940 in Edmonton Hospital. He was raised in Sangudo, the same place he raised his own family, owned a trucking company in partnership with his brother Carl and contributed in a big way to the community that he loved so much.  Although he left Sangudo and moved to Barrhead, AB sometime around 2004, Sangudo was the place his family felt compelled to say their last goodbyes. After suffering a stroke on April 6th, Wayne passed away peacefully at University Hospital in Edmonton on April 11th.  He is survived by his daughter Michelle, his two grandchildren, Bryar Vining and Shelbie Vining and countless family and friends that will miss him dearly.  He was described more than once as a happy and always smiling man. This is very apparent looking at his pictures.