This year’s Dairy Industry Achievement Award (DIAA) recipients prove that all good things come in pairs. John and Bill Bocock were the 2016 recipients of the Alberta dairy industry’s top award at the Alberta Milk’s dairy conference on Nov. 23.
Through the award, Alberta Milk seeks to convey the respect that Alberta’s dairy producers hold for the people and organizations that work so hard, often to the detriment of their own personal farms, to help sustain and grow our industry.
John and Bill are trendsetters whose dairy careers have spanned decades. They have gone to great lengths to protect their community and land so it can serve not themselves, but future generations of farmers – by selflessly donating 777 acres of land to the University of Alberta to create the St. Albert Research Station for the faculty of agriculture, life and environmental sciences. This faculty explores the linkage between agricultural practices and greenhouse gas emissions, water management, soil erosion and sustainable crop development.
In turn, the high-profile Bocock Chair in Agriculture and Environment was created to oversee research activities. This is in addition to their already long list of achievements, including the SPCA’s Farmer of the Year.
“The Bocock brothers’ value of family, teamwork and community are really the essence of dairy farming in our province,” says Alberta Milk Chairman Tom Kootstra. “We are honoured to learn from them and their legacy.”
But of course they have their own individual strengths to speak of too. John’s life has been enriched with giving back to the University of Alberta through volunteering and establishing scholarships, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1957, and was recognized for the Alumni Centenary Award in September.
Bill has been a dedicated delegate and board member – representing dairy farmers on the United Farmers of Alberta Cooperative, the Clean Air Strategic Alliance, the Big Lake Environmental Support Society and Alberta Surface Rights Federation, among a list of other organizations. He was fundamental in defending his community’s land in the 1992 ERCB sour gas hearings.
—From Alberta Milk news release
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