Ron Stanger marks 65 years of farm­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

While the Stanger roots of farm­ing in the area go back more than 100 years, it was 65 years ago that Ron Stanger be­gan build­ing his own fam­ily home­stead in the Munson-Michichi area.

His fa­ther, James, came from the Orkney Is­lands to the Orkney Dis­trict in 1908. Of course, the area west of Drumheller had no name when the land was opened to home­stead­ers shortly after the turn of the cen­tury, but there was an in­flux of Scot­tish set

tlers that made it home. “That is why it was called Orkney, be­cause so many from the Orkney Is­lands set­tled there. They were all friends,” ex­plains Ron. He came with his sis­ter-in-law as his brother was al­ready in Canada.

The first few years were try­ing, James wasn’t able to put up much of a crop, and then World War I broke out. By 1919, he was able to go back to Scot­land to pick up his sweet­heart Is­abella. They were mar­ried in 1920 and had four sons.

By 1951, it was time for Ron to strike out on his own. He rented some land in the Munson-Michichi area. With equip­ment on loan from his fa­ther, he planted his first crops. He was mar­ried to Marie that fall. “We rented land for a few years and then started buy­ing, so I have been farm­ing ever since,” he said. “I didn’t even have equip­ment when I started. I was us­ing my dad’s equip­ment work­ing to­gether with him,” said Stanger. “We had a trac­tor, an old tiller, a small swather and com­bine, not too much.” He started out grow­ing pri­mar­ily wheat and then

brought on some bar­ley, and then Canola, flax and peas. The fam­ily also has cat­tle, with a herd of pure­bred Red An­gus.

He had two sons, Don­ald and David, and a daugh­ter Jeanette. To­day, his grand­son Aaron works most of the land, al­though Ron still tends to a quar­ter sec­tion. He be­gan cut­ting back in 2000 and moved to Drumheller. Even at age 89, last year he ran the com­bine, and hopes to be out this sea­son as well.

“I’ll be there part time this year. I’m still in­ter­ested in the farm, I don’t want to quit!” he said. He has al­ways loved the coun­try way of life.

“I just love farm­ing. It is not like any other job. You are at one job for a month, and then you go, change, and are at an­other for an­other month. You work out in the field, and then you are in the shop,” he said. “You are a jack of all trades, you might be a me­chanic one day, and then a car­pen­ter or any­thing else. Noth­ing is the same each day.”

sub­mit­ted

89-year-old Ron Stanger, left, with grand­son Aaron at a thrash­ing party in 2012, run­ning his Oliver 88 Stan­dard. Ron has been farm­ing for 65 years and still loves the way of life.

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