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The Dolen's chosen for the 2023 Farm Family Award!

Image of the Dolen Family

Candace and Cody Dolen, and their family, have been chosen by Saddle Hills County's Agricultural Service Board as this year's recipients of the Farm Family Award! 

The awards are intended to recognize the contributions that farm families make to their communities. For more than 50 years, farm families from Northern and Central Alberta communities have been recognized as recipients of the award.

Candace and Cody Dolen began farming their home 180 acres in 2005, alongside Candace's parents, Doug and Lyla Yanishewski. Candace grew up in Fourth Creek, Alberta, while Cody moved to the area when he was 16, from Devon, Alberta, west of Edmonton. The couple attended high school together and married in 2005. They have spent the past 18 years expanding their farm to over 4,500 acres, and introducing seven new, little Dolens to the world. 

2023 saw a significant expansion to the acreage, as the family took on a portion of Doug and Lyla's land as they headed in to their first year of retirement. This spring also saw the completion of a seed cleaning facility, which the family is excited to begin operating this winter. 

Candace and Cody care deeply about their community and rural life. Between them they are involved in the local agricultural society, school council, Catholic church, fire department, minor hockey association, and community association. Four of their eldest children are members of the local 4H club and the six oldest are also enrolled in hockey. The family is sincerely grateful to their fellow community members, whose hard work makes Silver Valley a special place to work and raise a family. 

The couple love having a big family, and all the hustle and bustle that goes along with it. With children from ages 2-16, there is rarely a dull moment in the Dolen household. Alongside their own brood, two of Candace's sisters operate their own family farms nearby, creating an abundance of opportunities for family gatherings and celebrations, including birthdays and family barbeques, and a generous supply of cousins for the children to socialize with.

When they are not busy farming, the family enjoys camping, travelling, and playing cards, especially with a cold drink on their deck, surrounded by loved ones. 

Congratulations to this deserving family! We can't wait to see what the future holds for them, and all of the other amazing farm families in Saddle Hills County.

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