Bill Bocock

Bill Bocock

Bill served as a delegate for Northern Alberta Dairy Pool and Agrifoods International Dairy Cooperative.

He received the Dairy Industry Achievement Award in 2016 from the Alberta Milk Organization. Bill graduated in 1952 from the Vermilion School of Agriculture. He was an elected delegate to the Alberta Cattle Commission from 1979 to 85. In 1992 he was an intervener in the Energy Resources Conservation Board of Alberta sour gas hearings. That same year his farm was named “Farm of the Year” by the SPCA. Bill served as a board member of Big Lake Environmental Support Society and he is presently a board member of the Alberta Surface Rights Federation. “The loss of agricultural co-ops in Canada is a tragedy. My grandfather was a founding member of the Northern Alberta Dairy Producers. My father was a founding member of the Alberta Wheat Pool and on the executive of the St. Albert Credit Union. I support The Gathering Place Co-op as an alternative to the monopolistic multinational business model that dominates today.”

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Mandy Melnyk

Meet more about Mandy.

Mandy Melnyk is a board member and producer.

In 2011, Mandy made the decision to make a living on the land. She began growing organic vegetables like onions, garlic and beets, and raising chickens and turkeys outside. She believes that when it comes to raising animals, there is no healthier animal than an animal that is free and able to garnish the natural nutrients from the grasses around us. She believes in regenerative and holistic farming practices such as not just feeding the plant, but feeding the soil so that it will be able to produce for future generations.

“In July of 2018, when we decided that we needed to start getting some actual collective marketing power in the North – not only to distribute our products, but to create. To create some of the best pies and pierogies that Weasel Creek ever saw. It’s a bit of a work-in-progress as we learn how to put together our individual farms and talents. It’s like putting together a puzzle – every person that joins the Co-op may be a farmer, they may be a chef, but they all fit because they have a passion and a love for our rural communities.

The essence of our Co-op is not just about a place to come and eat, it’s about understanding that there’s a respect for the land and that the goods are being produced in and around our area. It’s a respect both ways – producers/caretakers and consumers.

As member-producers, together, we’ll be able to learn from each other to enhance ourselves as individual producers but also as a collective co-op.

It’s important for people to know that they can grow food in our rural communities and what our hope for the Co-op is that we can collectively market that for them so that small people who want to make an income off of the soil that exists in our communities can do so without thinking that they have to be really big. There is a place for small production in our rural economies and we want to help people harness that.”

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