Leo “Vati” Meyer passed away suddenly, at home, in the heart of his farm, on Friday, September 4, 2020, at the age of 68 years.
Leo was born December 9, 1951 in Muri, Switzerland. From a very young age, Leo always knew that he would be a farmer. In 1976, Leo emigrated from Switzerland to Canada after completing his agricultural education. He first came to Southern Alberta where he was a farm manager. It was there that his farming career began and, through hard work and innovation, Leo built up his family farm to a thriving grain operation and marketing enterprise.
While starting his farm in Canada, Leo would travel to Switzerland to attend his compulsory military training. During one of these trips in 1980, Leo met his beautiful bride Katharina Freund. In his usual decisive manner, that winter he gave Kathy the option to get married either before seeding or after harvest. In April 1981, he brought his new bride to Canada. At this time, Leo had decided to move from Southern Alberta up into the Peace River Region. He fell in love with the region very quickly and saw tremendous potential in it. That winter, while trucking grain to one of his customers, Leo dropped Kathy off in Westlock to give birth, starting their family of six children.
The early 1980s were a difficult time to start farming and, in 1986, Leo and Kathy moved their farm operation from the Peace River area to Woking, where the farm is today. In 1988, Leo, Kathy and their four children moved back to Switzerland during which time Leo ran farms in Switzerland and Canada. In 1992, Leo and Kathy made the decision to move the family back to Canada to commit to the Canadian operation.
Leo was a very passionate man and had many great loves. These loves include: his beautiful wife Kathy Meyer (he recently mentioned that his marriage had never been better); his six children, who are all in some way or another involved in agriculture; John Deere and Kenworth machines – the best; growing food sustainably to meet his customer’s unique needs; seeing his kids and grandkids working and playing together, especially at harvest in the fields; seeing others succeed, as he understood better than anyone what the price of success is; and a good glass of wine.
In his commitment to the industry, Leo helped shape the modern Canadian agriculture landscape by being involved and taking leadership roles in various industry policy groups. Leo’s strength to many of these organizations was his ability to advocate for all perspectives, and he was comfortable challenging the status quo. He was proud to be a voice for the less popular opinion, but was always open to discussion to opposing viewpoints.
Family, agriculture and God were what Leo valued most. Leo was extremely committed to immersing his family into agriculture where he actively incorporated them into the farm and the various industry organizations. Everything he did was done with excellence, passion and hard work. He had a high standard that all his children work hard to live up to with whatever life choices they have made.
Leo is reunited with his son Leo Jr. who passed away in fall 2008.
A Graveside Service was held on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 1:00pm at Northmark Cemetery near Woking, AB.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that memorial donations be made to the Hope Mission Centre (PO Box 953, Edmonton, AB, T5J 2L8).
Condolences may be sent by visiting www.oliversfuneralhome.com.