Abram Ernst Ens was born in Reinland, Manitoba on August 16, 1931. He and his wife Helen (nee Zacharias) have two daughters and one son, Ingrid, Lottie and Christopher.
The Ens family ran a dairy operation with a purebred Holstein herd from 1936 to 1996.
In 1965, Abe was elected as a Director of Winkler Co-op Creamery, which amalgamated with Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-op in 1968. He served on the Milk Control Board of Manitoba and the Crocus Foods Board from 1971 to 1974. From 1987 to 1996, he represented District 7 on the Manitoba Milk Producers’ Marketing Board.
Mr. Ens has been a Pedigreed Seed Grower for 44 years. He received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Manitoba Seed Growers Association in 1989 and the Robertson Associate Award from the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association in 1997.
Abe was instrumental in bringing fresh potable water to communities south of Winkler in 1982 and was a founding member of Border Valley Water Co-op that operates the water supply system.
Mennonite Disaster Service has benefited from Mr. Ens’ involvement and dedication both nationally and internationally. His service has taken him to a number of states as well as Puerto Rico. He was involved with the Red River Flood recovery efforts in 1997, Alberta wild fire relief, northern Manitoba forest fire assistance, flood relief efforts in 2002 in southeastern Manitoba and drought assistance in Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2002.
Abe is involved with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and was a member of a study tour to Africa in 1994.
He has served his community on the local school board for 14 years and was a founding member of the Community Centre at Reinland Inc. Presently, he serves as chairman of Salem Home Inc., a 145-bed personal care facility in Winkler. He has served his church as Sunday school teacher and Superintendent, chair of the council and is serving as lay minister.
Abram Ens has dedicated his life to service in the community. His leadership in the seed grain and dairy industries and co-operative movement have benefited all Manitobans. Through his chairmanship of and volunteer hours with Mennonite Disaster Service, Abram has impacted the wider community.