SALMON ARM - The B.C. government recently presented Peterson Family Farm with a Century Farm Award for the contributions the family has made to B.C.'s agriculture industry and economy over the past one hundred years. Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick commended the family for this impressive milestone.
Ed and Ivar Peterson arrived in the Salmon Arm area in 1911. They had originally planned to work at a mill in Chase, but since there was no work available, they moved to Salmon Arm. There, in exchange for logging and clearing 40 acres (16 hectares) of land in the North Broadview area, they each received 10 acres (4 hectares) and $50. This was the start of the family farm.
Ed Peterson and his wife Mina were both from Sweden. They had eight children - Hubert, Elmer, Hjalmar, Floyd, Margaret, Violet, Alf and Ingrid - who where all born in B.C.
The property soon became a productive fruit orchard, originally specializing in apples. Ed and his five sons formed a company, Peterson Brothers Salmon Arm Ltd., to run the orchards, and in 1948 they grew 2,000 bins of apples. For several years, the Peterson's fruit accounted for three per cent of the apples and seven per cent of the cherries received at the Vernon Fruit Union.
Today, the family orchard grows more than 50 varieties of apples along with peaches, plums and other fruit crops. Laura Peterson operates a small pie-making company using seasonal ingredients from the orchard.
Century Farm Awards honour agricultural organizations that have been active for a century or longer as well as pioneers whose farms and ranches have been in families for 100 years or more. Each Century Farm Award celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick -
"Families like the Petersons help ensure that food production in B.C. will continue to grow and support valuable jobs and healthy communities for centuries to come."
Shuswap MLA George Abbott -
"Congratulations on being one of the founding farm families in the Shuswap region. You have helped create this vibrant community that we live in today."
Peterson Family Farm, Alf Peterson -
"The farm today is the result of the hard work of all the family members of the Peterson family. Today, the third generation continues to raise apples, cherries and other stone fruits, all non-irrigated, and have extended to pie and juice making."
- To date, 99 family farms or organizations have received the Century Farm Award.
- The Century Farm award program was created in 1994 to mark the centennial of the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Nine out of ten B.C. farms are family owned and operated.
For more information about B.C.'s Century Farm Program: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/regional/CenturyFarmAwards/CenturyFarms.htm
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture