Over the past century, corn has become the cultural “stalk” of the community of Agassiz and the broader District of Kent in the eastern Fraser River Valley of British Columbia (BC). Farming families have occupied these fertile lands, growing corn and hay crops to feed their dairy cattle, for up to five generations. Together, they have weathered floods and droughts, the World Wars, the whims of the local, provincial, and federal politicians, and the ever-changing economy.
This exhibition traces the development of the relationship between corn and cows in this small, yet strong farming community. It describes the influence of the establishment of the 1889 Dominion Experimental Farm, which continues to operate today as part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, on the agricultural success and longevity of Agassiz and the District of Kent. Agassiz is the Corn Capital of British Columbia.
Corn culture is woven into the fabric of the daily lives of these farming families; corn is their heritage. As the weeks and seasons pass, locals refer to the status of the corn crops. Our exhibition title, Knee High by the First of July, is one of the most important crop markers in the community. To ensure a successful fall harvest, the plants should be a couple of feet, or knee high, at the beginning of the summer.
We hope you enjoy learning about our community’s corn culture and we encourage you to visit us in September when we hold our annual Fall Fair and Corn Festival. The entire community celebrates the relationship between corn and cows during the Fair/Festival weekend. Please come and join us!
Curator and Board of Directors,
The Agassiz-Harrison Historical SocietyStart reading the story
Knee High by the First of July: Celebrating the Legacy of Corn in the District of Kent, British Columbia
The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society
Agassiz, British Columbia