When the Hoggs owned the farm, Jimmy McCallum had a machine called a corn binder that he would move around from farm to farm at corn harvesting time. A crew of about 12 to 14 men (including Chester Hunt) would come at harvesting time to help chop and blow corn to fill the silo.
Barrie Peterson, Farmer, 2017
Beverly Kennedy of The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society spoke with Barrie Peterson, a second generation Agassiz dairy farmer, in 2017 to record his family story.
August “Gus” and Sally Peterson moved to Agassiz from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan in 1943. They purchased a farm on Cameron Road from Reuben Hogg who, along with his brother Hubert, had been farming in the area since 1917. Reuben had built a wooden silo on the property to keep corn for his Holstein herd.
In 1945, Jack Freeman of the Agassiz Research Station started the Junior Farmers Club. Barrie joined and he and his fellow members started growing three or four acres of sweet corn. Soon after, the Petersons signed a contract with Royal Packers to grow cannery corn, which they did until the 1960s. When ripe, the ears were picked by hand and shipped to the cannery; the stalks were picked and put into the silo for cattle feed. Up to 20 acres of cannery corn were planted at the Peterson Farm at one time.
Barrie took over the farm when August passed away in 1956. The Petersons continued to produce cannery corn until the Chilliwack canneries closed in the 1960s, at which time they switched to growing field corn, hay, and silage grass. Barrie and his son Gordon continue to farm and raise Holsteins on Cameron Road; they are assisted by the fourth generation of Petersons.
On the evening of September 19, 2018, a massive fire burned down all of the Peterson Farm buildings. Fortunately, Barrie and Gordon’s homes were untouched. The tight-knit dairy farming community of Cameron Road worked together alongside District of Kent, Seabird Island, Popkum, and Chilliwack firefighters to move the cows to safety. The Petersons are thankful for their neighbours and are starting to make plans to replace the 100 year old barn.