Bailey Farm is celebrating 100 years of farming history at the Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association’s Annual General Meeting this year.
The farm’s history begins with James Bailey’s arrival to British Columbia aboard the ship Ascania in 1914. From the coast, Bailey travelled to the Nechako Valley, where he had family already settled. Bailey enlisted to serve in the First World War and in 1916, he fought in France for three years as part of the 102nd Canadian Expeditionary Force Battalion.
“James’ journey, his service and his dedication to building a home and a farm for his family are an inspiration to many,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Congratulations to the Bailey family on 100 years of contributing to B.C.’s farming, ranching and community history with best wishes for the years to come.”
In 1919, Bailey received a land grant through the Veterans Land Act and built a tiny, two-roomed log house. Thirteen years later, in 1932, Bailey married Elizabeth Redmond. They raised three sons and expanded the family home to accommodate their growing family.
The farm began with dairy cows, laying hens, beef cattle and horses. Beef cattle were raised for both food and income, while horses were bred to sell to other farmers and used to help with work around the farm. Milk, cream and eggs were sold locally to businesses in the community.
“Life hasn’t always been easy, but we are very lucky folks who are blessed with a large family and a beautiful farm,” said Myrna Bailey. “We have five children, nine grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren who have all played a role in keeping up the family farm.”
The Bailey family continues to raise beef and has expanded the farm to grow grain and hay.
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.
For more information about B.C.'s Century Farm program, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/century-farm-awards