Feature Story                                                                                             Tuesday, January 27, 2015


A Hundred Years of Sweat

Toop family dairy farm recognized with Century Farm Award

Released by the Gov't of BC/Voice photos


Vic and Karen Toop proudly celebrate their Century Farm designation last Friday.

ecognizing long-standing dairy farming traditions, the Government of British Columbia is proud to congratulate and present Beaverbrook Farms and the Toop family with a Century Farm Award for over 100 years of hard work.


Chilliwack MLA John Martin presented the award to the Toop family on behalf of Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick.


In November 1903, farm founder Hector Toop purchased the 80-acre Hodgson estate in Sumas and operated a small dairy farm on the property. Since then, the farm has been passed down from older to younger Toop family members.


Still standing today, proudly showcasing the farm’s rich history, are two landmarks — the dairy barn erected in 1918 and the family home built in 1921. Often referred to as “The Big House”, the family farm house is known locally as a landmark on Yale Road.

“While farming continues to evolve, B.C. farmers continue to pass down years of proud traditions. It’s important that we celebrate these milestones and honour the long-standing traditions and hard work of farmers and their families,” said Chilliwack MLA John Martin.

Dairy farming has changed a lot over the last century. However, the Toop family has embraced many technological advancements while maintaining some of the traditions. Farm life and the traditions that come with it are embraced by all Toop family members — young and old. Today, Beaverbrooks Farm is operated by Victor, a fourth-generation farmer and his son Jim Toop, a fifth-generation farmer.

Walter Dyck, Chair, Chilliwack Agricultural Commission speaks at the ceremony last Friday marking 100 years in farming on Yale Rd West in an area that was once called "Tooptown."

“We are proud to be a fifth-generation, 100-years-plus family farm! The hard work and commitment of previous generations has given us this opportunity. Dairy farming has experienced huge changes over the century, but one aspect remains. It is a 'way of life' that supports traditions and family — a reward for all of us!" said Jim Toop.

Century Farm Awards honour agricultural organizations that have been active for 100 years. Each Century Farm Award celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in B.C. The Century Farm award program was created in 1994 to mark the centennial of the Ministry of Agriculture.

See more photos below.

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