Four generations later, the Poole family is not only still ranching but still raising their cattle and their families on the same farm, in the Mapes area near Vanderhoof.
The Pooles have now been presented with a B.C. Century Farm Award presented by the provincial Ministry of Agriculture to celebrate their 10 consecutive decades of agricultural commitment to B.C.
"Vanderhoof was the first agricultural settlement in the province, and the Poole family was one of the founding families of the region," said Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. "I congratulate the Poole family on this major milestone of 100 years in farming, as they are one of the reasons that Nechako is one of the top cattle ranching areas in the province."
According to the provincial government's official history of the Poole farm, it was 1912 when brothers Charles and Alfred Poole and their families travelled by covered wagon to homestead a farm near Vanderhoof, first at Nulki Lake on an unworkable quarter-section then on a better piece of land in the Mapes neighbourhood. In 1913, Charles Poole obtained a preemption claim for the Mapes property and, in 1924, received a certificate of title.
In 1955, the property was transferred to Charles' daughter Grace, who continued to farm with her brother Hubert and his family. The land was transferred to Hubert's son Arthur Poole and Poole Farms Ltd. in 2012. His other son, Charles, also runs his own ranch in the same community. Herefords are their predominant breed of choice. The collective holdings have gone from the original 160 acres to more than 3,500 acres now.
"The farm today is the results of a lot of hard work by all members of the Poole family," said Arthur Poole. "Today the fourth generation continues to raise beef cattle. If one could only imagine the changes the farm has seen in the last 100 years."
Even though they are now retired, said Ministry of Agriculture officials, Hubert and wife Edna are still involved in the day-to-day running of the farm but the majority of responsibility now falls on son Arthur and his son, Dale.
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. More than 100 family farms or organizations have received the BC Century Farm Award.