Lloyd Gavelin (centre) now runs the family ranch, which started in 1911. Photo: flickr.com.

Lower Nicola ranch receives Century Farm Award

The Gavelin Ranch near Merritt has been going strong since 1911

From its origins as a cattle ranch to its transition to hay production, Gavelin Ranch has much to celebrate, and it recently received its Century Farm Award from the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Gavelin family’s story is a great reminder of the deep roots agriculture has in our province and how it is both a challenging and rewarding way of life,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Congratulations, Gavelin family, on your historic contribution to Merritt and B.C.’s agricultural community.”

The story and the farm began in spring 1911. Eric Gavelin and his brother-in-law purchased a somewhat risky plot of undisturbed land in the lower Nicola Valley. Eric had a dream: to establish a ranch where his family could grow and prosper. He was told that creating a ranch out of that land would be a hopeless venture. With hard work, perseverance, and love for the land and his family, he worked to bring his dream to life.

Eric passed in 1923, leaving ownership of the ranch to his wife Henrietta. Now a single mother of five children, she managed the cattle operation on her own until she remarried to Axel Ellison. As Henrietta’s children grew and began to move away, she continued to live at the ranch with Axel, keeping Eric’s dream alive.

In 1947 Sett Gavelin (Henrietta’s son), along with his wife Winnifred and their children Lloyd and Faye, returned to the family ranch to begin working the land and continue the family dream. Sett was passionate about his land. He worked hard for many years to keep the river from flooding the ranch. He is remembered for being on his tractor in the fields, including the day before he died in 1990.

Winnifred and her son Lloyd became co-owners of the ranch after Sett passed, and Lloyd became the sole owner after his mother’s death. Lloyd and his wife Sybil continued to work the land as a cattle ranch until 2016, when the difficult decision to disperse their beloved herd was made.

In summer 2017, Gavelin Ranch transitioned to a successful hay operation. Today, Lloyd happily continues his work maintaining the family ranch.

“The ranch continues to give me a challenge,” said Lloyd. “This year, I am working to re-establish the ranch from the river flooding of 2018. I enjoy spending my days planning how to protect the hay fields and how I can make things more efficient for the next year. As long as I am able, I plan to keep ranching. I have been at the ranch since I was three years old. This is my home, my life, and what I know. I have spent the better part of 70 years watching the land change as I worked to improve it one day at a time.”

The Century Farm Awards, established in 1994, honour agricultural organizations that have been active for 100 years. Each award celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in British Columbia.To learn more about the Century Farm program, visit http://bit.ly/2LvraMM.

Just Posted

Prescribed burns to take place around Lytton, Spences Bridge

BC Wildfire Service will only conduct burns if conditions permit

Flooding hits Highway 97 north of Cache Creek

Recent warm temperatures are causing an increase in flooding on area roads

Golden Country: Fact or legend?

Sasquatch have long been reported in our region, but do the creatures really exist?

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Suspected car thieves captured walking down B.C. highway

Three individuals from Williams Lake in custody after Gustafson’s Kia break in and theft

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read