Local ranchers Karen and Doug Barraclough have been named the 2018 Agriculturalists of the Year through the Kootenay Livestock Association.
Karen and Doug ranch at Skookumchuck on the B-E Ranch where Sheep Creek meets the Kootenay River. They raise Angus cross beef on the ranch started by Karen’s parents, Agnes and Baron Bradford, over 70 years ago.
For many years, they were part time ranchers. Karen is a retired elementary school teacher and Doug is a steel fabricator, who retired from Cominco so he could manage the ranch. They took over the ranch in the early 1990s from Karen’s father. Together they have raised three kids and have three grandkids who all live locally and love their time on the ranch.
In addition to feeding cows, calving cows, fixing fences, moving sprinklers, putting up hundreds of acres of hay every year, marketing their beef to local customers, and generally keeping things running, Doug and Karen both take the time to do their part for the community. Doug is a member of the Regional District’s Advisory Planning Committee for Area E, and Karen was a member of the RDEK’s Agricultural Advisory Committee while it was operational. Karen also delivers the KLA’s very successful and popular “Ag in the Classroom” program. She travels all over the East Kootenay teaching elementary students about farming and where their food comes from, and organizes and leads field trips to local farms, ranches, dairies and orchards. Kids and teachers alike love the program which is in high demand.
For their dedication to agriculture and support of the community, they were presented the 2018 “Agriculturalist of the Year”.