The Hopcott family raises and processes its own beef on the farm
By Diego Flammini
The third generation of a farm family is up for an industry award in B.C.
Travis, Brad and Jenn Hopcott of Hopcott Farms are nominated for the BC Outstanding Young Farmers Award, which recognizes farmers between the ages of 18 and 39.
“We’ve been growing and changing a lot, so It’s a nice reminder that you’re keeping up with the industry and making an impact in the community,” Travis told Farms.com. “We were pretty excited when were told about the nomination.”
Growth and change has always been a part of the family’s vision for the farm.
Fred and Jane Hopcott, Travis’s grandparents, started the operation as a dairy farm in 1932. The dairy barn the couple built in 1934 still stands today.
In 1957, the Hopcotts started to transition to a beef operation. This included converting land to corn production to produce silage for the cattle, and selling the cattle to local packing plants.
That year is also when Bob, Travis’s father, got involved in the operation.
In 1996, the family converted about 70 acres of land into cranberry bogs for Ocean Spray. The family did this to offset the losses of local meat packers.
Four years later, Bob and his wife, Debbie created a 14-acre corn maze as part of an agri-tourism part of the business.
In 2006, Bob and Debbie, along with Travis and his siblings, opened Hopcott Premium Meats, a 9,000-square-food shop. The family expanded that to 17,000-square-feet in 2015 to include a larger retail space, a commercial kitchen and a sit down bistro.
And in 2022 the family opened an abattoir on site.
Given where the farm is located in Pitt Meadows, B.C., it’s practical for the family to continue to evolve the business, Travis says.
“Outside our farm we’ve got almost 14,000 cars passing by every day, and within a 40-minute radius is access to up to 2.5 million people,” he said. “Our slogan is ‘know your farmer, know your food.’ These changes in our business help get people to the farm and help us tell our story of agriculture.”
Part of the story on Hopcott Farms includes the feedlot.
They raise about 1,000 head of cattle each year, said Brad Hopcott, who manages the cattle operation.
“We work with about five ranches,” he said. “Some raise Hereford, some raise Black Angus.”
Working with different breeds of cattle means adapting to ensure the farm has enough cattle all year.
Some breeds will receive different feed rations, Brad said.
“With Herefords we find that they bulk up fast, so we put them on a higher grain ration,” he said. “I’m talking between 40 and 60 per cent grain and the rest is all roughage. Our way is a bit of an easier pace for raising cattle.”
The farm also includes acres of sweet corn, a market garden and areas to host weddings and events. The Hopcott family also rents out some of its farmland.
Two other farms are up for the Outstanding Young Farmer award.
Creekside Cheese + Creamery in Agassiz, and Linden Lane Farms in Kestova.
The winners will be announced this weekend and will represent the B.C./Yukon region in the national event in Quebec this November.