Father of four the third generation of his family to feed the Fraser Valley 

Blair Schurmann remembers helping out with calves as a young boy on his parent’s dairy farm in Abbotsford like it was yesterday. Now a father of four young children himself and working that same farm with his parents, wife, and brother, Blair is enjoying seeing his older children start to help feed the calves and taking on a few other chores. The oldest is just six, so they’re just getting started.

“Having them there, watching, asking questions, it’s so fun to teach them and watch them learning about things at a young age.” Blair says.

While it will be up to them many years into the future, Blair says he hopes one of the children will work with him on the farm and start taking over its operations, just as he’s doing today.

“I’d like to hope that one of them wants to carry on the farm,” he says.

Blair’s grandparents started the farm in the 1980s after they helped his uncle start an operation just down the road – a farm still operated by Blair’s cousins. The land was bare when they purchased it, surrounded by similar undeveloped rural land. They built a barn, a farmhouse, and started with just 16 cows. The operation grew over the years as the family farmed more fields to grow forage and purchased more milk quota. They built a larger, modern barn in 2009 to house the growing herd.

Today, the Abbotsford dairy milks about 200 cows on approximately 200 acres. Blair works in the barn and fields with his father Roy, his younger brother, and wife Nicole, while his mom Tracy handles the books and administration. Like many BC family dairy farmers they grow their own corn and grass to feed their herd.

Blair left the farm after high school, earning a heavy-duty mechanics ticket before returning home to join his mom and dad to work the operation. Today, he puts that trade to good use maintaining the farm’s equipment, much of which is  shared with their cousins down the road. The family likes doing things by hand, preferring a parlour over a milking robot and keeping up their own equipment.

“I’ve always been very hands-on,” Blair says, adding he is still learning about dairy farming from his father, a process started when he was no older than his own children are today. Blair says he finds it satisfying walking through the barn, seeing the cows healthy and knowing that their hard work and expertise in caring for the animals is responsible for it.

Blair also likes looking up the nearby hills to see new subdivisions as Abbotsford continues to grow adjacent to agricultural land. To him, the new homes mean there will be even more demand for the local food he and other dairy farmers in the Fraser Valley produce every day.

“I think it’s important to stay connected with everyone, and remember these are the people we rely upon to buy our products and keep the farm going,” he says. “It’s an evolution of the community, and the more people there are in the valley the more demand for our milk there’s going to be.”

BC dairy farmers like Blair understand that food is something that should bring people together. That’s why they work hard to make sure everything they make is too good not to share.

Check out how our latest campaign “Proud to be at your table”, which features Blair and celebrates good food and good company.




Meet the neighbours.

Keep reading to be introduced to more of BC’s dairy farmers.