Third-generation Chilliwack dairy farmer loves seeing local milk in grocery carts

In 1915, Mark’s grandparents began dairy farming in Chilliwack, BC. His family has been working to produce healthy food in the same community for over one hundred years. Mark is proud to work closely with his family members and is passionate about investing in the future for the next generation. 

Chilliwack dairy farmer Mark Ricka’s favourite thing about his work happens in local grocery stores, when he sees a family with a jug of milk, yogurt, and other dairy products in their cart. It’s satisfying knowing he’s part of how that parent or caregiver will nourish their children for the week.

“You definitely feel connected to your community when you go to the grocery stores and see all this milk, and know it’s produced right here in the valley,” Ricka says.

Like many dairy farms in BC, Brooknook Farms is a family-run, local business. Mark is the third generation to work the farm his grandfather started in 1915. Today, they milk 250 cows on more than 140 acres they own and another 65 they rent.

“I think the most important thing about dairy farming is the consumer. As much as it’s a family farm and a livelihood for us, at the end of the day we’re producing food.”

In order to do that, consumers have to be confident that the land and animals are being taken care of, that things are being done responsibly. “If you take care of your animals they take care of you,” he says. “If they’re comfortable and well taken care of, they’re healthy, they’re going to be productive.”


Meet the neighbours.

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