In 1967, the late H.H. “Spud” and Jean Huestis, purchased the property in the Fraser Valley town of Abbotsford, British Columbia, that was to be Coppertone Farms, under the company name Huestis Investments Ltd.
In 1968, the Huestis family moved out to the farm from Vancouver; Spud, Jean, their daughter Jane and son Patrick.
Mom and Dad’s first purchase of Polled Hereford cattle came from Henry Jensen, a local breeder in Abbotsford.
Dad’s love of Hereford cattle came from working on the Guichon Ranch, in Quilchenna, BC back in the 40’s and early 50’s.
He was a prospector, so when he ran out of food and money he could always find work on the ranch.
It didn’t take long for my parents to get more involved in purebred Polled Herefords after meeting with Jonathan and Molly Fox. Anybody who had met Jonathan soon learned that he was quite a promoter and a true character. Mom, Dad, Jonathan and Molly became good friends and Jonathan’s mentorship helped build a good part of the base of the Coppertone herd.
The most practical, functional and easiest doing cattle in the Coppertone herd came from the Hilger Polled Hereford Ranch in Helena, Montana. The Hilger females were all great mothers and milkers.
In 1974, Dad’s health did not allow for him to continue in Herefords and the herd was purchased by Remitall Cattle Co in Olds, Alberta.
Mom and Dad’s biggest accomplishment went along with that sale to Remitall, and it was breeding and calving COPPERTONE F SARA.
COPPERTONE F SARA was sired by a Coppertone bred bull and a Hilger bred dam. Her accomplishments were many.
COPPERTONE F SARA became the Canadian record selling female in 1975, the 1975 Agribition Grand Champion Female and the 1976 Denver Grand Champion Female.
COPPERTONE F SARA WAS THE FIRST CANADIAN BRED AND BORN POLLED HEREFORD FEMALE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS !!!
In 2005, more than 30 years after she was born, COPPERTONE F SARA was still the NUMBER 1 GOLD TROPHY DAM in the USA!
In 1975, Dad’s health improved, so he and Mom purchased some cattle back from Remitall.
Dad passed away in 1979, but always enjoyed the many friendships he made in the cattle business.
Mom continued running the farm along with help from R A “Bob” Rathwell. Bob was in his 40th year with Coppertone, when he passed away in 2015.
I was fortunate enough to participate in the first 5 Jr. Hereford Bonanza’s. What a great time and lifelong friendships formed.
Karen and I were married in 1985 and we have 4 children. Carl, Cameron, Cole and Caitlin were a the light of their nanna’s eyes. My Mom loved her Grandkids and she was always around to babysit and be a big part of their early lives until her passing in 2002.
We continued to have Herefords on the farm but were looking to diversify. In 1987 we entered into the Hog business and continued that for 21 years, back grounding breeding stock and replacement females for the largest pig farm in BC.
In 1997, Karen and I bought the farming operations from Mom, which included the Polled Herefords and the Hogs. We then diversified again getting into the Turkey business. We raised mainstream commercial turkeys for 5 years until JD Farms came calling.
We have been growing JD Farms Certified Specialty Turkey since 2002. These birds are grown on an all-vegetable ration with no animal by-products and no antibiotics. Coppertone attained Whole Foods Certification in 2012.
We are still raising registered Polled Herefords and continue to show from time to time.
In 2012, TH 104U 719T Victor 164X was Champion 2 Year Old Bull at the World Hereford Conference.