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SPRING 2021 ❁ BC HOLSTEIN NEWS 43 Farming with the Future in Mind
 Mariah Schuurman, B.A., Trinity Western University
Mariah was raised on an Alberta dairy farm and completed her B.A degree at TWU in 2017.
Trading cows for chickens is not all that uncommon in BC, but swapping from chickens to milk cows is rare. After selling their broiler quota, Chris and Nella Kloot, with their three growing boys, began dairying on February 4, 2020.
As a father and husband, Chris is dedicated to the health, happiness, and future well- being of his children. As a farmer, he wants to ensure his 60-cow Jersey herd is as healthy and comfortable as possible. As a politician, his views for his community are no different.
Chris has been an active member of the Chilliwack Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee (ARAC) since its inception in 2012, which would allow his voice for urban and rural policy issues to flourish. Today he has chaired the ARAC since becoming a councillor in 2014. With encouragement from local poultry producer and former city councillor Ken Huttema, Chris ran and won a seat on Chilliwack city council in 2014.
Well into his second term on Chilliwack city council, he has found it important to speak up as someone who understands the economic impact of farming in the area. It’s crucial to have strong industry voices to promote education and prevent misconception regarding agricultural issues.
For those who don’t understand, it can be easy to assume that farms are getting in the way: Chilliwack is no longer considered a small, agricultural town. In 2018, Chilliwack was home to just shy of 92,000 people. This year its population is expected to exceed 100,000. With ongoing population growth
expected, land prices and urbanization member of the community, regardless of
are likely to continue to be an issue. As people move out of the city, they will end up confronted with the reality of life in the country.
While Chris has experienced joy in work, sometimes he finds himself in a state of exhaustion. It is important to take a break for one’s own mental health, suggesting, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you will fall apart.” Whether that’s taking a drive to view some farmland
what the issue may be.
Transitioning from poultry to dairy, he set up the farm for the next generation of young farmers. He’s had the opportunity to work with people to help them understand the value of agriculture and that farmers will continue to produce quality products. As decisions arise, he asks himself, ‘How will this contribute to my community in the best way possible?’
upcountry, or biking or hiking, he highlights the importance of setting time aside for himself to prevent burnout.
It’s crucial to have strong industry voices to promote education and prevent misconception regarding agricultural issues.
The farm has given him a great appreciation for his family. Together with his wife, Nella, they have made the transition from chickens to cows smoothly, working in unison for whatever
kids is very short.” His son Steve, now 20, is getting married in August 2021, and for all the time that Chris was involved in boards and councils, he wonders what he missed.
Reflecting on his multiple roles as father, farmer, and politician, Chris said that it is a ‘delicatebalance’findingtimeforeverything while readjusting to life in dairy again. Between morning chores and two industry meetings before evening chores, he says, “This is actually a pretty quiet day.” There are some days when he finds his schedule a little more overwhelming, but he tries to find the time to squeeze everything in. “At the end of the day you have 24 hours in a day; you can use them all,” Chris remarks.
Chris Kloot wears many hats; he’s proud of being a farmer and ag-vocate – he’s able to speak up on behalf of his family and fellow farmers within the community. He encourages fellow farmers to be comfortable with speaking up and getting involved in local government – agriculture is here for the long-haul! With the right voices at the table, agriculture in BC will continue to contribute to stable community and economic development together with municipal growth.
Chris knows the
voice he’s been
able to provide for the growing city. He the day brings. When thinking about his is happy working with people as a fellow
 Why did the farmers cross the road? To get to the dairy side. (L-R) Justin, Nella, Chris, Steve and Colin Kloot began their Golden Oak Acres dairy a year ago
sons, he says, “The time you have with your
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