From left: Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman, farm manager Jordan Voorhorst, Heppell’s Potato Corp. partner Pete Schouten and B.C. deputy minister of agriculture Wes Shoemaker. (Contributed)

From left: Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman, farm manager Jordan Voorhorst, Heppell’s Potato Corp. partner Pete Schouten and B.C. deputy minister of agriculture Wes Shoemaker. (Contributed)

After nearly 100 years in the field, Cloverdale farm recognized for agricultural leadership

Surrey Board of Trade awards Heppell’s Potato Corp with leadership award

The Heppell family has been a leader in Cloverdale’s agricultural community for nearly a century.

On Thursday (Nov. 15), the Surrey Board of Trade recognized that contribution formally, by awarding the corporation with an agriculture leadership award.

“Surrey stands at a critical juncture to make the right decisions and investments to create economic opportunities for a generation and beyond. Surrey’s agriculture industry is at the foundation of those investments and innovations,” said Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade CEO.

The Heppells are third-generation farmers. When Lester Heppell started up the family farm nearly 100 years ago, it was 40 acres of vegetables, dairy cows and turkeys. Lester’s sons, Ron and Dave, took over the farm in the early 1960s and began to modernize it. They worked with business partner Peter Schouten to become a driving force in agricultural innovation.

Today, Heppell’s Potato Corp. looks after 700 acres of potatoes and 120 acres of squash, as well as making Hardbite chips. The farm, located at 4945 184 Street, has both industrial processing facilities and a heritage farm house, a reminder of where it all started.

The corporation is on the forefront of agricultural technology, using GPS-mapping, self-guided tractors and real-time data analysis of crops to provide safe, efficient farming.

Heppell’s Potato Corp. was chosen for the 2018 Agricultural Leadership Award because of their “innovative efforts” to increase production and consumption of local produce, their work to protect Surrey’s agricultural land base and its viability, as well as their business management and technological advancements.

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Ron and Wes Heppell walk through a potato storage facility at Heppell’s Potato Corp. in Cloverdale. (Samantha Anderson)

Ron and Wes Heppell walk through a potato storage facility at Heppell’s Potato Corp. in Cloverdale. (Samantha Anderson)

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