Agriculture in the South Peace River District began in 1908, when the Hector Tremblay family settled near the Pouce Coupe River and broke about ten acres of land the first year, planting wheat and oats for feed and hardy root vegetables. The Tremblay family had the first cows. Mrs. Esme Tuck had the first flower garden in Pouce Coupe Valley in 1920. She had beautiful flower gardens for many years.
Rolla District is a wide rolling prairie. The earliest settlers to this area were the Lea Miller family. They first plowed a few acres of land in May 1912. Oats were broadcast for feed for their horses and cow, and also for seed. A garden was planted at that time also, with carrots, cabbage, turnips, lettuce and potatoes. Early in the spring of 1913 many more settlers arrived including the Vincents, Peirces, McNeelys and Coons. They all homesteaded and are still living on their land in this rich grain growing area. The first Fall Fair in the Peace River District was held at Rolla in 1924 with the outlying communities bringing in products for display in this successful affair which was held for many years. Now the South Peace River Exhibition is held at Dawson Creek each summer. It is a large three-day event with wonderful displays of garden produce, fruits, grains and livestock in the Agricultural shows.
The Willis Piper family, Harry and Walter Gibson, came to the west Saskatoon (Kilkerran) District in the early summer of 1912. The first sod was turned with a walking plow and oxen in time to plant potatoes and turnips the first year. Their first cereal crops were planted in 1914, and some grain was threshed by hand that fall for seed. Hay was cut with a mowing machine and raked by hand. More settlers followed to this district in 1914- — the Atkinsons, Shepherds and Harpers.
Around 1912 many settlers came to the Landry District. Land was broken by a team of oxen and a saddle horse by John Carlson. He did custom breaking for many settlers. Taxes were about $6.00 a quarter section, after the land had been “proved up”.
Now some gardens have large fruit garden of rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, red and black currants, gooseberries and Saskatoons are favorites. There was an abundance of wild fruits but these are getting harder to find with the prairie cultivated and the rougher land grazed by cattle. Jim Young have the only sheep ranch in Rose Prairie, started in 1928. Mrs. Gray, a widow with three children, started the first pig farm. Pigs are raised extensively today. Joe Robbins made the first dugout in 1928. Grain was fed to pigs for many years before threshing machines came in, and still is today, with the elevators at Dawson Creek, 90 miles away. Mike Marshal and Ed McBurnie hauled the first grain in 1934. It was a cold drive in December when they had to stop at the banks of the Peace River overnight and the thermometer went down to the unusual temperature of 75º below zero. Rosco Wadlow brought some potatoes to eat on the way from Sexsmith in 1929. He planted some of the skins with eyes in them. They were a good early red potato, and are used extensively today. The first hogs were hauled by Carl Tilton over the long trail to Dawson Creek Co-operative Shipping Association in a rubber tired wagon. In 1935 butchered pigs sold for $5.00 each. Wheat sold for 25 cents a bushel and oats sold for 10 cents.