Dick Carlson joined the family farm in Matsqui in 1958 as the third generation to work with registered Holsteins. Dick married Roberta in 1973 and over the next few decades they raised a family while the Sunnyhome herd became known for deep pedigrees featuring high levels of longevity, type and production.
Sunnyhome Holsteins is now a two-time Master Breeder Herd having having earned this honour from Holstein Canada in 1988 and 2001. The herd has also enjoyed some homebred show ring success with cows such as Sunnyhome Skychief Matilda VG-88. Owned with partners, Matilda went on to become the 1997 Reserve All-American Jr. 2-Yr-Old.
A founding member of the Central Fraser Valley Holstein club in 1963, Dick served as the club’s first secretary and later as president. Along with several other breeders from the CFV club, Dick helped launch and organize the successful Dogwood Sales of many years ago.
Dick helped select animals for these sales including the record-breaking Dogwood Classic which was held in Vancouver during the 1983 National Holstein Convention. Such results infused much enthusiasm into the provincial breeding scene during the 1970’s and 1980’s and brought some great genetics into BC. Highly regarded for his knowledge and credibility, Dick was often called upon to read pedigrees at other sales.
In 1981, Dick and some colleagues formed the Banker Syndicate and entered the AI business. Valmarlyn Banker went on to leave 5000 daughters throughout Canada and became a Class Extra Sire. In 1982, after purchasing an outstanding young cow named Ronelee Glendell Gracie VG-88, Dick and partners began the Gracie Syndicate. Gracie was flushed extensively, with her progeny selling well at several elite sales. These daughters later earned her both Gold Medal Dam and 18* Brood Cow status.
As an official Holstein judge, Dick judged many 4-H and open Holstein shows around the province. In 2005, the Carlson family moved from Matsqui to Salmon Arm where they built a new dairy barn. Sadly, Roberta Carlson passed away in 2014. Dick has been able to take a step back now as sons Kevin and Brad have increased their responsibilities at the farm. Dick remains well-read and up-to-date on breed news and still enjoys traveling to major Holstein shows.
The Holstein fraternity of BC has benefited greatly from the contributions of this longtime breed enthusiast. His success within both the dairy industry and several partnerships has only been surpassed by his passion for breeding and developing a great cattle.These achievements have inspired us all. It is with sincere respect and gratitude that the BC Branch grants the title of Honorary Member to Dick Carlson.