How Golden Acre Seeds got its start
Golden Acre Seeds is a fourth-generation family farm located in the historic Peace region of northern Alberta.
Following World War I, a brave young widow named Anna Kerschbaumer left Austria for Canada with her nine-year-old son, Fred. Anna found her way to Fairview in northern Alberta and began to work as a housekeeper. She met and eventually married the farmer Fred Zanner.
Anna’s son, Fred Kerschbaumer, worked with his new stepfather and took over the family farm. Fred would go on to marry Adeline Schischikowsky, whose family had come to the Fairview area from Russia when Adeline was only two.
Two of their eight children took over the family farm when their father retired in 1973.
John and one brother carried on farming when their father retired. In 1981, operating as Kerschbaumer Brothers, they built their own cereal seed cleaning plant in John’s yard near Fairview. Heather, John’s wife, became the bookkeeper and office manager.
To start, they cleaned the neighbours’ seed and their own on a seasonal basis. To clean grasses and legumes, they added equipment and a plant for creeping red fescue—an important grass of which the Peace Region is world’s largest producer.
Growers were bringing seed from throughout the Peace region of Alberta and BC. Golden Acre Farms became incorporated. Heather and John hired full-time staff and, in 1994, changed the name to Golden Acre Seeds. By this time, Heather managed all marketing.
John became the sole shareholder and owner. That same year, John and Heather built a new plant for brome grass and tall fescue. With the purchase of a grain elevator two years later, they began to process rough creeping red fescue and could allow farmers to haul directly from their combines.
In more recent years, Golden Acre Seeds has begun to purchase seed but still mainly operates as a custom cleaning, bagging and marketing business. In 2005, the cleaning plant was certified organic. The farm followed in 2010.
John and Heather’s son, Trevor, became the owner of Golden Acre Seeds in 2017. They still operate Golden Acre Seeds on the original homestead site established by Fred Zanner.