David and Karen Kellett are no strangers to Prince George food enthusiasts. The husband and wife team is well known both for their tasty carrots and for their generous contributions to the community. David and Karen own and operate Northern Farm Products Ltd. and Sweder Berries U-Pick on a large acreage 40 km south of town. Neither David nor Karen were raised on a farm, but after they met each other at Fairview College in Alberta, both registered in the Livestock Production Program, they decided to settle down and commit to growing a family and a farm business.
Beginning in 1976 with vegetable production and a cow/calf operation, Northern Farm Products Ltd is one of the largest produce operations in the north. Their beef is sold as part of Save-On Foods Western Family Brand and their carrots, beets, rutabagas and cabbage can be found in Prince George’s Shoppers Wholesale Foods, Save On Foods and most recently, the Vanderhoof Co-op.
In 2001, Karen added another project to the farm operations. As part of a Ministry of Agriculture initiative, she became involved in commercial raspberry trials. For four years Karen meticulously collected data on the health and yield of 28 berry varieties. When the trial ended, Karen had more berries on her hands than she could use and opened a U-Pick berry operation to offer people the opportunity to come out and get a ‘hands on experience’ at the farm. Karen admits that the berry operation is a small part of their vegetable and beef operation, but she does it for the joy she gets in bringing people out to the farm and connecting them more closely to their food supply. David and Karen are no strangers to philanthropy and community spirit. David has served as President of the now-defunct Northern Interior Vegetable Growers Association, a group that once provided grassroots networking and support to produce growers in the north. He has also served
over the years as a Board member for the Prince George Cattlemen’s Association, and the farm donates hundreds of pounds of produce annually to various charities in Hixon and Prince George.
Many in the Prince George community know Karen for her twenty-six years of volunteer service with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, a role she began when her children were diagnosed with the disease. In addition to serving on the Cystic Fibrosis Canada National Executive, she also organizes the annual Razzle Dazzle Do, a gourmet dinner and fundraiser hosted in the berry patch. Chef Wayne Kitchen of Cimo Mediterranean Grill prepares the food, and Karen provides the ambiance and fun. This August marked the 3rd annual event and proved to be the best yet, selling out of tickets and receiving great sponsorship and an overwhelming number of donations for live and silent auctions, almost $35,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Research.