The McBride Farmers’ Institute was incorporated in March 1915 and is one of the oldest Farmers’ Institutes in the province. It also has the distinction of being the oldest active association in the Robson Valley. With incorporation before the establishment of local government, many of the projects that the Farmers’ Institute lobbied for were really goals for improved community infrastructure—better roads, schools, telephones, ferries, and electrical services.
For over four decades the McBride Farmer’s Institute pressured the provincial government for roads connecting McBride to Prince George and Kamloops, even going so far as threatening to form a new province of Northern British Columbia if the needs of the North were not taken more seriously. As late as 1962, they were still having to petition the Ministry of Highways to keep highways 5 and 16 open during the entire winter. In accomplishing many of these early goals, the Farmers’ Institute has become less active than it used to be, but has remained steadfast in its desire to address issues of concern in the valley today.
Photo: Valley Museum and Archives – Dunster Womens’ Institute