Brad and Christine St. Pierre, along with their children Aviva, 8, and Silas, 3, grow vegetables, fruits, berries, honey and hay on their 25-acre farm in Fairbanks. Christine was born and raised in Ester, while Brad is originally from the lower 48, but now calls Alaska home.
A first-generation farming family, the St. Pierres sell to a diverse array of individuals, schools and businesses, as well as through their CSA (community-supported agriculture) and at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market. “We are surrounded by an amazingly supportive community that values what our farm does. We love working hard together to help bring real food security and healthy fresh food to the people of Fairbanks,” they said.
The St. Pierres are developing a new seven-acre field this year, with plans to cultivate it next year. “We hope to grow and refine our business every year. We will continue to be a part of making family farming and local food security a priority for the Interior and the state,” they said.
In addition to working the farm, Brad volunteered as the vice president of the Ester Community Association for the last five years. He is currently serving as the vice president of the Alaska Farmers Market Association, and is the general manager of the Tanana Valley Farmers Market.
“We love to see our kids growing up on a farm. We love to see the smiles on people’s faces when they see and taste our produce. We love to watch the change of the seasons and we love to eat delicious food,” they said.
The Farm Family of the Year award, sponsored by the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, was established by the Alaska State Fair in 2000 to honor an Alaska farming family and show appreciation for all the hardworking Alaskans committed to agriculture. After reviewing nominations, an awards committee chaired by the Alaska Division of Agriculture selects the winning family based on production of quality Alaska Grown products, community and agricultural organization involvement, and overall image.
Recent Farm Family of the Year winners include the Olson family of Alaska Berries (2018), the McCollum and Pinkleman families of Northwest Land & Livestock and Delta Meat & Sausage, Inc. (2017), and the Plagerman Family of Scott Plagerman Farms (2016).