Dealer Spotlight: Pearson Farm and Fence
This issue’s Dealership Spotlight takes us to the Pacific Northwest, to Pasture Pro’s Pearson Farm and Fence, with locations in Colfax and Moses Lake, Wash. John Pearson is a Kiwi (native to New Zealand) and was raised in Christchurch.
He worked on multiple high-country sheep stations in North Canterbury, then went to Lincoln College and completed a Diploma in Agriculture. While there, he heard about an agricultural program through the University of Minnesota. He worked a season on a large operation in SW Minnesota before attending the winter quarter at the St. Paul campus. The next year he headed out to the hills of the Palouse in Washington State where he learned about dryland wheat production and then traveled to the central basin for a potato harvest. After visiting the Pacific Northwest, he knew there was a business opportunity for providing livestock producers of the region with advice on grazing practices and the products which make New Zealand-style grazing possible.
After nearly thirty years of extensive work with livestock producers across eastern Washington and Western Idaho, John and Debbie saw an opportunity for extending their business farther into the irrigated central region of Washington. Moses Lake became the home of their second location in 2015 and is managed by their trusted friend and colleague, Ian Newman.
Although only 100 miles apart, these two locations are in very different agricultural land-use areas, with different grazing resources and strategies around each. Colfax is further east, near the Idaho border, surrounded by rolling hills with an average annual rainfall of 20”. The terrain and climate lend the region to widespread wheat production. Moses Lake, on the other hand, sits in the central part of the state, just east of the Columbia River and the North Cascade Mountains. Iconic mountains such as Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier loom close by. Dominated by the rain shadow effect, Moses Lake receives an average of just under 8” of precipitation per year; but being situated on a flat plateau allows for extensive center-pivot irrigated crop and pastureland.
It takes a team to operate two well-known agricultural retail locations. There’s no doubt that the success of this pair in the livestock industry and agricultural retail business is attributed to their efforts as a couple (some, including John, might say Debbie is the more polished cog in that machine). With John often tied up between the two retail locations, that leaves Debbie to handle most of the cattle work. The Pearson’s manage 18,000 acres and approximately 1,200 cattle. The teamwork this pair has brought to the business has recently branched out into additional family, adding daughter Kristyn Hardy to the management team at the Colfax location. Kristyn’s background in working for the government as a mechanical engineer has allowed the Pearson’s to get more involved with government fencing jobs throughout the State of Washington and Idaho.
The Pearson’s have several products which help producers do better work with the land they have. Gallagher electric fence products are at the core of their operation, with additional products including panels, gates, chutes, forage seed, various agricultural tools, and K-Line Irrigation. K-Line is another great New Zealand product and is a key pasture management product the team recommends for producers who want to improve their grazing operations. K-Line is a manufacturer of irrigation systems for forage and grasslands, delivering uniform water to hilly or odd-shaped pastures. Additionally, the company offers a low-maintenance portable water tank ideal for managed grazing operations.
Pearson Farm and Fence serves as one of the model dealerships for the Passion for Pasture program. Without a doubt, Pearson’s upbringing in New Zealand and early exposure to pasture management in the country where it was perfected has been a benefit to him and his customers. Pearson’s knowledge, backed by quality brands like Gallagher and K-Line, has allowed adoption of managed grazing practices in the Pacific Northwest to flourish. When not caring for their family or livestock or relaxing by tearing down the Columbia and Snake Rivers on their jet boat, John and Debbie say their focus is to offer “quality products and help livestock producers take the next steps in pasture management.” The Pearson’s vision for the future is to “keep growing with what we are good at and promote the cattle industry.” When Pearson was asked what his advice for pasture or livestock management is, he said, sagely, “look at the grass, and listen to the cows.”
To contact Pearson Farm and Fence for a project quote, or if you’d like to locate a Pasture Pro closer to you, check out the Passion for Pasture website in the USA or Canada and click “Find A Pasture Pro.” Gallagher’s select group of dealers who have earned the Pasture Pro designation have received comprehensive training in pasture management techniques and fence/water design. Each Pasture Pro offers installation services and has annual field days to educate local livestock producers about forages and grazing and pasture management and the products that make those systems work. To participate in the next field day, be sure to check the Events page (USA / Canada) often and follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with the most recent updates and helpful advice.
Our Pasture Pro's have been trained to answer site specific questions and recommend designs related to managed grazing operations. Maybe you're interested in the highest quality, innovative animal management products on the market or fence and water system installation services? They offer that too!
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