Agriculture in the Kinkora Area
Below is a brief introduction to agriculture in the Kinkora Area. For more information please visit Kinkora’s Community Collection at the library/CAP site in Kinkora. Enjoy a sample of the photographs, documents and oral history interviews on this subject in our Digital Collection.
Situated in PEI’s agricultural heartland, Kinkora and its surrounding communities have traditionally been agricultural towns. For many decades, the majority of employment in the area was generated from small, family-run farms or based around the needs and services required by farmers and their families. Life revolved around the farm work that needed to be done. Children were excused from school during harvest season and the church granted permission to work in the fields on Sundays when needed. Local families also developed new machines to advance production such as the Monaghan Thrasher.
An important source of revenue for Kinkora and Area farmers was the butter and cheese factory. The factory operated in Kinkora from 1901-1971. Almost every small farm had a few cows that produced milk for the factory. Now there are only a handful of dairy farmers in the area.
In the 1920’s Kinkora was once home to the man recognized Island-wide as “The Potato King,” M.J. McIver. He was a seed grower and buyer shipping his crops all over North America. Mr. McIver dramatically changed the way farming was conducted by implementing the use of chemical fertilizers, single crop farming and mechanization which are still practiced today.
Over the years, agriculture and its practises have changed dramatically in the Kinkora Area. For example, there are larger and fewer farms. Many are still family run but are now employed by brothers, fathers and sons or cousins instead of a single family. The number of farms with livestock has dropped dramatically as more and more farmers have had to focus on one type of industry. Mechanization has changed the way farming is conducted and the globalized world has opened up new markets and demand for non- traditional crops.
The Kinkora Area is proud of its agricultural past and present. Its community members recognize the hard work and pride that farmers and their crew put into their crops and livestock. Island farmers will attest that there is no better feeling then working hard and seeing a good crop come out of your labours. To learn more about agriculture in the Kinkora Area view a sample of our Community Collection at the Digital Collections page.