Chris Armes of Williams Lake was recently awarded Agrologist of the Year, acknowledged for the work he has done in the Cariboo Chilcotin since 1992. (Photo submitted)

Chris Armes of Williams Lake was recently awarded Agrologist of the Year, acknowledged for the work he has done in the Cariboo Chilcotin since 1992. (Photo submitted)

OUR HOMETOWN: Chris Armes of Williams Lake named 2020 Agrologist of the Year

He is fondly referred to as the ‘Range Godfather’

Cariboo Chilcotin agrologist Chris Armes loves everything about his work.

“I think it’s just an amazing job,” he said of working for the ministry of forests for the past 29 years. “I can be inside on a rainy day like it is today. I have ridden horses for work, motorbikes, quads, snowmobiles, ridden in helicopters and planes.”

His job as the district range officer takes him from Horsefly to Anahim Lake and Empire Valley Ranch to McLeese Lake — the largest ranch district in the province.

Earlier in May, Armes was awarded Agrologist of the Year by the BC Institute of Agrologists (BCIA) during its virtual annual general meeting.

In his nomination he was lauded for making significant contributions both professionally and personally to the agriculture community and referred to as the ‘Range Godfather.’

One of his tasks has been to work with Xeni Gwet’in First Nation government to transition the tenuring from the province to the Xeni Gwet’in following the Tsilhqot’in title land decision. He has also been involved with supporting ranchers and First Nations through the process of the NStQ Incremental Treaty Agreement. The NStQ negotiations were the first time in any treaty negotiations the province has had to deal with significant potential impacts to the ranching industry.

Armes has historical roots in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Read more: Cariboo ranching pioneer Frank Armes inducted into BC Cowboy Hall of Fame

His great grandfather was a Cariboo ranching pioneer in Dog Creek, and his grandfather Frank Armes, also a rancher, had Armes Brothers Agencies in Williams Lake selling farm equipment and supplies, located where Surplus Herby’s is today.

Roderick Mackenzie, one of Williams Lake’s earliest business owners and who Mackenzie Avenue is named after, was also his great grandfather and Anne Stevenson, was his grandmother on his mom’s side.

He was born in Williams Lake to Gordon and Rhona Armes.

Soon afterwards the family moved to Kamloops where Gordon was hired for a principal position. Rhona was a teacher as well.

After high school he studied agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan and University of British Columbia before returning to his birth place of Williams Lake to work for the Ministry of Forests in May 1992.

He spent three years as an auxiliary before bidding on a permanent job as the district’s range agrologist, eventually moving into the range officer position.

Armes and his wife Dawn, who is originally from Kamloops, have two sons Matthew, 25, and Wyatt who will be 21 in June. Growing up, their sons were involved with 4-H and Dawn was a leader for 25 years.

“When you are married to the beef leader you can’t help but be involved,” Armes said, noting this year they were helping the Williams Lake First Nation 4-H club halter break steers at the 150 Mile Ranch where Julia Flinton is the leader.

“Julia was one of Dawn’s 4-H members when she was a kid. They lived just down the road from us.”

Matthew and Wyatt were also involved with high school rodeo, which saw their parents volunteering.

Armes said they’ve also volunteered at the Stampede.

He’s taken tickets at the door, driven a tractor on the grounds, fixed and cleaned things, did whatever was needed.

After the 2017 and 2018 wildfires Armes and co-workers walked along the burned fences to determine what needed to be rebuilt, a program undertaken by the BC Cattlemen’s Association, he said.

Both of his sons have pursued degrees in animal science — Matthew in Oklahoma and Wyatt in Saskatchewan.

“We have a grand baby due in two weeks in Utah. Matthew got a rodeo scholarship down in Oklahoma and met someone and got married.”

Wyatt works for Dr. Doug Magnowski at the Animal Care Hospital of Williams Lake in the summers.

Local ranchers have told Armes they don’t want him to retire so he plans to stick it out for a few more years.

When asked if there is something about him that no one might know, he responded no, “I’m an open book.”

Read more: Quesnel will host High School Rodeo senior finals in June

Do you know someone that deserves to be featured in “This is Our Hometown?” Email your suggestion to:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AgricultureWilliams Lake

Just Posted

The Williams Lake Stampede Association will crown a new queen, and potentially a princess, during the Williams Lake Stampede Royalty coronation on Saturday, June 26. Vying for the title are Miss Williams Lake Lions Kennady Dyck (from left), Miss Peterson Contracting Ltd. Karena Sokolan and Miss MH King Excavating Bayley Cail. (Photos submitted)
New Williams Lake Stampede Queen to be crowned June 26

“It was jump in right away all the way,” Wessels said of getting the program up and running

As the province moves to lift some COVID-19 restrictions, the city of Williams Lake will be opening up its city council meetings to the public, beginning June 22. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Public attendance on the agenda once again for Williams Lake city council meetings

Residents will be permitted to attend meetings in person beginning June 22

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society invites residents in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel to participate in “Free Your Things” taking place over the Father’s Day weekend. (Mary Forbes photo)
Cariboo Conservation Society co-ordinating “Free Your Things” Father’s Day weekend

Residents can sign up if they have items they want to give away

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake high school teacher valedictorian for TRU virtual graduation ceremonies

Jonathan Harding is graduating with a master of education degree

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read