Nicola Valley rancher Judy Guichon has a new residence — Government House in Victoria.
Guichon, 65, was appointed on Monday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as B.C.’s 29th lieutenant-governor.
Well known for her leadership in agriculture and in the B.C. cattle industry in particular, Guichon succeeds First Nation leader Steven Point after he completed his five-year posting.
Guichon recently completed a two-year term as president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. With her four children, she owns and operates the Gerard Guichon Ranch.
The ranch was originally part of a larger operation founded by Joseph Guichon in 1882. She married into the pioneer family, having been born in Montreal and raised on a farm near Hawkesbury, Ont.
Judy and her late husband, Lawrence Guichon, are credited with introducing holistic management — a method that promotes sustainable management of livestock with an emphasis on natural habitat — to the B.C. cattle industry.
In addition, she has held numerous volunteer roles with various organizations, including the local hospital board and community health council, and 4-H. She started a recycling society in Merritt. As well, she has served as director of the Fraser Basin Council, Grasslands Conservation Council of B.C. and as a member of the Nicola Water Management planning committee.
Guichon recently served on the provincial task force on species at risk and has been a part of the Ranching Task Force for B.C. and the B.C. Agri-Food Trade Advisory Council.
She plays flute with the Nicola Valley Community Band.
“Mrs. Guichon has dedicated herself to her community, province and country,” Harper said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “She is a leader in keeping British Columbia’s agriculture and cattle industries environmentally sound and she has worked hard to promote and protect the ranchers of British Columbia.”
Guichon relinquished her role as past-president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association to accept her new role as the Queen’s representative. Other association representatives had only praise for her.
“I’m very excited for Judy and pleased someone from the Kamloops-Merritt area has been chosen for this position,” said Dave Haywood-Farmer, association president. “Judy will be a wonderful ambassador for B.C.”
Guichon is an outstanding and dedicated person who has been a terrific representative for B.C. ranchers, said Kevin Boon, association general manager.
“She puts her heart and soul into everything she does and I’m certain will do an extraordinary job for all British Columbians,” Boon said.
The premier also thanked retiring Lt.-Gov. Steven Point for his service, which began in 2007, saying the province owes him a great debt.
Lieutenant-governors are appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister and serve five-year terms.