Our history


Leslie Newton Yates, 73, passed away Sunday, June 25, peacefully at home in Quick, BC following a diagnosis in April of Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour.

Les was born in Stratford, Ontario and his family moved to the Toronto suburb of Rexdale when he was five years old. He lived there long enough to graduate from high school and get his private pilot’s license.

Les was incredibly curious about the world. He travelled extensively for two years then returned to Ontario to get a degree in journalism from Ryerson University. He moved to BC in 1975 and worked on various newspapers including the Cowichan Leader in Duncan, BC where he met his wife Chris. They both were hired by the Prince Rupert Daily News in 1977 and they lived in Rupert on and off for the next 20 years. Between 1978 and 1980 Les also worked for CBC Radio, the Victoria Times and Spiller’s old Wahl Boatyard in Dodge Cove.

He and Chris started a desktop publishing business in 1981 in Prince Rupert and in 1991 they started the weekly newspaper Prince Rupert This Week. In 1993 the paper was bought by Stirling Publishing and Les became the publisher of both the weekly and daily papers in Rupert. The same year he fulfilled a life-long dream and bought a half-section in Quick with the intention of eventually ‘going farming.’ In 1996 Les took on the management of Tyee Building Supply in Prince Rupert where he worked until 1998 when he decided to work the dream. He and Chris and their son Ian moved to the farm in August of 1998. Shortly after, Les was hired to manage Bulkley Valley Home Centre where he worked happily for the next 15 years.

In 2004, Les and Chris’ son Colin, 24, died in a car accident in Ontario. This was a challenging time in Les’ life and one that he never quite recovered from. He went on to become a very loving and supportive grandfather.

After retirement, Les and Chris travelled extensively together and Les loved putting slide shows together for their neighbours. One of his highlights was a trip to Africa where he travelled from Rwanda to South Africa in the support vehicle for a group of motorcyclists on a fundraising adventure.

He loved life and the land and developed a herd of Galloway/Angus cattle at Lemieux Creek Ranch. In 2011 he started selling grass-fed beef to customers all over BC through his website. He was preparing to start his 12th year in the business and always looked forward to interacting with his customers over the details of cuts and quantities for their individual needs. Les was very involved in the BC Cattleman’s association and was constantly striving to improve his farming practices and environmental stewardship. He was very proud to use the highest animal welfare practices and produce AAA grade, grass-fed beef.

In his final days Les was tended by his family and by his loyal friends and neighbours who helped make it possible for him to stay at home for the last weeks of his illness. Thank you to Nurse Practitioner Deb Lowe, Northern Health Physiotherapist Barb Darnell, Chantelle and the Palliative Care Team, Wellspring homecare workers Amy and Rebecca, Northern Health homecare worker Val for the quality of their care. A special thanks to Joanne Wisselink who was always there to help and advise, day and night. To Justin and Alicia Wisselink who made it possible for us to continue farming in dire circumstances, John Wisselink who brought calm and farming news. Travis Naninga and Lenard Vriend who pulled out all the stops and made changes to the house that allowed Les to be cared for safely at home as well as continuing to visit him. Curt and Betsey Gesch, Fred and Iris Tabert, Jesse Boonstra, Dale Harris, Ken and Natalie McDonald, Dave Harris, Cindy and Jack Payne, Joyce and Rene Dieleman and Brigitte and Roland Oberlader who continued to visit, bring meals, look after the dog, and treat Les with respect and dignity as he declined in his last days.

To Francoi Depey of Better At Home who went out of his way to be sure we were able to have meals despite our distance from the service. To Denise Kalina of Smithers Hospice, Charmaine O’Coffee, Neal Anderson and Schrader Funeral Home for their expert service and advice.

Many people offered sincere concern, and offered prayers and help if needed, they helped keep us going. We are reminded how much goodness there is in the world.

Les is survived by Chris, his wife of 43 years, daughter Charlotte who lives in New Zealand with her husband Dean Parchomchuk and 3 daughters: Autumn 12; Gwyneth 12; and Robyn 8; and Ian who lives in Hamilton with his wife Elvi and daughters Rosie 9 and Nora 7; his brother Jim and his wife Debra of Ingersoll, Ontario, their daughter Jamie Losee, her husband Mike and their daughters Ryenne and Blaire; his sister Rae of Trenton, Ontario and his many cousins on both the Yates and Gourlay sides of the family.

Les’ first love was his family and he will be sorely missed by his wife, his children and his precious grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Bulkley Valley Hospice Society, Click here to donate.

Lemieux Creek Ranch History

Les and Chris Yates cross bred Galloway and Black Angus cattle at Lemieux Creek Ranch for 20 years and now background and grass finish calves from that herd as well as two neighbouring ranchers.   The ranch is located in the beautiful Bulkley Valley in north-west British Columbia, near the Town of Telkwa, approximately half way between Prince George and Prince Rupert. Our goal is to raise healthy food from healthy animals.

We manage our land to be sure the grass is plentiful and nutritious so that from May to November our calves will thrive on the rolling tame pastures and allow us to make high quality hay and silage to feed the herd for the winter. The calves graze stress-free on lush grass and drink clean water pumped from Lemieux Creek.

Black Angus influenced with Galloway genetics have an extraordinary ability to finish on grass and alfalfa pastures, allowing us to produce a high-quality grass-finished product in 17 to 22 months.

Our calves graze open pastures in communal groups, as cattle naturally do. They are moved from one pasture to another in the least stressful way possible, and are never fed in crowded, small pens.

In the winter the calves are fed outside with adequate wind breaks, water and bedding. They are given high quality forage for good health and growth.

We believe the quality of the meat we sell is the result of both the feed and the approach we take to raising our cattle. They are born near the ranch and moved short distances to our farm after weaning, usually at 6 months of age. There’s no trucking between pastures or range land, no upset to their routines. The animals are handled safely and humanely. They never face the stress of being trucked hundreds of kilometres and mixed with strange animals from other herds. They get to hang out with friends in a natural habitat. From a cow’s point of view, we think they have an ideal life. Along with superior genetics, we believe low stress helps produce a delicious, healthy lean meat.



Putting up quality forage to keep our calves growing nicely during the winter.