Tom GrahamTom Graham, who was born in Ottawa, enjoyed a lifetime in the agriculture industry. He graduated from Guelph OAC in 1951 and took a job with Pionner. In 1953 he moved to St. Marys and started Gramlyn Farms which later became Graholm Farms and continues today into a third generation. Tom loved genetics which lead to his work to improve both layers and broilers as well the introduction of RX3 cattle which was a three-way cross of Red Holstein, Red Angus, and Herefords. Tom will be remembered most for his relentless drive to establish supply management which has made the feather and dairy industries the power house in agriculture we know today. He was also a strong voice for the Beef Producers for Change in their attempts to improve the lot for beef Producers in Ontario and beyond. Tom died in 1997 and his son Scott accepted on his behalf.
Linda WeitzelLinda Weitzel, from the Tavistock area, has made a huge difference in the lives of women and children involved in the agriculture industry. That began in 1988 when the Perth County Women for the Support of Agriculture, with the assistance of a Secretary of State grant, conducted a survey to identify the need for farm/rural child care in Perth County. Linda, along with eight other women, met at her kitchen table and the work began. As a group, the goal was to provide safe child care during the farming seasons and a nurturing environment for farm/rural families. Linda along with the board, provided seasonal care, a toy-lending library, summer camps and eventually play groups at locations throughout Perth County and Perth Care for Kids was born. That has developed into an organization with a permanent home with a budget of $2.6 million and a staff of 70 working at six sites and 23 outreach sites throughout Perth County and North Middlesex. She is also active in the Women’s Shelter and Zion Lutheran Church in Stratford, is a past member of the Shakepeare Opti-Mrs. Club and the Perth Women for the Support of Agriculture. She has also served on the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board, chaired the Ontario Pork Congress, is the Project Co-ordinator for the Ontario Pork Industry Council and a graduate of the Farm and Food Speakers Bureau.
Gary WestGary West, from near Shakespeare, is perhaps best known as an egg farmer and for the leadership he provides that industry as a board member of the Egg Farmers on Ontario. But at the grass roots level Gary has directed support from the industry to countless charities and schools, not only in monetary support but also in product. Thanks to Gary, Zone 6 donates 5,000 eggs a year, the highest of any zone in Ontario. In the letters of support that accompanied his nomination perhaps the best description was that he was a “Grade A” guy. Gary has also been an active and passionate member of the Stratford and District Agricultural Society since 2000 including as president. He has also been integral to the success of the fall fair, the Farm to You program, the fundraising campaign for the AgriPlex. Gary is, or has been involved with, Jersey Canada, the cattle industry, the Ontario Pork Congress, the Canadian Dairy Expo, the Canadian Cancer Society.
David CarsonDavid Carson, from Listowel, began his agricultural operations in the 1960s and today has customers in every province in Canada as well as throughout the United States. He is a supplier of cattle to some of the largest dairy operations in the world but he is perhaps best known as a breeder of Clydesdales. Progeny from his farm can be found on the streets of Toronto and New York City in the service of those police departments, more famously among the Budweiser Cydesdales in such events as the Rose Bowl Parade. It was his contribution to his communities that also impressed the committee. In 2005 he opened the doors of his operation to the public and hosted the International Plowing Match with over 97,000 visitors. He is a supporter of 4-H programs, the Listowel Agricultural Society, he volunteers and announces at many charity auctions and his company and staff were major contributors to the Listowel Hospital fundraising campaign.
Mary and John McIntoshMary and John McIntosh, from Perth South, both grew up on dairy farms in what was Downie Township and are still very proud to say they farm at Avonbank. Mary and John have a wealth of community involvement in rural, agricultural, and community organizations past and present. Both have been involved in Perth 4-H programs as members and leaders, as well as Junior Farmers, where John was Stratford Club President, Perth President and Director provincially. Mary served as President of Perth Children’s Aid Society and Perth County Federation of Agriculture, as well as Director to OFA. She also served as the Perth Environmental Farm Plan Coordinator, and also Downie Ward Councillor in Perth South. She currently chairs the Huron-Perth Presbytery of the London Conference for the United Church of Canada. John was chair of the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame Milton Museum, sat on the Perth County Dairy Producer Committee and is the current chair of the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation. John has been Chair of different committees at three International Plowing Matches hosted in Perth County. The Downie Mutual Insurance Board and the Farm Mutual Reinsurance Board of Canada have benefitted from John’s leadership. He was also on the committee which changed Blanshard Municipal Telephone system and was a founding member of Quadro Communications. John and Mary were also the recipients of the 2015 Perth County Federation of Agriculture Recognition Award.
Allan Bain ( 1919-2001)Allan was first and foremost a farmer and breeder of fine Holstein cattle. Born and raised in the Avonton area, he began his farming career in 1943 with 200 acres. The partial-grade Holstein herd was upgraded to purebred and enrolled on milk recording in 1947. He was the director and president of the Western Ontario breeders, director and president of Perth Holstein Club, and director for Holstein Canada. Success with his Holstein herd was showcased by many Bainholm cattle, not the least of which was Bainholm Citation Melinda, who achieved excellence status, was the Grand Champion the Perth County Show, Reserve Grand at the London Championship Show, and was nominated as all-Canadian two years in a row. Allan was awarded the highest honour given to a Canadian Holstein Breeder—the Master Breeder Award. Allan died in 2001. Nominated by: Ron McKay, Murray McGonigle, and Gary West Achievements:
- Director and President of Western Ontario Breeders Association
- Awarded Master Breeder Shield
- President of the Perth County Holstein Club
- Director of Holstein Canada
Pat LynchBorn in Peterborough, Pat completed his Masters of Science at the University of Guelph and began his career as a soil and crops adviser with the Ministry of Agriculture in Stratford in 1972. He soon became recognized for his vision, his skills in communication, and his expertise in crop and soil extension. After leaving OMAF, Pat worked as a crop consultant and took genuine pride in helping young farmers. He was a well-known public speaker at the community, university, and government level. Pat greatly influenced crop production in Ontario for the benefit of the farmers, the environment, and the value chain. He has had speaking engagements concerning agronomic skills both nationally and internationally, including a speaking tour in South Africa to discuss soybean production. Today, he still works as a private crop consultant and with a wider scope of suppliers and farmers, as well as owning his own independent agronomist business since 2008. He has received many awards for in ingenuity, volunteerism, and foresight. Nominated by: Thelma Smith (Perth County Soil & Crop Improvement Association) and Cain Templeton (Perth County Soil & Crop) Achievements:
- Senior Agronomist at Cargill Consulting Group, Inc.
- Awarded the 2014 CCA Award of Excellence
Murray Selves (1934- 1985)Murray grew up on a mixed farm in Fullarton Township and graduated from Ontario Agricultural College in 1957 in crop science. From humble beginnings, Murray jointly purchased a 100-acre home with his wife near his birthplace and soon began raising hogs in what he called a circle of life. He often mused: land grows crops, corn is fed to hogs, hogs produce manure, and the manure goes back on the land to maintain yield of corn and the product of the cycle is pork. Murray was a strong proponent of animal welfare and in the belief that it was the farmer’s responsibility to provide optimal living conditions beneficial for animal health and growth. Murray was a visionary. In 1977, he developed insulated concrete wall barns that are still an industry standard. In 1981, he initiated a computerized feeding system and modified open-front barns designed to improve animal welfare. In 1982, he built an on-farm methane digester that produced electricity, an innovative, environmentally-conscious energy source that was well ahead of its time. Early in his career, he was a proponent of high moisture corn storage as an economical method of feed storage and preparation. Each time he developed a new idea he shared it with the industry, eager for the opportunity to play a role in the advancement of modern agriculture. Murray died at age 51 in a sailing accident, but his ideas, creativity and inspiration essential to his role as an agriculture motivator live on, both in the community and as an integral part of his children’s identities. Nominated by: Joanne Selves
2014 Inaugural Inductees:
Stewart Anderson (1930-2013)Stewart began his farming career in the 1950s on the family farm located on the south side of Ontario St. between Burritt St. and C.H. Meier Boulevard, Stratford. Athlone Farms was moved to its present location in South Easthope Township in 1966, where it continues under the management of fifth and sixth generations of the Anderson family. As a Perth County Dairy farmer and graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College, Stewart showed exceptional leadership as both an outstanding business manager and as an active participant in many community organizations. He was aggressive in adopting and implementing new farming technologies while promoting safe environmental practices to protect water quality. Stewart was known for practicing “service above self”, a virtue that is clearly demonstrated in his commitment to farm and community organizations both locally and provincially. Nominated by: The Rotary Club of Stratford and Helen Anderson and family. Achievements:
- President of Perth County Junior Farmers
- President of Perth County Holstein Club
- President of Stratford District Co-operative
- Director of United Co-operatives of Ontario
- President of Stratford Agricultural Society
- Member of Perth County Milk Committee
- Trustee on the Perth County Board of Education
Willy Keller (1925-2012)Willy was well known throughout Perth County in both the pork industry and with the Federation of Agriculture. An immigrant from Switzerland, he worked as a cheesemaker and operated a factory in Fullarton for Stacey Brothers, producing European-style cheeses, as well as attempting to initiate the sale of yogurt, the first individual to do so in the province. Market resistance due to Canadian unfamiliarity with these new products made the factory unviable, driving Keller instead to invest his energy instead into farming. After abandoning mixed farming, which was most common at the time, Keller chose to specialize in raising pigs. From this moment onward, Keller maintained the belief that if a farmer focuses on an aspect of farming that they like the best, they will likely do the best. The success of his work in the promotion of cross breeding of York and Landrace Swine can be seen with its current reputation as a standard in the pork industry. Along with his wife Clara, the Kellers were instrumental and active in the early years of the Ontario Pork Congress in Stratford. Willy passed away in 2012. Nominated by: John Nyenhuis (Perth County Pork Producers) and Darryl Terpstra (Perth County Federation of Agriculture) Achievements:
- Director of Perth County Federation of Agriculture
- Director of Perth County Pork Producers
- Board Director for Ontario Pork
- Member of Ontario Swine Research Committee
- Member of Ontario Swine Herd Health Advisory Committee
- Awarded 1976 Pork Producer of the Year
- Awarded 1984 Bicentennial Certificate of Merit of Contribution from the Province of Ontario
- Awarded 1986 Award for Service in Education & Research from the University of Guelph
- Awarded 1994 Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture from the Perth Federation of Agriculture
- Awarded CKNX Food and Beverage Award
Seven Charter Members