STIRLING — A former Dairy Farmers of Canada president, a cheese grader, a Master Breeder, a soil champion and a farm author were inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame on Sept. 17 at Farmtown Park at Stirling.
The six inductees — which includes one couple — joined the 67 other inductees on the wall.
Here are new inductees:
Thomas Glenfield Cole
Thomas Glenfield Cole was born in the Bewdley area of Northumberland County. High school education meant having to board in Port Hope, and like many of his time, his education was interrupted to return to farm with his father.
Cole became involved with the Ontario Cream Producers’ Board from 1954-1965 and became a founding member of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board in 1965. When Cole retired from the board in 1971, he was presented with the solid mahogany desk he had used while on the marketing board.
Cole also served on the board of Dairy Farmers of Canada, and was president from 1968 to 1969. Locally, he served on the Bewdley Public School Board and was choir director in the Plainville United Church, where he also taught Sunday school. He also sang in the barbershop choir in Port Hope and the Northumberland Philharmonic Choir in Cobourg.
Norm McWaters spent much of his working career in the dairy industry, but upon retirement branched into a different field. Norm’s early agricultural career was in quality control with Canada Packers in Mount Forest, Bancroft, Shelburne and Harriston.
His job with Agriculture Canada saw him move around the province with stops in Toronto, Hamilton, Kemptville and Ottawa, but his passion as a cheese grader led him to travels across the globe. Twice he went to England to look at butter and cheese, and sampled dairy products from around the world to ensure Canada continued to produce great cheese.
McWaters transferred to Belleville as inspector in charge of the dairy division in the late 1970s. Upon retirement in 1987, McWaters was appointed secretary-treasurer of the Central Ontario Cheesemaker Association and continued to grade cheese for Black River, Empire and Wilton Cheese factories in Eastern Ontario.
After retirement, McWaters also took up beekeeping and became secretary of the Quinte Beekeepers’ Association and vice-president of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association.
McWaters was also the first curator of Farmtown Park and has donated many items to the museum.
Keith and Marjorie Donnan
Although Keith Donnan became a full-time farmer in 1955 when he left high school after both his grandparents passed away, the Donnans purchased their first farm together in the early 60s. They purchased their first purebreds in 1962 and received a Master Breeder shield in 1989.
Marjorie Donnan used her training in business college to maintain farm records and for many years was involved with CANFARM: An early federal-provincial attempt at developing a computerized farm record system. Marjorie was also secretary-treasurer of the Hastings County Holstein Club and served two four-year terms as a member of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission.
Keith has been involved with Holstein Canada, from membership in Hastings County Holstein Club to president of Holstein Canada. He is also an official judge with Holstein Canada.
The Donnans were heavily involved in their church, sponsored missionaries around the world, and visited Tibet to encourage missions. Marjorie also assisted refugees to Canada from Laos and Kosovo.
Eric S.J. Kaiser
Eric S. J. Kaiser is recognized as an innovator in crop production, particularly in the discipline of soil health. He’s been named as a soil champion in both Ontario and Canada, and has a life-long goal of leaving soils better than he got them.
Raised in Prince Edward County, Kaiser graduated from the Royal Military College. After serving four years in the Canadian Forces, he developed a poultry-crop operation in Adolphustown Township. Kaiser Lake Farms produces both eggs and pullets.
Kaiser was an early adopter of no-till cropping with emphasis on drainage, erosion control and manure management, and has co-operated with researchers to study soil compaction and cover crop systems.
Kaiser served on both the egg and pullet marketing boards, the Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council and on Adolphustown Township council. He has also chaired the Lennox & Addington Soil and Crop Association. He was director of the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario and was twice conference chair.
Douglas Lyal Parks
Douglas Lyal Parks has been described as “a farmer, scientist, writer and teacher who devoted his life to the science of crop improvement.” His book, Successful Crop Production in Eastern Canada, was published in 1955 and confirmed his belief that sound soil management is fundamental to successful crop production.
Born and raised in Prince Edward County, Parks graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in 1940. He married Hazel Maybe in 1942. They had five sons.
Following a brief farming career, Parks became chief instructor and extension specialist in field husbandry at Kemptville College from 1945 to 1962. He was later the Ontario Department of Agriculture’s director of the soils and crop branch and became deputy minister of agriculture in the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture for eight years. Farming in Prince Edward County followed again.
Parks received an Award of Merit from the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers in 1963 and was named an honourary life member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association in 1970. In 1982, Parks was named distinguished agrologist by the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists, and in 1998, was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.