MILTON — The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame is up to a nice even 240 inductees with the seven to be inducted this year.
The hall of fame is also bringing its annual induction ceremony back this summer, although it’ll be going online. The June event last year was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s ceremony will also feature last year’s four inductees: Kemptville College’s longest-serving president John Curtis; farm feminist Dianne Harkin; ag-education advocate Brian Little; and combine-innovator William Murray Mills.
This year’s inductees are:
Stan Eby (1944 -)
A Kincardine-area beef farmer and former leader of both the provincial and national Cattlemen’s associations, Eby helped lead the beef industry through two crises. He played a leadership role during the Walkerton water crisis and helped the beef industry adapt during the BSE crisis that hit in 2003 by expanding processing capacity and developing set-aside programs.
Roger George (1946 -)
A former OFA director and president, the Powassan-area farmer had a leadership role with the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition, which first proposed the now-internationally-recognized Environmental Farm Plan program. He was also the founding chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council.
Herbert Norry (1924 -)
Keeping Ontario farming means bringing new farmers into the fold and Norry excelled at that. Herbert Norry established 4-H clubs and served with the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario. He spent 32 years with OMAFRA and was a specialist in farm taxes and transfers. He also established a review committee for an initiative to reduce the amount of phosphorus going into the Great Lakes and started a farm accounting, tax, insurance and record keeping course for farm women.
Delbert O’Brien (1935 -)
The farm kid from Pembroke in Renfrew County got a law degree and started an ag-law practice in his home county, then started and headed up the Ontario Drainage Tribunal for 14 years.
Dr. Arthur Terence O’Connor (1932-2019)
The Stouffville-area veterinarian ran a practice there for 25 years before he became the OMAFRA regional veterinarian and program manager. He oversaw the operations of the beef cattle financial protection program and played a key role developing alternative deadstock disposal methods for hog farmers.
Peter Sikkema (1958 -)
Researcher Peter Sikkema made big contributions to field crop production. He’s published more peer-reviewed research on field crop agronomy than anyone else in the 146-year history of the Ontario Agriculture College and is a world-leader in weed management and surveillance.
Doug Williams (1919-2019)
Raised on an Ottawa-area fruit and vegetable farm, he’s the one who came up with the “Good things grow in Ontario” jingle that gets stuck so easily in your head. In his time he was the OMAFRA chief inspector of farm products, as well as the chair of the Ontario Food Council. His brainchild, the Festival of Food at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, was the catalyst for Foodland Ontario. He also served as chair of the Ontario Food Terminal.