Manitoba Ag Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees

The Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2015 during the hall’s annual meeting in Brandon on April 9th.

Eight individuals will be recognized for their “significant and lasting contribution to agriculture in Manitoba”:

  • Harry Airey of Rivers
  • Clarence Baker, formerly of the Beausejour area
  • Morris Deveson of Winnipeg
  • Glen Findlay of Shoal Lake
  • William Gregor of Brandon
  • Robert Hopley of Brandon
  • David Jeffries of Portage la Prairie
  • Robert Roehle of Winnipeg

The induction ceremony will be held on July 16th in Portage la Prairie.

Biographies (courtesy Manitoba Ag Hall of Fame):

Harry Airey, Rivers, Manitoba: Harry was born and raised on a farm in the RM of Daly, and since 1965 Harry has farmed in the area. In 1972 he purchased his first Charolais cattle and continues to raise them to this day. Becoming hooked on the breed, he saw the need to further their popularity. He became an AI technician to promote the breed. He chaired the Breed Improvement Committee for the Canadian Charolais Association. Record of performance was important to Harry and HTA Charolais and he worked on several committees to make improvements to the program. In his community, he is a supporter of the 4-H program, the Rivers Rink board and the Rivers and Area Community Foundation. His quiet demeanor combined with his “let’s get it done attitude” never fails to keep all of the foundation directors on point and completing the task at hand.

Clarence Baker, Beausejour, Manitoba: Clarence was an innovative, progressive farmer who adapted to the changes in agriculture. He used the resources available to him, the Provincial Extension Service being one, to gain information. This helped him to be the first to grow many new crops in his area. Being an innovator, he was one of the first to use a grain dryer and installed a mechanized hog barn cleaner. In 1984 the Red River Exhibition Association recognized the Bakers as Farm Family of the Year. Over the years Clarence was involved in many boards and committees in his community. He served as Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Brokenhead and was a member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly for Lac du Bonnet Constituency. Clarence is remembered as a person of integrity and strong values. He was respected for his vision and leadership in agriculture and his contribution to the betterment of rural life.

Morris Deveson, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Morris grew up on a farm in the Arden, Manitoba area and attended the University of Manitoba graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He began his professional career in Hamiota with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. This allowed him to work with the 4-H program, something that had been important in his youth. Morris went on to work in Brandon and Winnipeg in various capacities with Manitoba Agriculture. Believing that agriculture is both a physical and social science, Morris was committed to policies and actions that improved rural life. Morris served his profession as president and director of several professional organizations and is currently the chair of the Farm Family of the Year committee for the Red River Exhibition Association. Morris has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to his family, his chosen profession, his community and his country.

Glen Findlay, Shoal Lake, Manitoba: Glen grew up on a farm at Shoal Lake, Manitoba. He continued his education at the University of Manitoba leaving with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He went on to obtain his Masters, PhD and Post Doctorate Fellowship at various institutions. In 1970 Glen returned to the farm as well as teaching at the University of Manitoba. From 1986-1999 Glen served his province as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Virden and Springfield constituencies. During this time he served as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Highways and Transportation and Minister Responsible for Telecommunications and MTS. Glen has served on a number of boards and committees provincially, regionally and nationally, as well as being active in his community. Glen’s long record of public service to his community, his province and his country has been exemplary and has been recognized by his peers.

William (Bill) Gregor, Brandon, Manitoba: Bill grew up and was educated in the Roblin area of Manitoba. He enlisted in the Canadian Infantry and following his honourable discharge, he trained as a welder, machinist and tractor mechanic at the Brandon Vocational School. He worked for Frank Lawson and Sons as a welder and Service Manager. During his time there he worked on the technology of changing steel wheels on tractors to rubber. Over the winter he taught farmers how to weld. He also experimented with putting hard surfaces on the points of cultivator shovels extending their use by several years. This technology was adopted by shovel manufacturers. Bill also experimented with hydraulic lifts for grain boxes and no-leak end gates for grain boxes. Throughout his working life, Bill’s passion and talents for innovative mechanics were used in the service of others, particularly the surrounding farming community.

Robert (Bob) Hopley, Brandon, Manitoba: Bob was born in Redvers, Saskatchewan moved to Manson, Manitoba and finally to Oak River, Manitoba. He started farming with his father and continued his education taking numerous courses at Manitoba Department of Agriculture’s Extension Centre in Brandon. Bob started with a farrow to finish hog enterprise and later specialized in crop production and pedigreed seed. Over his farming career Bob chaired and served on numerous agricultural industry and community boards. Bob originated the concept of the National Income Stabilization Account (NISA) and took it to the federal government. Bob’s vision for NISA was adopted by the Canadian agricultural stabilization policy and supported by all ten provinces. Among his many attributes, Bob, in his quiet manner, continually demonstrates his talents as an exceptional forward thinker and an unwavering passion for agriculture. His contributions have had, and will continue to have, significant beneficial impacts on farm families across Canada.

David (Dave) Jeffries, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba: Dave was born in Toronto but has lived in Portage la Prairie since 1959. Graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture, Dave and his brother Albert started as vegetable producers in 1968. New to vegetable production they valued the advice of their farming neighbours. The value of cooperation would be a major influence in Dave’s career. Their farm grew with the vegetable industry in Manitoba and today they operate one of the largest vegetable farms in Manitoba. Dave has been involved with Peak of the Market and Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) serving on the boards of each. During his time on the CHC he worked to create a Dispute Resolution Corporation under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Dave is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Although he worked diligently for a strong vegetable industry in Manitoba, he is especially proud of his family and his community.

Robert (Bob) Roehle, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Bob grew up on a grain and dairy farm at Blackdale, Manitoba. After graduating from Stonewall Collegiate he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba. Bob worked for the Canadian Wheat Board, Canadian Grain Marketing Office of Industry, Trade and Commerce Canada and teaching at the University of Manitoba. Bob provided leadership to a variety of agriculture industry, professional and community organizations. He developed the 1992 Winnipeg International Grain Fest, served on the Red River Exhibition Association, Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame and the St. Norbert Foundation. Bob initiated several projects, but the most significant is La Marche St. Norbert Farmers’ Market Co-op. Vision, commitment and an enabling leadership style have made Bob’s contribution to the agricultural industry and Manitoba community organizations significant and lasting. These traits have also earned him the respect of colleagues, producers and the volunteer sector.

 

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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