In 1971, John Willmott was a cattle producer in southern Ontario and director for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto when he was invited to judge cattle at a new event called Canadian Western Agribition in Regina.
Fast forward 45 years, the 83-year-old Willmott has been involved in Agribition in some way every year since, including 43 years as a volunteer, 29 years on the CWA board of directors and several years as president in the late ’70s.
Shortly after judging at the first Agribition, Willmott moved just west of Regina, raising Angus cattle near Pense. Over the years he served as an international cattle judge, Angus breeder, and president/director/member of 19 agriculture-related organizations.
He was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame during the Royal in Toronto earlier this month, and received the honour of “burning the brand” at Agribition this week (watch in video below).
He graciously took the time to share some his 46 years worth of Agribition memories and thoughts on being inducted into the Ag Hall of Fame: