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Ontario beef advocate headed to Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame
Ontario beef advocate headed to Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame

Harvey Graham will be inducted on June 10

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter
Farms.com

A Durham County beef producer and advocate is being recognized for his contributions to the industry with an induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Harvey Graham has spent much of his career supporting the beef industry on local, provincial and federal levels. In 1995, he served as president of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario). He helped establish the Ontario Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program and assisted with the implementation of the national beef check-off program.

Despite his accomplishments, receiving a hall of fame induction is a humbling experience, he said.

“I’ve always felt an obligation to give back to my community if I can. I’ve been involved in a lot of things but I never thought it was important enough to get honoured like this,” the 83-year old told Farms.com today. “But I am pleased and honoured with the nomination (from Beef Farmers of Durham Region).”

Graham grew up on a 160-herd dairy farm that he later purchased from his father. After 25 years of in the dairy industry, Graham converted to beef production. He has raised beef cattle for the last quarter century. His son, Mark, now oversees a large portion of the farm.

The elder Graham still helps out around the farm where he can.

“I love driving the big machinery and I’m still able to do that,” he said.

“The amount of manual labour required is considerably less” than in the past.

But that’s only one of many changes he’s witnessed in the industry over his 60-year farming career.

“In my father’s time, farming was seen as a way of life,” he said. “Today, farming is a business, and it’s a big business. You have to manage your capital, your equipment and make the best use of the capital you have invested.”

Graham will be honoured on June 10 along with:

  • Barry Hill, a farmer from Brant County credited with producing the region’s first soybean crop in 1979,
  • James J. Morrison, who helped created the United Farmers of Ontario in 1914,
  • William Beaty, a farmer and founder and chairman of Cold Springs Farm
  • Gordon Leitch, general manager of the first elevator on the Toronto waterfront, which grew into Masterfeeds Inc.