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Ag educator and advocate Mabel Hamilton headed to Canadian Ag Hall of Fame

Ag educator and advocate Mabel Hamilton headed to Canadian Ag Hall of Fame

The Canadian Angus Association nominated her

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Mabel Hamilton is adding another hall of fame to her resume.

The rancher and former teacher from Innisfail, Alta. is among the four inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2022.

“It was pretty exciting to find out,” she told Farms.com. “And definitely unexpected.”

This induction follows her induction into the Alberta Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2012.

The Canadian Angus Association, which Hamilton served as president of in 1999, submitted her nomination.

An elementary teacher by trade, Hamilton grew up on an Alberta farm and often incorporated ag into her classroom.

“There’s always an opportunity to learn about what we do as producers,” she said.

While involved with the Alberta Cattle Commission (now Alberta Beef Producers), Hamilton developed an agricultural program for grade 4 students to help urban youth understand where food comes from.

This program served as a precursor to Agriculture in the Classroom, she said.

“We’d go into the classroom and spend time with the students and the farmers would discuss what their specialties are,” she said. “We wanted to communicate the importance of agriculture and how diverse the industry is.”

And the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The same disconnect between consumers and agriculture remains. And the ag sector can’t stop its education efforts, Hamilton says.

“Some kids back when I was teaching thought their food came from the grocery store, and some kids think that today,” she said. “The disconnect today has gotten wider because fewer families have a direct connection to agriculture, so it’s on us as an industry to ensure our consumers, especially our young ones, have the right information.”

In addition to her work in Alberta classrooms, Hamilton’s efforts can be seen on a national stage.

An early champion for traceability, Hamilton helped create Canada’s national livestock traceability system to identify where the animal was born, fed and harvested.

“It was a hard sell in the beef industry, and I distinctly remember saying that if we ever had some kind of a crisis where our borders were closed, we need to have this individual identification as an insurance policy,” she said. “That was before BSE was discovered in 2003.”


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