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Celebrating 150 years of Manitoba ag history

Celebrating 150 years of Manitoba ag history

A new e-book is available online

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new online publication is celebrating a sesquicentennial (150 years) of Manitoba’s agricultural history.

Keystone Agricultural Producers, with support from the Manitoba and federal governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, launched an e-book titled 150 Years of Farming in Manitoba.

“Agriculture in Manitoba has evolved through the hard work and innovation of those who have come before us and by those who continue to lead us today, and being able to reflect on the previous 150 years gives us an opportunity to bring forward the lessons of history,” Bill Campbell, president of KAP, said in a statement. “Throughout the past 150 years, agriculture has defined Manitoba’s people and has been the backbone of the province’s economy. This story pays tribute to the voices and forces that have shaped Manitoba itself.”

The 18-chapter book covers multiple topics like supply management, the Red River Agricultural Association, which was the precursor to KAP, and how Manitoba was home to the first bison ranch in Canada.

It was in 1966 that Bill Lenton, a Miami, Man., farmer who passed away in 2004, went to the U.S. to purchase horses and came back with five bison.

“He shouldn’t have been allowed to go to auction sales. He just continued to go down and bring back more,” Gail Reichert, Bill’s daughter, says in an excerpt from the book. “He believed in the animal and he believed in the meat product.”

Lenton’s contributions to the bison sector are still felt today.

He founded the Manitoba and National Bison Association, and the Bill Lenton award is presented annually to a top bison producer in Canada.

History buffs in Manitoba can also check out the Manitoba Agricultural Museum or the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.

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