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Peter Sikkema receives hall of fame plaque

Peter Sikkema receives hall of fame plaque

The U of G professor’s plaque hangs in the Wellington County Museum and Archives

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A member of Ontario’s ag community received his plaque commemorating his induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Peter Sikkema, a University of Guelph professor and agronomist, attended the unveiling of his plaque at the Wellington County Museum and Archives on Oct. 17. His induction happened virtually in June.

“It’s rather humbling and gratifying,” Sikkema told “I’ve just been doing what I enjoy, so to be recognized in that way is truly an honour for me.”

The 63-year-old was born in Toronto but grew up on a dairy and hog farm in Maryborough Township in Wellington County.

Being around agriculture during his youth, working on the farm seemed like a natural fit.

But when he started as a student at the University of Guelph in 1977, Sikkema had other aspirations.

“My thought was to either work in agricultural finance or possibly do international development work and help farmers in other countries around the world,” he said.

In the summer of 1979, Sikkema worked for a custom field spraying company in Perth County. The following year he worked for OMAFRA as a summer student.

It’s with the provincial ag ministry he assisted with his first weed control experiment.

“It was on red root pigweed control on a corn farm in Brant County,” Sikkema said. “Even today it’s an ongoing challenge for Ontario farmers.”

Those summer experiences led Sikkema to pursuing agronomy at the U of G.

He received his BSc (Agr) in 1981 and MSc in weed physiology in 1983.

Throughout his career he has worked in industry and secured more than 100 minor use registrations through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada. He has conducted more than 3,000 field experiments and has published more peer-reviewed manuscripts on field crop agronomy than any professor in the history of the Ontario Agricultural College.

But he has no immediate plans to slow down, he said.

“I’m still fascinated by biology and chemistry,” he said. “I love teaching the courses that I teach and engaging with the young minds of tomorrow, and I find it really rewarding to help Ontario farmers with weed management every year.”

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