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Seven people inducted into Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame

Induction ceremony will take place Sunday, June 14, 2015

By Diego Flammini,

Being inducted into any hall of fame is a great honour because it means your efforts and accomplishments are recognized by your peers and they want to help cement your spot as an integral part of that particular industry.

On Sunday, June 14, 2015, seven very deserving people will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame at Country Heritage Park in Milton, Ontario.

The seven inductees have demonstrated leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship in helping advance Ontario’s agriculture.

The inductees are:

Dr. D Murray Brown (1928-2014)
Dr. Brown began researching climate change and its impact on Ontario crops well before climate change was even accepted as something that’s happening. While at the Ontario Research Foundation, he developed the Corn Heat Unit – used to predict phonological development and response of different crops to thermal time. During his time as a professor at the University of Guelph, he developed crop models to predict yield potential and quality. Dr. Brown also served as the first president of the Canadian Society of Agriculture and Forest Meteorology in 1986.

Russell Hume Dow (1932-2010)
Ever participate in the All Canada Classic sheep sale? If so, thank Russell Dow. He operated Dow Downs Sales to market breeding stock across the country and the All Canada Classic was born from there. He continued to be an innovative mind in the Canadian sheep industry, establishing the Rideau/Arcott breed. Dow also helped develop the Ontario Lamb Improvement Breeding Strategy to help educate producers.

Honourable Fletcher S. Thomas (1897-1957)
Tommy, as he was known, was an Ag Rep in Grey, Thunder Bay and Elgin counties as a farmer, organizer, an environmentalist and as a Minister of Agriculture. He founded the Elgin Fruit Growers Co-Op and set up the Record of Performance testing of dairy herds, large soybean fields, corn and livestock. He served as Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture from 1953-56 and organized the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Marketing Board.

Peter Hannam
In 1982, Mr. Hannam became president of First Line Seeds and in 1996 started Project SOY – aimed at encouraging students to think about soybeans and how they can be used to develop new products and opportunities. In 2005, he was part of the opening of the Ontario AgriCentre in Guelph that houses 17 agricultural-based tenants who work together to diversify the agriculture industry and engage in new opportunities.

Peter Martin Lindley
Mr. Lindley became president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetables Growers’ Association in 1978. Under his presidency, the OFVGA urged the Canadian government to eliminate the requirement that imported produce say Canada #1 on its packaging. While serving as Chair of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) Alumni Association, he signed an agreement with the university that alumni donations go to the OAC.

Donald Wilbert Lobb
Mr. Lobb was the featured in a 1996 documentary called “Water and the Human Spirit” where he talked about how he improved the quality of water that was leaving his farm. His farm also served as a case study in Canada’s “Soil at Risk” report. He’s authored many Best Management Practices reports for No-ill, Cropland Drainage and Field Crop Production. Along with his wife, Lillie Ann Morris, they developed the Ontario Soil Champion award through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. He was the first winner of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s L.B. Thomson Conservation Award and the first farmer from Eastern Canada to be inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame.

Earl Leonard Wagner
Mr. Wagner became General Manager of the Hensall District Co-operative Inc. in 1979 and today it operates 2 gas bars, 4 feed mills, 16 commercial elevators in Ontario, and more. He’s also served as Chair of The Fertilizer Institute of Ontario where he supported the development of the Certified Crop Advisor program.

Congratulations to all of the inductees.

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