Gilbert “Gil” Henderson

Gilbert “Gil” Henderson

SEPTEMBER 5, 1926 – JANUARY 30, 2017

Farmer and conservationist. Born Sept. 5, 1926; died Jan. 30, 2017 in Brantford, age 90.

Conservation influenced most of Gil Henderson’s work in agriculture.

He earned a 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for lifetime achievement for his conservation efforts. Together with his wife Molly, Gil won the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in 1998. The couple also won the Brant County Farm Family of the Year Award in 1997. They ran Onondaga Farms, a 750-acre operation near St. George. A leading breeder of Polled Hereford cattle through the 1980s and 1990s, Gil was also a successful mechanical contractor and Olympic marksman.

Long-time farm manager John Hill spoke fondly in a recent interview about Gil and Molly, his former bosses.

“He was wonderful; she was too,” Hill said of the Hendersons. “If you ever met them, you’d never forget them.”

“I would call him a master farmer,” he said.

A former Olympic trapshooter, Gil once famously outscored western film star Roy Rogers in competition. Gil maintained close relations with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the waterfowl conservation group. He is credited with helping to reintroduce the trumpeter swan to Ontario.

Conservation Ontario photo


Written by Jim Algie.
Originally published in the June 2017 edition of Better Farming.

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture