APRIL 11, 1930 – JULY 17, 2012
Born in 1930, Morley Weatherall was, in many ways, the epitome of a good Canadian farmer. Weatherall ran a symbiotic system of properties. He owned Ontarian farms in Honeywood, Dufferin County as well as Badjeros, Grey County. The latter included a large feedlot that Weatherall supplemented with his third property, a grain farm in Manitoba. But what made Weatherall exceptional was not what he did, but how he did it.
In 1975 Weatherall became the Ontario Cattleman’s Association’s representative on the board of the Farm Safety Association. In 1982 he was promoted to president of the F.S.A. Weatherall was a firm believer in farm safety education and instruction. He quickly introduced The Farm Machinery Maintenance Training Program at the University of Guelph. Weatherall worked in conjunction with farm employers and manufacturers to keep the program applicable and well-promoted. In 1984 Weatherall enacted ten more farm safety programs across Ontario, stressing maintenance and reliable operation of farm machinery.
Weatherall also focused on aiding farmers at a grass roots level. He tasked seven F.S.A. specialists with going on the road to make farm visits and consult with employers on the best practices. Weatherall also brought farmers’ safety needs to manufacturers. At the time, Canadian farmers often removed their stationary roll-bars from their tractors in order to accomplish tasks in a barn or orchard. The re-installation was not always accomplished in a timely manner leaving farmers at risk. Weatherall advocated to manufacturers for protective cabs and hydraulic roll-bars as efficient protections against tractor roll-overs.
Weatherall also established a school kit on farm safety in 1979 that was available across the province by 1984. His efforts were also recognized internationally. After his 1983 presentation at the Farm Safety World Congress in Ottawa, Weatherall was invited to speak in Spain and Germany.
In his home operations, Weatherall practiced what he preached. All his workers used proper protective gear like steel toed boots and ear plugs. The machinery used was adequately equipped in its own fashion. His industrial loaders emitted warning beeps while in motion and all equipment was received pristine maintenance. Weatherall farmed corn, beef and barley alongside the wheat and rye from his Manitoba location.
Morley Weatherall passed away on July 17, 2012 at his home in Berkeley, Ontario. He and his wife Lilian had three children with numerous grandchildren following. Weatherall’s efforts can be appreciated by all for taking a leading role in evolving farm labour standards across the nation.