Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees
The 2020 class for the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame has been named.
Four four agricultural leaders, whose influences range from agricultural banking and crop science to farm equipment technology and advancing the role of women in agriculture will be inducted June 14 at Country Heritage Park in Milton.
The first inductee, John Davis Curtis, who passed away in 2019.
Curtis’s contributions to agriculture were in the areas of education, research and marketing. His most significant work was establishing corn as a major field crop in Eastern Ontario and also led the way in testing early maturing corn hybrids and early soybeans – both of which became mainstay crops in the area. He was Principal of the Kemptville College of Agriculture Technology.
Dianne Margaret Harkin Harkin’s contributions to provincial and Canadian agriculture cover three broad areas including the official recognition of the contributions of women to Ontario agriculture; the systemic acknowledgement of the importance of sustainable agricultural systems and the role of agriculture extension in the promotion of sustainability and the growing awareness by governments and consumers to the importance of Ontario’s agriculture and food sector. Harkin established the organization “Women for the Survival of Agriculture” in 1975 which saw the amending of the Canadian Income Tax Act and the Canada Pension Plan to enable farm women to claim a salary for their work on-farm.
The third inductee, Brian Little has committed decades to serving the agricultural industry and has served in three main areas including the promotion of agricultural education, agriculture finance and major fundraising for the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), University of Guelph, 4-H and other agricultural organizations. He served on the OAC Alumni Foundation for more than 20 years and was key to the 2012 and 2017 “Planning for Tomorrow” studies which documented the gap between the supply of graduates from agriculture programs and the demand. Since the studies were instigated, enrolment in OAC programs has grown by 50%.
And Murray Mills’ legacy to agriculture around the world was in the ongoing development of harvester combines. At a time when farmers were managing ever-increasing acreages of corn, soybeans and grains, he helped to develop the rotary threshing and grain separation design with high speed cutting systems and stripper heads. This enabled growers to combine larger acreages efficiently and with less loss. Mills passed away in 2018.
The 2020 induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at Country Heritage Park in Milton.
Details on how to purchase tickets are available on the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame’s website at www.oahf.on.ca