Lambton farmers to honour the late Leonard McNeil

Leonard McNeil (blue hat) with his family. (Photo provided by Barn McNeil)

A former Lambton County mayor, warden, and beef farmer is being honoured posthumously by the Lambton Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The late Leonard McNeil will receive the organization’s 2019 Hall of Fame Award at the Lambton Federation of Agriculture general meeting Friday night — his family will be on hand to accept the award.

Hall of Fame Chair Kyle Maw said McNeil made a big impact across Lambton County.

“Leonard McNeil was a generous, honourable, modest man of many talents. He was a farmer, family-man, auctioneer, and musician,” said Maw. “Certainly his greatest impacts were his involvement with the local Ontario Plowmen’s Association and the International Plowing Match that came to Lambton in 1991, as well as being heavily involved in local politics as mayor and council member of Brooke-Alvinston, and Lambton County Warden as well during that time frame.”

Leonard McNeil standing next to a tractor. (Photo provided by Barn McNeil)

Leonard McNeil standing next to a tractor. (Photo provided by Barn McNeil)

From 1992 to his death in 2002, McNeil completed two three-year terms as a councillor in Brooke Township and one term as mayor, he served as the first mayor of the newly created Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston, and he served one year as Lambton County Warden in 1999.

Maw said the Hall of Fame, which selects one or two recipients for their yearly award, was honoured to select McNeil this time around.

“We have a committee of 10 individuals, we look through nominations, rate that against some criteria that involves involvement in local business, involvement in the community and in agriculture locally and beyond, and Leonard’s application nomination just filled all of those boxes.”

According to a release from the Hall of Fame, Leonard, born in 1950, was proud of his beef herd as part of a cow-calf operation selling yearlings, and he utilized pasture and crop rotation in the cropping operations that were integrated with his beef operation. Additional acreages of corn, soybeans and wheat were sold as cash crops.

Friday’s meeting from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is being held at the Plympton-Wyoming Fairgrounds. For more information and to RSVP, click here.