Murray Porteous, a past-president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) was honoured at the 97th annual general meeting in Halifax with the Doug Connery Award. Since 2012, this award has been given in the name of Manitoba vegetable grower Doug Connery who made giant contributions to the labour file before an untimely passing.
In the same vein, Porteous was honoured for his unwavering commitment to the horticultural industry. He has made his mark near Simcoe, Ontario growing asparagus, apples, pears and sour cherries under the name of Lingwood Farms Ltd.
Along with Schuyler Farms Ltd., Lingwood Farms owns and operates the Norfolk Cherry Company Ltd. growing and packing sour cherries. Porteous was an early adopter of high-density apple orchards and was one of the first to adopt variable rate fertilizer applications. He saw the benefits of Harvista, a new pre-harvest technology for apples, with on-farm demonstrations.
His many chairmanships – including Agricorp, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers, Ontario Apple Growers – and others attest to his leadership skills.
Most recently, Porteous has advocated for filming the personal stories of seasonal agricultural workers in Canada. The result is that CHC will officially launch the 30-minute documentary titled “Heartbeat: A celebration of international farm workers” at a March 20 event in Ottawa.
Timing of this award to Porteous in the same month as the video launch could not be better. Awards are a brief moment to savour the most meaningful relationships before another growing season springs to life.