In 2019, five industry leaders will be inducted into Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame including Ken Porteous of Lingwood Farms, who has been at the forefront of Canadian horticulture since the 1970s.
Although he is best known for his leading role in Canadian horticulture, he began his farming career near Simcoe, Ontario on Lingwood Farms where he became an elite dairy breeder, selling bulls as far away as Cuba and Africa. When he sold his herd in 1973, the average price per animal was the highest ever paid for a herd in Canada.
He then expanded his orchard acreage and today, Lingwood Farms has grown to 865 acres which he farms in partnership with his son, son-in-law and grandson.
Porteous was a co-founder of the Norfolk Cherry Company and Norfolk Fruit Growers, chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (1991) vice chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers’ Marketing Board and president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) in 2007. Under his leadership, the CHC developed the CanadaGAP food safety program which is internationally recognized and used as a model in other countries.
Other inductees to the Agricultural Hall of Fame for 2019 will be:
Marie Pick, (1913-1986). After immigrating to Canada from Czechoslovakia in 1938, Marie and her husband established Otto Pick Agricultural Service to promote advanced pasturing systems to Ontario farmers, based on legumes and grasses of varying maturities. The company grew to become the largest in Canada and among the top five globally.
John Maaskant (1948 --). John served as chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Farm Animal Council and Food & Farm Care Ontario. As co-chair of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition, John also advocated for reasonable environmental regulations, and one of the major results was the creation of the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) model.
Wilfred Schneller (1902-1987). As a devoted conservationist, Wilfred implemented new soil and water conservation methods to inhibit soil erosion on his Spruce Grove Farm at Baden. He became president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in 1954, and was made an honourary member of the Soil Conservation Society of America in 1959.
Peter Twynstra (1939 --). Peter Twynstra of Twighlight Acre Farms was an innovator, and successful at developing diversified markets for edible beans around the globe. He was a director and president of the Ontario Bean Dealers Association, a director and founding member of Pulse Canada and chair of the 2002 International Plowing Match in Middlesex County.
To date, 224 individuals have been inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame (OAHF) located in the Ontario AgriCentre in Guelph.
Source: Farm and Food Care Ontario, February 25, 2019 news release