“Our board of directors had an incredibly difficult selection process this year,” said John Kikkert, president of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association.
They have chosen three inductees for this year – William Harvey Beaty, Harvey John Graham and Barry Hill.
• William Harvey Beaty – Founder and chair of Cold Springs Farm Ltd., the Halton born farmer turned 100 acres of farmland in Thamesford into a massive operation that included 60 farms and 9,000 acres. The company expanded to raise hogs, turkeys, chickens and beef cattle. It also included crops, a feed mill, grain elevators, and processing and fertilizer plants. Beaty, who worked from a wheelchair, is credited with creating thousands of jobs in the province, being an innovator in product development, swine and poultry genetics and production quality. During his life Beaty was involved with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Poultry Council, Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition, Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board and Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board. Beaty died in 1994.
• Harvey John Graham – A key advocate for Ontario’s and Canada’s beef industry, the Durham Region man has spent his career working to ensure a sustainable future for beef farmers. He’s been a director and president of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario), a director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, helped establish the Ontario feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program, was instrumental in establishing the Environmental Stewardship Award and worked to encourage farmers to use best practices for herd health, marketing, accounting and the environment. He also helped implement the national beef check-off program.
• Barry Hill – Hill has been a leader for a community of farmers that doesn’t often see the spotlight, working to develop new initiatives for agriculture and economic sustainability within Ontario’s indigenous community. He helped form the First Nations Agri Group Co-operative, designed to provide purchasing power for crops and livestock inputs. That model has since proved useful for other indigenous communities in Canada. Hill was also a board member and president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, a founding board member of the Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative for the production of ethanol and has provided business expertise to more than 400 business through the Two Rivers Community Development Centre.