Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame announces 2021 inductees
July 22, 2021 By Canadian Ag Hall of Fame
Five innovative agricultural ambassadors have been selected as the 2021 inductees to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame (CAHF): Gordon Bacon, Don Buckingham, Stan Eby, Johanne Ross and Phil Williams.
“We continue to be impressed by the quality of applicants coming to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame for potential induction, with nominations from across the country and a diversity of experience and accomplishments,” said Trish Jordan, CAHF president.
“This year’s inductees have all had a major impact on Canadian agriculture – elevating the profile of Canada’s pulse sector, leading Canada’s beef sector through two major crises, raising agriculture awareness and student literacy in Canadian classrooms, writing the book on Canadian agricultural legal policy and introducing game changing technology to Canada’s cereals sector. Each are very worthy individuals and we are pleased to have them join hundreds of others who have helped shape Canada’s agricultural reputation.”
Gordon Bacon: Leader for Canada’s pulse sector
Gordon Bacon has driven transformational change in Canadian agriculture, most notably in Canada’s pulse industry. In 1997, Bacon started as head of the new Pulse Canada organization at a time when pulse production was rapidly expanding, and saw the need to focus on sustainability, especially when accessing food markets. Under his leadership, Canada became the world’s largest exporter of pulses.
Bacon led the successful merger of Pulse Canada with Canadian Special Crops Association, bringing farmers, processors and exporters together to strengthen the pulse market. He played an influential role in the United Nations declaration of 2016 as International Year of Pulses and an annual World Pulses Day.
Don Buckingham: Agricultural law leader in Canada
Don Buckingham has earned the moniker of “father of agricultural law in Canada.” A professor, researcher, advocate and author, Buckingham’s 30+ year professional career has focused on building a strong legal structure for the complex Canadian agri-food system and inspiring the next generation of agricultural lawyers in Canada.
A Saskatchewan farm boy, Buckingham taught agricultural law at three Canadian universities. Often working behind the scenes, he identified and advocated for key policy and regulatory advancements to impact various aspects of the industry. Buckingham continued his advocacy for strong agricultural policy as CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute from 2017-2020.
Stan Eby: Trusted farmer and agricultural leader
Stan Eby has dedicated his entire career to improving the cattle industry across Canada. An Ontario beef farmer, Eby successfully led the beef industry in Ontario and across Canada through traumatic and divisive events with a rational approach and steadying, calm leadership. In 2000, as president of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association, he guided the industry through the Walkerton water crisis. In 2003, at the helm of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, he brought his calm-in-chaos leadership to the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, colloquially referred to as “mad cow disease”) crisis. Eby’s level-headed approach in unexpected situations has set an exemplary example for other agricultural leaders to follow.
Johanne Ross: Passionate advocate for agricultural education
Johanne Ross is an industry change-maker, dedicating her career to bringing agricultural education into classrooms across Canada. As executive director of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, she works with government and industry to ensure students and educators across Canada have access to relevant, credible and engaging information on the diverse field of agriculture. She built a vibrant national network that teaches agriculture in classrooms from her beginnings as executive director of Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba. For more than 20 years, Ross has been a tireless advocate for agriculture and youth.
Phil Williams: Pioneering cereal chemist
Phil Williams is an internationally recognized pioneer and authority on near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology, which revolutionized the Canadian cereal industry’s ability to accurately measure and compensate Canadian producers for wheat protein. For nearly 40 years, Williams worked for the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory in Winnipeg. His NIRS technology led to “on-the-spot” testing for CWRS wheat protein at grain terminals – a system used in Canada since 1976 and later extended to elevators. After retirement, Williams used the technology to continuously measure liquid hog manure composition during pump-out, which eliminated sampling and enabled mapping of the distribution of manure constituents.
The 2021 induction ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 21, at the Fairmont Winnipeg. The 2020 inductees will also be formally recognized at the 2021 ceremony as last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 inductees are Jay Bradshaw, James Halford, Bryan Harvey and Douglas Hedley.
The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association honours and celebrates Canadians for outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry, and also publicizes the importance of inductee achievements to Canada. The Association was organized in 1960 and is administered by a 12-person volunteer Board of Directors residing in regions across Canada.