Agricultural hall of fame welcomes five new members

The five inductees for this year — Gordon Bacon, Don Buckingham, Stan Eby, Johanne Ross, and Phil Williams - contributed to agriculture in Canada in different ways. Gordon Bacon (pictured above) was the chief executive officer of Pulse Canada for more than 20 years, starting in 1997. | File photo

Five agricultural leaders are being inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame this year. The ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 21 in Winnipeg.

“This year’s inductees have all had a major impact on Canadian agriculture,” said Trish Jordan, president of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Gordon Bacon received the award for his work in Canada’s pulse sector. He was the chief executive officer of Pulse Canada, starting in 1997. Through more than 20 years there, Canada became the world’s largest exporter of pulses.

Bacon brought farmers, processors and exporters together by helping merge Pulse Canada with Canadian Special Crops Association. He also had a hand in pushing for the United Nations declaration for 2016 to be the International Year of the Pulses, as well as for annual World Pulse Day.

Don Buckingham is a professor, researcher, advocate and author with a history in law. Throughout his career, Buckingham has spent his time building a strong legal structure for Canada’s agri-food system. He taught agricultural law at three Canadian universities.

He identified and advocated for policy and regulatory advancements to impact the industry, and was the chief executive officer of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute from 2017-20.

Stan Eby is a beef farmer from Ontario, with a passion for the industry. When he was the president of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association in 2000, he guided the industry through the Walkerton water crisis. In the same role in 2003, he worked through the BSE crisis.

Johanne Ross is executive director of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, and has spent her career teaching children about agriculture and helping teachers educate children, combatting misinformation. She has worked with Agriculture in the Classroom for more than 20 years, being an advocate for youth and the education of agriculture.

Phil Williams worked for the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory in Winnipeg for almost 40 years. Through his work there on near infrared technology (NIRS), immediate testing for Canadian western red spring wheat proteins was made available at grain terminals, and has been used in Canada since 1976. Once he retired, he continued to use the technology to measure liquid hog manure composition that eliminated sampling and enabled mapping of the distribution of manure constituents.

Because COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 ceremony, last year’s inductees will be honoured at the ceremony, as well.

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