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Canadian Ag Hall of Famers named

An international spokesman for farmers, a dairy cattle breeder, a cattle marketer and an ag economist, all from Ontario, are the newest inductees to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame recently announced its four newest members, to be formally inducted Nov. 9 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. They include:

  • Jack Wilkinson, a crop and cow/calf producer at Belle Vallee (about 180 km north of North Bay), as well as a former president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Federation of Agriculture and, most recently, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. Wilkinson recently completed a third two-year term as head of the IFAP and was officially replaced Monday by Ajay Vashee of Zambia.
  • Darrel H. Plaunt, a former agricultural economist at the University of Guelph, cited for his “legendary” impact on farm accounting and finance as co-founder of CanFarm and as a “leader and visionary for computerized farm financial accounting and analysis systems in Canada and internationally.”
  • Paul Ekstein, who operates Quality Farms at Woodbridge and is considered one of Canada’s and the world’s top Holstein breeders. He also founded Quality Seeds, a major Canadian forage, lawn and turf company that dates back to 1956 and expanded west to B.C. in 2003.
  • John Walker of Walker Farms International at Aylmer, recognized as a “prolific” domestic and international marketer of Canadian dairy cattle. Walker is credited with opening international markets for thousands of Canadian dairy cattle sales each year in almost 20 countries and is considered in many markets as “Mr. Canada Dairyman,” the Hall of Fame wrote.

“Drive, dedication, a passion for excellence and international influence are overriding qualities of our most recent inductees,” said Hall of Fame president Kim McConnell, a strategic advisor with Calgary ag communications firm AdFarm, in a release. “We are very fortunate as a country and an industry to have exceptional individuals like these four men who have dedicated their careers and livelihood to advancing agriculture in Canada and internationally.”

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