The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame has announced its 2020 slate of inductees.
The four individuals who are being celebrated for having made significant contributions to Canadian agriculture are: Jay Bradshaw, James Halford, Bryan Harvey and Douglas Hedley.
The hall, which is administered by a 12-member volunteer board, says it will formally recognize the 2020 induction class in 2021, as the induction ceremony scheduled for Toronto in November has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
2020 Inductee Biographies:
Agribusiness leader Jay Bradshaw began his 36-year career in Canadian agriculture with a sales territory in Saskatchewan. He saw Cyanamid through the successful acquisition by BASF before joining Syngenta Canada, serving as president until his retirement in 2018. Jay is a skilled communicator and lifelong advocate for the advancement of modern farming technology. He’s behind several collaborative initiatives in the industry including GrowCanada – a coalition of national stakeholders to advance agricultural innovation and sustainability, and CleanFarms – a successful agricultural container recycling program. A highly respected leader, Jay has effectively helped shape organizational direction with his bold vision for the future of farming. Jay Bradshaw lives in Guelph, ON and was nominated by Syngenta Canada Inc. and CropLife Canada.
Soil conservation champion James Halford pioneered zero tillage farming in Saskatchewan and across the Prairies. When he began his career as a farm management specialist with the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture, he also took over the family farm and saw the need for soil conservation practices. An agricultural economist, farmer and entrepreneur, Jim’s Vale Farms invented, manufactured and marketed the ConservaPak seeder in the 1980s – zero tillage equipment that would ultimately be sold to John Deere. Jim shared his farm with researchers to study the effect of long-term zero tillage on soil properties and crop yield. His commitment to conservation saw him invent/co-invent more than 20 patents related to farm equipment and be recognized with numerous soil conservation awards. James Halford lives at Indian Head, Sask., and was nominated by Léona Watson.
Renowned plant breeder Dr. Bryan Harvey developed more than 60 varieties of barley throughout his prolific 50-year research career. During graduate work at the University of Guelph in the 1960s, Bryan’s innovative approach signaled the first step in the development of canola. At the University of Saskatchewan, his ground-breaking research developed two-row malting barley varieties that would deliver tremendous returns to Canadian agriculture and the malting industry. His most notable variety, Harrington, became the gold standard for two-row malting barley and the dominant variety across the Prairies for more than 20 years. An esteemed academic, Bryan’s commitment to germplasm conservation is evident in his numerous awards and honours including the Order of Canada. Bryan Harvey lives at Saskatoon, Sask., and was nominated by the Canadian Seed Growers Association.
A dedicated public servant, Douglas Hedley led a distinguished career with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and is a foremost expert on Canadian agricultural policy. He was involved in every major policy decision the federal government made in the agri-food sector from the late 1980s until his retirement as Assistant Deputy Minister – Farm Finance Program Branch in 2004. Douglas was instrumental in working with the provinces and agricultural industry groups to set policy that built five-year funded programs that began as the Agricultural Policy Framework, then Growing Forward I and II, and the current Canadian Agri-Food Partnership. After retirement, Douglas served as executive director of the Association of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, now known as the Deans Council – Agriculture, Food & Veterinary Medicine (AFVM), at a key time in the organization’s development. Douglas Hedley lives in Nepean, ON and was nominated by the Deans Council AFVM.
(biographies supplied by the Canadian Ag Hall of Fame)