Dave Donaghy, a former Manitoba Agriculture assistant deputy minister, died May 22 at the Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg. He was 61.
Born in Boissevain Dec. 5, 1948, Donaghy grew up on a family farm near Ninga. He received an honours agriculture degree from the University of Manitoba in 1970, winning the gold medal. He later received a PhD in 1973.
Donaghy was with Manitoba Agriculture for over 28 years as a weed specialist, chief of the department’s weed section, Eastern Region director in Beausejour, special projects director, CEO of the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie and assistant deputy minister.
A member and former president of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists, Donaghy rewrote the Agrologists Act and presented it to the Legislative Assembly in 1983. This was the first major change to the act since 1950. He received the Agrologists Recognition Award in 1992.
After leaving Manitoba Agriculture, Donaghy served as chief administrative officer for the Rural Municipality of Springfield before operating his own business, Firetak Manufacturing Ltd.
Donaghy was a founding member of the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero-Tillage Farmers Association. Established in 1982, it is today a leading proponent for conservation tillage.
“You never doubted that Dave was working for the benefit of farmers,” said Ian Wishart, Keystone Agricultural Producers president, one of whose first encounters with Donaghy was at a no-till meeting.
“It certainly changed a lot of grain and cereal production and probably reduced the soil erosion issue to virtually near zero.”
A funeral service was held Monday, May 31 at Peace Lutheran Church in Winnipeg.