A soil conservation champion, an agribusiness leader, a plant breeder and longtime public servant are the latest members of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.
The 2020 inductees were named in late July and reflect the quality of people involved in the agriculture industry in Canada, according to CAHF president Trish Jordan.
“This year’s four inductees are recognized for their leadership, influence and innovative ideas that have significantly improved Canadian agriculture,” she said in a news release.
Agribusiness leader Jay Bradshaw began his 36-year career as a sales representative in Saskatchewan, and rose through the ranks of Cyanamid, through that organization’s acquisition by BASF, and eventually joined Syngenta Canada, where he served as president until his 2018 retirement. Notable achievements include lifelong advocacy for modern agricultural practices, and successful industry collaborations. He was a vital force behind the GrowCanada coalition and the CleanFarms agriculture container recycling initiative. He currently makes his home in Guelph, Ont.
Jim Halford, a pioneer of zero-tillage farming, was also honoured. He began his career as a farm management specialist with the Saskatchewan government, and also took over the family farm at Indian Head, Sask., where he saw first hand the need for soil conservation practices. It was on his farm where the ConservaPak seeder was invented, manufactured and marketed in the 1980s, before it was ultimately sold to John Deere. Halford holds more than 20 farm equipment-related patents, and has received numerous soil conservation awards.
Plant breeder Dr. Bryan Harvey developed more than 60 varieties of barley throughout his prolific 50-year research career. At the University of Saskatchewan, his groundbreaking 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. Harvey is also a recipient of the Order of Canada.
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 – programs branch in 2004. Hedley 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 and Growing Forward 2, and the current Canadian Agri-Food Partnership. After retirement, he 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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s induction ceremony scheduled for Toronto in November has been cancelled. The four agricultural leaders will be formally recognized at the 2021 event.