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Agricultural Hall of Fame: Weldon Newton

Four Manitobans were inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Portage la Prairie July 14. Over the next few weeks, we’re featuring each one with their citations

After being raised on the family farm, Weldon Newton attended the University of Manitoba where he obtained his degree in agriculture majoring in soil science. Weldon and his brother Murray took over the farm, a farrow-to-finish hog operation as well as a grain operation growing cereal grains, canola, pulse crops and forage seed, in 1984 when their parents retired. Weldon along with his brother Murray and sister-in-law Donna were named the 2002 Red River Exhibition Farm Family of Year.

Weldon joined the Manitoba Hog Producers Marketing Board in 1973 and served for 20 years. In 1984, as the Manitoba representative on the Canadian Pork Council, Weldon was part of the committee that developed the first “Recommended code of practice for the care and handling of farm animals — PIGS.” And from 1992-98, Weldon served on the board of the Prairie Swine Centre where he supported a new approach to agricultural research objectives that were relevant to the industry at the time.

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Weldon is often seen supporting an initiative or policy of an agricultural organization that clearly was not in the best interest of his own farm, but one he felt was in the best interest of agriculture collectively. Weldon has been recognized as being selfless and rises above self-interest to recognize the right thing for the industry.

His 16-year tenure as a Keystone Agriculture Producers board member (including four years as vice-president and two years as president) went a long way toward building the organization’s credibility with livestock producers and organizations in the province. And when the cattle industry went through the BSE crisis, Weldon’s leadership at KAP played an integral role in supporting the lobbying efforts of the Manitoba Cattle Producers and, ultimately, encouraged them to take the lead role.

Manitoba’s rural community has benefited from Weldon Newton’s leadership as he consistently sets aside his business interests to make time to improve the greater community.

Weldon has umpired base­­ball for 40 years and was awarded the Umpire of Merit award in 2007 by the Manitoba Baseball Association. This was a very fitting honour bestowed upon him and demonstrated the importance sports played throughout his life.

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