Past Grads Honoured By University Of Manitoba

Two past graduates of the University of Manitoba’s faculty of agricultural and food sciences were recognized recently for their outstanding contributions to Manitoba’s agricultural community.

Harold Froese, egg producer and industry leader, and Herm Martens, community leader and dedicated volunteer, received Certificates of Merit from the faculty of agricultural and food sciences at the University of Manitoba in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large.

Harold Froese graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1974 with a bachelor of science in agriculture and was employed for nine years with Farm Credit Canada in Dauphin and Portage la Prairie. In 1983, Harold returned to the family farm in Oak Bluff producing grain, eggs, broilers and pullets. He continues to be an egg and pullet producer as part of Prairie Egg and Willridge Pullet Farms where he is on the executive for both farms.

A longtime director of Manitoba Egg Farmers, Harold served as its chair and was also a representative to Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC). He served as a director of Manitoba Chicken Producers for four years. He has also played an integral role on various committees at the national level, including serving as producer trade representative to the World Trade Organization. He represented the EFC to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and served on the CFA Executive.

Harold and his wife Jocelyn are parents of four adult children and have one grandchild.

Herm Martens received his diploma in agriculture in 1972 and returned to the family farm in Rosenort to take an active role in its operation. Today, he serves as president of three operations: Hermart Farms Ltd., a 780-sow farrow-to-weanling operation, Fre-Mar Farms Ltd., a 2,836-acre grain, oilseed and specialty crop farm, and Prairie Egg Inc. a 117,000 laying hen operation.

Among Herm’s many industry roles are service as a director of Manitoba Egg Producers, president of the Canadian Egg Producers Council, a member of the Keystone Agricultural Producers Executive, and a delegate on the Manitoba Hog Board. He was appointed by the minister of agriculture to serve on the Manitoba Veterinarian Medical Board.

Locally, Herm served the Rural Municipality of Morris as reeve/ mayor for 15 years.

He served as the emergency measures co-ordinator for the last seven Red River floods, supervised rebuilding of the infrastructure after both 1996 and 1997 Red River floods, and initiated building of dikes around four rural communities.

Further afield, Herm is a board member and past president of the Red River Basin Commission which supports international cooperation between Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

A tireless community volunteer, Herm has been involved with Triple R Community Futures, Pembina Valley Water Co-op, Morris Minor Hockey and Hockey Ministries International Hockey Camps, Mennonite Heritage Village (Museum) Board and Mennonite Central Committee’s Aid Fundraising Auction Committee.

Herm and his wife Eleanor have three adult children and 10 grandchildren.

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