July 24, 2014

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: On Canada Day, four people had their contributions to our country’s agricultural industry recognized as they became the inaugural members of the East Oxford Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Today, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to recognize them again. The recipients were: Charles Gracey, Don Lazenby, Erle Kitchen and Ross Butler.

Charles Gracey was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2001. He was the driving force behind the creation of a check-off on cattle marketing in Ontario which became the model for other provinces to follow.

Don Lazenby is recognized for his contribution to dairy herd management and for guiding innovation and systems development for the dairy industry. He also organized a program to expose Oxford county students to the dairy industry.

The late Erle Kitchen was a Holstein breeder and author of many of the policies of Canada’s dairy organization. He was also known across the country for his contributions to government policies.

In addition to being a farmer, Ross Butler created the “true type” drawings of animals that were used in schools and are now known worldwide. I’m proud to have two of his prints in my office upstairs.

I also want to recognize Bill Hampson, a fourth-generation farmer who was the creator and driving force behind the East Oxford Agriculture Hall of Fame. Tragically, he passed away too soon to see his idea completed, but it will always be part of his legacy.

In planning for the event, Bill said, “Canada Day was the fitting time to recognize these people who made such great contributions to our country’s agriculture sector.” On behalf of the people of Oxford, I want to say that I agree with Bill Hampson.