Next Agriculture Hall of Fame nominations: Early 2024
The Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame was created in 1951 to recognize individuals on a biennial cycle who have made significant contributions to the agriculture and food industry and to the development and sustainability of rural life in Alberta.
Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation ceremonially inducts up to 3 individuals every 2 years. The Selection Panel is appointed by the Deputy Minister and is comprised of a cross-section of panellists representing Alberta's agriculture industry.
Individuals, who have demonstrated leadership in farm, rural or commodity organizations, or in the food industry, are eligible for the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame. Leadership must have been demonstrated over many years at the provincial level, and the candidate must have made a significant province-wide impact on the industry as a whole.
A candidate must be nominated by 3 individuals other than members of the candidate's immediate family.
Nominators may submit a nomination on behalf of an organization or independently as individuals.
Information provided in the nomination form must stand on its own, and is the primary document used for evaluating candidates.
In addition to the completed nomination form, 3 letters of recommendation should be provided with letters not exceeding 2 pages each.
Additional information is not required.
2022 Hall Inductees
Bruce Beattie has spent his entire career working tirelessly for the betterment of agriculture, with a keen focus on the dairy sector. A constant driving force in the evolution of Alberta's dairy industry, he worked hard on improving its organizational structure and governance. From his initial journey as the local representative for the Red Deer Milk Producers Association, Beattie worked tirelessly to shape and modernize what is now known as Alberta Milk.
After years of involvement in federal and provincial agricultural initiatives, he decided to take on a larger role in helping to shape agriculture within his own community. For over 10 years, Beattie served as a Mountain View County councillor and reeve. While engaged in municipal politics, he applied an agricultural lens to all council decisions and acted as the foremost champion to support and enhance the local agricultural industry. Through passion and leadership, Beattie’s longstanding commitment to agriculture has been evident in everything he does.
Simone Demers-Collins has been an advocate for the agriculture and agri-food industries, an educator and food champion for over five decades. Through her work with industry organizations and the Alberta government, she led initiatives to promote accurate, science-based information about food, food production and food quality to consumers, health professionals, media and students. In her marketing work, Demers-Collins is credited with the simple, yet powerful messaging that canola oil is Healthy. Local. Affordable.
Another area where Demers-Collins has excelled, and perhaps the most important, is in education. In her quest to educate, she connected with students and their families by spearheading the publication of a children's illustrated storybook, Fields of Home, which morphed into 15 educational graphic novels. Demers-Collins’ imaginative, innovative, and dedicated commitment to providing factual, science-based information to improve people’s health and well-being has helped develop trust in the agriculture and agri-food industry and a belief that the food Alberta farmers produce is wholesome and nutritious.
Jack Lewis was an innovative agricultural producer, a leader in the community, and a generous supporter of agricultural education. The family-owned Lewis Farms was a pioneer in new farming techniques for seed potato production, including importing specialized equipment from Europe to improve production and quality. Lewis was an influential advocate for the Alberta seed potato industry who worked hard to unite seed, table and process potato growers from across the province. He also helped establish Lewis Farms as a Canadian leader in the breeding and production of Simmental cattle.
As well, Lewis saw the importance of supporting, in a tangible way, the advancement of agricultural education. He established scholarships for agriculture students at Lakeland College and the University of Alberta, and mentored a number of international students through the International Agricultural Exchange Association. Lewis was always generous with his time and had a fundamental belief of always giving back to his community.
2020 Hall inductees
Walter Paszkowski was born and raised in Sexsmith. He was the youngest of 3 children, born to hard-working Polish pioneers who chose Canada to pursue their dreams of freedom, safety and opportunity. Paszkowski’s deep roots in agriculture shaped the course of his future. He was instrumental in laying the foundation for the modern canola industry in Western Canada. His championing of canola as a viable crop for Alberta farmers was central to its rise in significance and importance as one of the key economic drivers of our agriculture sector today. In 2011, Paszkowski was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence – read his biography here.
David Price has been an innovator and visionary in swine genetics, production, processing and marketing for more than 50 years. As founder, past-president and director of the Sunterra Group of Companies, his leadership was integral to building a fully integrated family-run food company with top-quality pork and a true farm-to-fork business model. His ability to see opportunities, but not compromise on quality or service, was a critical pillar to the company’s success. Price’s contribution to the advancement and expansion of pig breeding and marketing in Alberta and across Canada laid the groundwork for future producers’ success.
With a strong commitment to the farming community and a keen interest in modern, up-to-date farming practices, George Visser has been a leader in the agricultural community since the 1970s. Visser could see that specializing in commodities would be important and led the way by setting up a 130-sow farrow-to-finish operation and a 5,000 laying hen operation on his farm. Others followed suit and, during the 1980s, the Neerlandia region became one of the most concentrated hog production areas in Alberta. Visser was instrumental in giving producers in Alberta a unified voice during his tenure on the Alberta Agriculture Products Marketing Council.
A list of Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees since 1951 is also available.
Connect with the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame:
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