‘Looking back at choice of careers, I would gladly choose farming again,’ says Walter Paszkowski, one of 3 inductees into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.
‘There is nothing more stimulating than to watch things grow. Few lifetime undertakings offer such a vast array of opportunities and challenges as that of providing food to keep the world’s rapidly growing population fed.’
Walter Paszkowski’s championing of canola as a viable crop for Alberta farmers was central to its rise in significance to become one of the key economic drivers of Alberta’s agriculture sector today, contributing $2 billion to the provincial economy annually.
He has also been a vigorous promotor of trade, investment, value-added opportunities and economic development in Alberta. He has participated in many trade missions around the world, continually promoting agriculture in Alberta on the international stage.
Paszkowski worked with a number of groups, including the local Chamber of Commerce on issues affecting local business and the agricultural community. And his brainchild, the Growing the North Conference, continues to be an important event focusing on economic development in the region.
In addition to Paszkowski’s contributions to the canola industry and economic development in the Peace region, he devoted many years to political life. In 1978 he was elected to Sexsmith Town Council, where he spent 11 years and two terms as mayor.
He then threw his hat into provincial politics and in 1989 won a seat in the Alberta Legislative Assembly, where he served until 2001. He held a number of portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Development.
As Minister, he is particularly proud of the work done on value-added in the province, the key to enhancing agriculture returns in production, processing and exporting Alberta products. He is also proud of his work with the Prince Rupert Port Authority, where shipments reached record levels during his tenure.
‘There will always be a need for one of the world’s oldest professions. Agriculture remains our future and not our past,’ adds Paszkowski.
Walter Paszkowski joins David Price and George Visser as the 2020 inductees into the Hall of Fame.
Due to public health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the in-person 2020 Agriculture Hall of Fame Ceremony was cancelled. The 2020 inductees will be formally recognized at an event, likely in 2021, when it is safe to gather.
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