Six exceptional Canadians have been selected to join the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame as 2019 inductees in recognition for their lifelong contributions to the agricultural sector. JoAnne Buth, Marc Comtois, Cynthia Grant, Louis Latimer, Laurent Pellerin and Robert Prestage will be officially inducted into the national Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, QC.
“This was another year of outstanding nominations from across Canada and across all sectors of Canadian agriculture. The individuals being inducted have definitely left their mark on Canadian agriculture,” said Guy Charbonneau, president of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association (CAHFA). “Every one of our inductees this year has worked tirelessly and collaboratively to create lasting new opportunities for Canadian agriculture – from nutrient management to livestock genetics to organizations. With a record number of inductees for 2019, the CAHFA board has selected “la crème de la crème” – leaders who have left their mark and many who continue to contribute to the world class reputation that all of Canadian agriculture can be proud of.”
A pillar of the Canadian Holstein industry, Marc Comtois is the man behind the famous Ferme Comestar – a Quebec-based dairy farm that’s been changing the face of dairy genetics around the globe for the last four decades. A farmer, promoter, mentor, marketer and judge, Marc has travelled the world in his drive to propagate the most outstanding dairy genetics through his Comestar family for the benefit of other Holstein breeders in Canada and around the world. Marc’s accomplishments as a Holstein breeder are legendary, beginning with his famous Comestar Laurie Sheik – the cow that launched the line and continues to deliver champion genetics seven generations later. Marc Comtois lives in Victoriaville, QC and was nominated by Holstein Québec, Holstein Canada and Semex Alliance.
Passionate leader, advocate and public servant, JoAnne Buth has made a lasting impact on a broad range of the agricultural landscape. Her reputation and leadership have impacted Canadian agriculture through her work in research and development at DowElanco to her roles as vice president and then president of the Canola Council of Canada. JoAnne served the agriculture sector and her home province of Manitoba on the Canadian Senate for two years. Since 2014, she has been the CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute. JoAnne Buth lives in Winnipeg, MB and was nominated by Emerging Ag and the Canadian Canola Growers Association.
An accomplished scientist and skilled communicator, Dr. Cynthia Grant recently retired from a career with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and is nationally and internationally known for her work on soil fertility and crop nutrition. Cynthia is respected across Canada and around the world for her contribution to Canadian agriculture, and her collaborative research efforts on soil. Her research provided the scientific foundation for the Made-in-Canada 4R nutrient stewardship framework to use crop nutrients from the right source and at the right rate, time and place. Cynthia Grant lives in Minnedosa, MB and was nominated by Fertilizer Canada.
A visionary pioneer, the late Louis Latimer leaves the legacy of developing a global demand for Canadian beef genetics. Louis was a trailblazer in using data-based selection methods and seeing the value of telling the story of his farm with his Remitall Cattle Company brand – a marketing move that was decades ahead of its time. His passion for breeding and marketing premier Canadian Hereford genetics opened market opportunities for elite genetics from his farm, and decades later led to the Canadian Genome Project selecting one of his sires to be the most influential sire genetically in the Canadian Hereford Association. Many other Canadian breeders followed Louis’ model, helping elevate the overall quality of Canadian beef genetics. Louis Latimer lived in Olds, AB and was nominated by the Canadian Hereford Association.
A tireless champion and man of solutions, Laurent Pellerin dedicated his 40-year career advocating for farmers through his leadership roles at provincial, national and international organizations. A proud hog farmer at heart, Pellerin has created partnerships and alliances to benefit the largest number of producers. His accomplishments for Canadian agriculture include roles as president of the Pork Producers Federation of Quebec, leading the creation of the Centre for Swine Production Development in QC, president of UPA, founder of the Council for Agricultural Development of Quebec, vice president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and president of the Farm Product Council of Canada. Laurent Pellerin lives in Becancour, QC and was nominated by the Quebec Farmers Union (Union des Producteurs Agricoles du Québec) and the Quebec Pork Association (Les Éleveurs de Porc du Québec).
A strong leader and excellent ambassador, Robert (Bob) Prestage dedicated decades to improving the genetics and quality of Canadian cattle to open international markets for Canadian beef and other livestock. He began by developing a progeny test program for beef cattle 60 years ago – a program that is still used across the country. His work with Canadian Beef Sire and Western Breeders improved the genetic pool of Canadian beef cattle. Bob was instrumental in creating a worldwide beef export network with the Alberta Angus Association, raising Angus to the dominant breed in the beef industry. Through his Wicklow Angus farm, Bob has a thriving international export business of semen and embryos of all species of livestock. Bob Prestage lives in Camrose, AB and was nominated by the Canadian Angus Association.
The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association (CAHFA) honours and celebrates Canadians for outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry. Portraits are on display in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Gallery located at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The CAHFA also publicizes the importance of inductee achievements to Canada. The Association was organized in 1960 and is administered by 12 volunteer Board of Directors residing in regions across Canada.