Wall of Fame salutes pioneers

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

The Glen­garry Agri­cul­tural Wall of Fame hon­ours the many who have con­trib­uted to the in­dus­try and their com­mu­ni­ties over the years. The last in­duc­tion cer­e­mony was held in 2013. Here are pro­files of those in­ductees.

John Wil­fred Kennedy

Wil­fred Kennedy, fifth of eight chil­dren born to John Kennedy and Cather­ine McDougall, was born in 1879 in Ap­ple Hill West, as it was then called, and resided on lots 9, 10 and 11, Con­ces­sion 13, In­dian Lands, on the north­west cor­ner of High­land Road and County Road 43.

Wil­fred grad­u­ated from Alexandria high school and Cornwall Model School, taught for a few years, then re­turned home to run the fam­ily farm for a few more years, be­fore at­tend­ing the agri­cul­tural col­lege in Guelph. In 1907, Wil­fred be­came a mem­ber of the Hol­stein-Friesian As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada, un­der the Glen­garry pre­fix, one of the ear­li­est reg­is­tered farms in Canada. In 1915, he mar­ried He­len Mee­han, daugh­ter of Joseph Mee­han of Lind­say, Ont. They had two daugh­ters, Sheila and Kather­ine, and six grand­chil­dren. The fam­ily farm was very pro­gres­sive for its time, with a new barn in 1919 for 36 dairy cows, its many work horses, two si­los and am­ple hay stor­age. He also in­cor­po­rated clay tile drainage in his fields in the early 1920's.

He served as a mem­ber of Kenyon Town­ship Coun­cil from 1913 to 1916, as deputy reeve in 1917-18, and reeve, in 1919. In Oc­to­ber 1919, he was elected MP for Glen­garry County in a by-elec­tion, in which he rep­re­sented the United Farm­ers of On­tario. He was elected both in 1921 and 1923, and re­mained as sit­ting mem­ber un­til the gen­eral elec­tion of 1925. Fol­low­ing the sale of his farm in 1927 to Charles and Sada Mac­In­tosh, he resided in Maxville. Later, he pur­chased the Wil­lis Busi­ness Col­lege in Ot­tawa, and be­came its prin­ci­pal. Wil­fred was past master of the Maxville Ma­sonic lodge, served for a num­ber of years as chair­man of the Of­fi­cial Board of the Maxville United Church, and was in­stru­men­tal in the erec­tion of the present build­ing on Main Street in Maxville.

Les­lie B. Mur­ray

Les­lie B. Mur­ray was born in 1884, and farmed at Glen Fal­loch, near Mart­in­town, un­der the Mur­ray­dale pre­fix. Never mar­ried, he lived with his sis­ter, Clara, wid­owed sis­ter-in-law, Es­ther, and brother, Ge­orge, who farmed with him.

Les en­deav­oured to im­prove the qual­ity of his Hol­stein herd and was es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in the char­ac­ter­is­tics of his herd sires, in­cor­po­rat­ing blood­lines from the Que­bec herds of Mount Vic­to­ria and Ray­mon­dale. He stated that 'the herd sire is half the herd.' By 1937, in the mid­dle of his farm­ing ca­reer, most of his cows were pure­bred and were be­ing tested on the ROP pro­gram. Some of his heifers were test­ing in the four per cent but­ter­fat range.

The Mur­ray­dale farm was sold in 1955 and Les and his sur­viv­ing sib­lings moved to Mart­in­town. Thomas Aiken, the new farm owner, later sold one of Les's bulls, Mur­ray­dale Maplenix Lad­die, to the Kemptville breed­ing unit. 'Lad­die' was nom­i­nated as an All-Cana­dian Ju­nior Year­ling in 1957. In 1960, Les was awarded Glen­garry’s first Master Breeder shield.

Af­ter he passed away in 1962, his Master Breeder shield was pre­sented as an award by the Glen­garry Hol­stein Club. The L. B. Mur­ray Me­mo­rial Tro­phy was pre­sented an­nu­ally to the cow with the high­est com­pos­ite BCA. The award was re­tired in 2008.

Les par­tic­i­pated in many ac­tiv­i­ties in the com­mu­nity. He was pres­i­dent of the St. Lawrence Val­ley Hol­stein Breed­ers Club from 1937 to 1943. In seven con­sec­u­tive elec­tions, he was ac­claimed to the Char­lot­ten­burgh Town­ship Coun­cil, and sub­se­quently served as deputy-reeve and reeve. As a mem­ber of the United Coun­ties Coun­cil, he was chair­man of the re­for­esta­tion com­mit­tee, a move­ment which was sweep­ing through On­tario at the time. Les was also a mem­ber of St. An­drew’s Pres­by­te­rian Church in Mart­in­town.

Dr. Harold K. Abbey

Dr. Harry Abbey was born in Bri­tish Columbia and grad­u­ated from the On­tario Vet­eri­nary Col­lege in 1947. He met, and mar­ried, Jeanette Fraser from Har­ri­son's Corners in 1947, as well. The new­ly­weds trav­elled to Bri­tish Columbia, where Dr. Abbey worked for the gov­ern­ment, fol­low­ing free-range cat­tle and test­ing them for TB. The fol­low­ing year, the Abbeys moved to Kingston, where Harry worked with large an­i­mals in an es­tab­lished busi­ness. In 1949, the cou­ple moved to Lan­caster, and Dr. Abbey opened a large and small an­i­mal prac­tice, which he op­er­ated in the same lo­ca­tion for the next 40 years.

He in­tro­duced new con­cepts for large an­i­mal pro­ce­dures, par­tic­u­larly in the re­pro­duc­tive field. He was the first per­son to rec­og­nize that soils in Eastern On­tario were de­fi­cient in se­le­nium, and ad­vo­cated that this min­eral be added to all cat­tle ra­tions. He stressed feed test­ing and proper ra­tion bal­anc­ing. He pi­o­neered the use of mag­ne­sium in treat­ing 'downer' cows. In 1967-68, he worked for a fed­eral food and drug lab in Hull, Que­bec, test­ing new drugs. In 1969, he was com­mis­sioned by Agri­cul­ture Canada to im­prove the fa­cil­i­ties and test­ing pro­ce­dures at the fed­eral quar­an­tine sta­tion at Grosse Isle, Que­bec.

Dr. Abbey was a very ac­tive in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties in Lan­caster. He was reeve of Lan­caster Vil­lage Coun­cil from 1951-1954. He was a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee which ini­ti­ated a new med­i­cal clinic, as well as the com­mit­tee which started the Boy Scout and Cubs pro­gram. He was a mem­ber of the found­ing com­mit­tee of the Lan­caster Curl­ing Club. He was also a mem­ber of St. Joseph's Parish Church and the Knights of Colum­bus.

Harry and Jeanette were the par­ents of four chil­dren: Frank, Sharon, Diane and Kevin. Dr. Abbey passed away in 1989.

Neil Fraser

Neil Fraser was born on Fe­bru­ary 18, 1946, to Wil­liam and Olive Fraser, and grew up on their farm, Kings­brae Hol­steins, at Dalkeith, where he de­vel­oped a keen in­ter­est in all things Hol­stein. His en­thu­si­asm led to him be­ing so­licited to as­sist with show herds at lo­cal fairs, and later he worked with the renowned Ken­gor herd, at the re­gional level, in ad­di­tion to shows in the Glen­garry area. Neil mar­ried Sylvia McGowan in 1970, and the cou­ple bought their own farm at Lot 34, Con­ces­sion 9, Lochiel Town­ship. They be­gan milk­ing un­der the Gleneil pre­fix in 1971 and, even­tu­ally, raised two sons, Stephen and Ian.

Neil par­tic­i­pated in herd im­prove­ment pro­grams such as Clas­si­fi­ca­tion, ROP, and ge­netic im­prove­ment. As a re­sult of his ded­i­ca­tion to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of his herd, he re­ceived a Master Breeder shield in 2005. His off-farm ac­tiv­i­ties have in­cluded par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Glen­garry Hol­stein Club, which elected him pres­i­dent in 1989. Neil also con­trib­uted his time to EBI, first as

a di­rec­tor, and then pres­i­dent. He also served a term as di­rec­tor on the Se­mex Al­liance Board.

Gleneil has al­ways been part of the lo­cal cat­tle show cir­cuit, and con­tin­ues to op­er­ate to­day un­der the guid­ance of Neil's son, Ian, who re­turned to the farm in 1998. Through the years, Neil worked on the cat­tle com­mit­tee of the Maxville Fair Board, and he has also served on the Board of Man­agers of St. Columba Pres­by­te­rian Church.

Phyl­lis MacMaster

Phyl­lis MacMaster is the daugh­ter of Don­ald E and Doris MacMaster, and while grow­ing up on her par­ents' farm de­vel­oped a keen in­ter­est in agricul- ture. She was an en­thu­si­as­tic mem­ber of both the 4-H and Ju­nior Farmer pro­grams and pro­ceeded to study at the Univer­sity of Guelph. She grad­u­ated in 1976 with a de­gree in Con­sumer Stud­ies and sub­se­quently in 1979 with a de­gree in An­i­mal Science. Phyl­lis was hired by Art Ben­nett, Di­rec­tor of Ex­ten­sion Ser­vices for the On­tario Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, in April, 1979 as the Agri­cul­tural Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for York County, the first woman to ful­fill this role in On­tario's history. In 1984, she be­came Agri­cul­tural Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Hal­ton County.

Phyl­lis has been highly re­garded by the farm­ers she rep­re­sented and has demon­strated her love for prize an­i­mals by be­com­ing a part owner of some. 'A He­lens As­tro­naut Kay' and 'Mon­ti­eth Miss Kansas' are young cows she owned with Jeff Nurse, of Mon­ti­eth Hol­steins.

In 1991, Phyl­lis moved closer to Glen­garry when she ac­cepted the po­si­tion of Agri­cul­tural Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Dun­das County. That same year, she be­came an of­fi­cial judge for Hol­stein Canada, and is re­garded as one of the finest in On­tario.

In 2003, Phyl­lis was hired in the newly-cre­ated po­si­tion as Nu­tri­ent Man­age­ment Spe­cial­ist, and in 2010, this po­si­tion be­came En­vi­ron­men­tal Spe­cial­ist for OMAFRA in Kemptville. Phyl­lis served on the com­mit­tee which ini­ti­ated the Hays Clas­sic 4-H show in Toronto, as well as on the com­mit­tee which launched the In­ter-County 4-H Judg­ing Com­pe­ti­tion.

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