These awards were created to acknowledge
individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the potato industry in New Brunswick.
Farmers, individuals involved in farm organizations, business
persons, agrologists and scientists who have made a contribution
that improved the potato industry are all considered for induction
to the Potato World Hall of Recognition.
Nominations are considered in the potato industry through
local, provincial, national or international efforts in the
fields of marketing, organization, production, breeding, research,
policy, communications and education.
The nominations are considered from four different groups:
- Potatoes NB
- NB Seed Growers Association
- NB Potato Exporters Association
- NB Institute of Agrologists
- as well as from the general public.
Those nominated are judged in four areas based on information
received on the application form by a committee of the board
of Potato World. All nominations are held for five years with
the nominees being eligible for the award each of those five
Click here to download
the nomination form for Potato World's Hall of Recognition
Harrison McCain was born in Florenceville, graduated from
the Florenceville High School and attended Acadia University
graduating with a BA in Economics in 1949, married and raised
He was co-founder and Founding Chairman of McCain Foods Limited.
For 45 years he was in the potato industry and developed the
French fry market worldwide. Now McCain Foods is the world's
largest producer of French fries
He was a generous, inventive, determined businessman who
genuinely loved New Brunswick. He was an icon with a determination
and vision to operate a worldwide company from a little village
situated along the St. John River.
He received many honours for his achievements, societal leadership
and philanthropic activities, such as:
- Companion of the Order of Canada
- France Legion of Honour
- The Order of New Brunswick
- Canadian Business Hall of Fame
- Honorary Life Member of the Agriculture Institute of Canada
- Honorary Life Member of the Potato Association of America
- Many Honorary Doctorates from Universities
- Gary Wright Humanitarian Award
- Canadian Business Statesmen Award from Harvard Business
Yvon P. Ouellette
Yvon Ouellette's knowledge, skill and dedicated leadership
have played a prominent role in improving the New Brunswick
Born in Drummond, New Brunswick, Yvon P. Ouellette established
a small 60 acre seed potato farm in 1966 and built this into
a 1,000 acre operation for seed potatoes and cereal crops.
He became a seed grower, potato shipper, exporter, distributor
and truck broker - and a model for the New Brunswick potato
He was an outstanding innovator who introduced Dutch potato
sizing equipment and enhanced modern machinery to New Brunswick.
He continues to lead in working with new potato varieties
and in developing new means of fertilization and grading techniques
for superior seed potatoes.
Mr. Ouellette has received the following awards for his achievements:
- Certificate of Merit for Entrepreneurship from Canada
Awards for Business Excellence
- Outstanding Entrepreneurial Achievements by the Atlantic
Canada Entrepreneurship Awards Association
- Export Achievement Award by Minister of Economic Development
and Tourism New Brunswick
Wallace McCain was born in Florenceville, graduated from the Florenceville High School and he received a B.A. from Mount Allison University in 1951, married and raised four children.
He was co-founder of McCain Foods Limited and was President and Co-Chief Executive Officer until 1995 and is currently Vice-Chairman. McCain Foods grew to become one of the largest frozen food companies in the world. He is now Chairman of the Board of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Maple Leaf Foods is a leading Canadian food processing company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. It is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and employs more than 23,000 people in its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia.
He is a generous, and determined businessman who loves New Brunswick. He received many honours for his achievements, societal leadership and philanthropic activities such as:
- Officer of the Order of Canada (1995)
- Order of New Burnswick (2003)
- Canadian Business Hall of Fame (1993)
- Many Honorary Doctorates from Universities
- Canadian International Executive of the Year (2003)
- Honorary Life Member of the Potato Assoc. of America(1992)
- New Brunswick Hall of Fame (1997)
- B'nai Brith Award of Merit (1999)
- Honorary Life Member, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (2003)
- Gary Wright Humanitarian Award from Friends of We Care Inc. (1992)
- Knight of the Golden Pencil Award
Importance of community to Wallace McCain was shown by being:
Director St. Michael's Hospital Board
Director of Brascan Corporation
Co-Chair, National Ballet School Financial Campaign
Member of the National Advisory Council for Mount Allison University
Anton L. Pray
Anton Pray was born in Portland, Maine on April 5, 1926. When he was 4 years old he moved to New Denmark, New Brunswick to live with his grandparents. Due to his grandfather's illness, Anton left school when he was 14 years old to work with horses on their 50 acre family farm.
Anton began his 40 year career grading rail carloads of potatoes from around the country while operating a 50-acre farm. He began supplying seed potatoes to McCain in 1957, starting with 10 acres and now grows 350 acres to 400 acres of seed potatoes along with about 350 acres of grain.
For 12 years he was employed with Canada Packers operating their warehouse in New Denmark. The company expanded into Drummond and Anton, the late Herluf Peterson and Donny Mockler bought Canada Packers and changed the name to New Denmark Potato Shippers. Anton and Herluf were together for 12 years when Anton took over the Drummond operation and formed A.L. Pray & Son Co. Ltd. around 1974. He now exports about 75% of his own crop with the remainder sold in Canada.
Anton always supported the "family farm" concept. He believed in keeping the grass-root production base strong allowing the industry to develop and evolve. He always practiced good farming procedures and was aware of the environment and soil conservation.
- He developed and supplied markets throughout North America with seed and table potatoes. He started selling seed potatoes direct to the Cuban market around 1980.
- Anton is a generous, and dedicated man with vision and leadership.
- He was a Director and Past President of New Brunswick Potato Shippers Association
- Was an active member of the New Brunswick Potato Exporters Association
- Is always willing to support new concepts and ideas such as "Potatoes Canada" and CPIQ (Canadian Partners in Quality)
- He attended and participated in Canadian Horticultural Council activities and meetings.
- President of St. Peters Lutheran Church for many years.
- Chairman of New Denmark Complex for 6 years.
- Member of the Recreation Council for many years.
- President of New Denmark Shippers Assoc. for 7 years.
- Was on the Board of the N.B. Potato Agency for 8-10 years.
- Director on the Board of the CBDC since it started.
- Member of New Denmark's Seniors Complex Committee.
Clair Hill was born in Pontiac, Michigan, August 24, 1930 to the late Fred Hill and Annie Hill. His ancestors were Loyalists who came to Southern New Brunswick during the Revolutionary War. His father went to Pontiac, Michigan in the gold rush and moved back to Grand Falls in 1934 in the depression years to farm.
Mr. Hill graduated from the Grand Falls High School. In 1947 he started farming with his father in mixed farming and later potatoes became their cash crop. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the New Brunswick Seed potato Growers Association (NBSGA) for 22 years (starting with time of its inception); helped manage the operations of the NBSPGA and was involved in many issues affecting the industry; he represented the seed growers at many meetings (Provincial and National) and was a spokesperson for the industry. He initiated many activities that affected the seed industry.
His vision was to elevate the New Brunswick seed potato industry to produce the highest quality seed potatoes in the world. He was personally involved in many aspects that advanced the development of the New Brunswick seed potato industry that established New Brunswick as the world leader in seed potato production. His hands-on involvement in activities and issues in the seed potato industry for many years showed great leadership.
During Mr. Hill’s involvement in the New Brunswick Seed Potato Growers Association, many things were accomplished for the benefit of the seed potato industry:
- Managed Potato Storage Disinfection Programme.
- Seed potato variety trials.
- Potato Disease Eradication Act.
- Liaison with other seed potato sectors in Canada and the United States.
- Potato production not entered for seed inspection had to be tested for Bacterial Ring Rot.
- Educational Seminars for seed potato production.
- Regulations were established for safe management of cull disposal.
- Mandatory regulation that all potatoes planted in New Brunswick must be at least certified class.
- Active in establishing regulations at a national level that would benefit the seed potato industry and not cause its demise.
- Past Chairman of the Potato Committee of Canadian Horticultural Council.
- Served on New Brunswick Crop Insurance Commission.
- First grower/Chairman of the Seed Allocation Committee of Bon Accord.
- Was a Charter Member of the Bank of Montreal Agricultural Advisory Panel 1981 – 1984.
Mr. Hill recognized the great importance of community by being involved in many aspects of community and life; always available when someone needed assistance. Church was/is very important to Clair. He has been a Deacon of the church for 47 years, taught Sunday School class for 30 years, and a Member of the Gideons International in Canada for 41 years.
Since retirement, Clair and his wife Ruth reside in New Denmark and along with church and community activities, find time for their love of flowers and vegetable gardening.
Clair Hill is recognized for his many accomplishments for the seed potato industry.
Donald Alcoe Young
Donald A. Young of Fredericton, New Brunswick, attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Macdonald College and the University of Wisconsin where he completed a Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Pathology. He was granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Nova Scotia Agriculture College/ Dalhousie University in 1993.
In 1957, Don joined the Potato Breeding Program at the Fredericton Research Station and was appointed its Program Director ten years later. In the early 1960’s he recognized the importance of the internal texture of a potato on French fry quality and developed screening methods to identify this characteristic. Shepody is the leading variety resulting from this research. Its earliness and processing qualities provided improved efficiencies for both producers and processors. It is grown extensively in Canada and the U.S. and also in the U.K. Netherlands, France, Australia and China. Royalties from European plant breeders’ rights make a significant contribution to Agriculture Canada’s potato research budget. The Shepody Team was awarded Agriculture Canada’s Certificate of Excellence in Research and Technology Transfer in 1992. He led the development of Caribe, a variety for the off-shore seed market and initiated Canada’s first computer based retrieval system for plant breeding data.
Dr. Young played a major role in the rapid development of Atlantic potato infrastructure during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was the first Chairman of the Atlantic Potato Committee, the Atlantic Regional Potato Evaluation Committee, the
NSAC – Potatoes Canada Technical School Committee, the U.S. Northeast 107 Potato Evaluation Project, and edited the first three editions of the Atlantic Canada Potato Production Guide.
During his career he worked in 26 countries. This included the management of major projects with the International Potato Center, Lima, Peru, a CIDA Crop Diversification project in Bangladesh, and a seed potato research project in northeast China.
Don retired from Agriculture Canada in 1986 and joined McCain Foods as a part-time consultant. He was involved worldwide in the establishment and coordination of potato research and development projects, the evaluation of potential sites for new processing plants, and conducted several large research studies that addressed specific regional potato production problems.
Don is recognized for his life-long work, research, and dedication to the betterment of the potato industry.
Paul Eugene Bubar
Paul Bubar was born in Upper Brighton, New Brunswick, completed Grade 8 at Upper Brighton School and graduated from the Carleton County Vocational School, Woodstock, where he studied agriculture for two years. He married Shirley Strong and they raised four children – Ann, Archie, Andrew and Kevin.
He grew up on the family farm, then was in partnership with his brother John in Upper Brighton. In the early 1950’s he purchased a farm in Somerville and established his own farming business.
Paul was the founder of Paul E. Bubar & Sons Ltd. which grew, packed and shipped both seed and table potatoes, and expanded his business in several areas.
Paul had the innovation to find new ways to improve production and yields. He imported the first load of Russet Norkotah seed potatoes into Carleton County and actively supported and expanded the yellow fleshed varieties in New Brunswick. Paul continually updated his potato packing facility and agriculture chemical sales and warehouse, meeting all environmental, health, and safety requirements. His hands-on involvement in activities and issues in the potato industry for many years showed great leadership.
Community involvement was important to Paul and was involved in the following:
- He was a Director and long-time member of the New Brunswick Potato Shippers’ Association
- An active member of the New Brunswick Seed Potato Growers Association.
- Actively supported the New Brunswick potato industry through marketing and promotion of local potatoes and sales and warehousing of agriculture chemicals for potatoes and other crops
- He traveled and promoted New Brunswick potatoes throughout North America, Holland and the UK and cooperated fully with all market expansion and information efforts.
- Spent his life involved in developing and promoting the New Brunswick potato industry.
- Supported the Beef Producers Carleton County Spring Show and Sales.
- Was selected as “Spudman of the Year” in 1992 by the New Brunswick Potato Agency.
Paul loves to hunt, fish, and snowmobile. A devoted Christian, Paul Bubar has a great love for his Church, family, and community. He has helped in special community events and never hesitated to assist people in need. Paul Buabar is recognized for his life long work and dedication to the betterment of the potato industry.
Ronald Ray Piper
Ronald Piper was born in Bath, N. B., and graduated from Centreville High School in 1969. He immediately started farming, which was a love learned from his grandfather. In 1975, he married Yolanda Whittaker, they had two daughters: Melody and Heidi.
Ronald was a former co-owner of County Tractors and Mountain View Packers, located in Florenceville, and Canusa Foods, located in Centreville.
Ronald was a prominent voice for the entire potato industry and a charismatic advocate always ready to lend a helping hand. He was an excellent communicator between government and potato producers and believed in the New Brunswick potato industry and always promoted marketing excellence. He received praise for his ability to draw the attention of both the Provincial and Federal Governments to the needs of New Brunswick potato farmers.
Ronald served effectively on many Boards and Committees:
- Chairman of Potatoes New Brunswick. A new strategic plan was developed early in his mandate with goals and objectives he made sure were achieved.
- Chairman of the New Brunswick Potato Industry
- Stakeholder Advisory Committee on Research
- Co-Chair of the New Brunswick ‘Best ManagementPractices’ Seed Potato Committee.
- Representative for the New Brunswick potato industry on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Horticultural Council
- Board Member of the New Brunswick Agricultural Council
- Instrumental in the creation of United Potato Growers of Canada
- Representative on the New Brunswick Agriculture Summit Consultation Symposium
Ronald’s vision was to see potato growers have a fair return on their crop. He firmly believed that growing too many open-market potatoes was detrimental to profitable farming. Always looking to the future, he strongly encouraged the involvement of young people in farming and the importance of adopting new and improved management practices and obtaining the funding to make them a reality. He believed the potato industry was vital to our region and our province and worked tirelessly to ensure its continued viability.
His last commitment to innovation was to partner with Technico Technologies Inc., Hoyt, New Brunswick as Marketing Manager – an endeavour he loved. He was well-known and respected by potato growers, farmers in general, government, and industry stakeholders in Canada and the USA. He was a prominent agriculturalist, always working for the betterment of the farming community.
Among Ronald’s hobbies was collecting and restoring antique Massey Harris tractors. A devoted Christian and family man, Ronald’s life’s passion was serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the local and broader Church community.
Lionel Poitras was born and raised on a mixed-farming operation in Saint André where he continues to live and farm. He studied at the Saint-André School and contin- ued his studies at Saint-Louis University in Edmundston where he received the two year diploma in agriculture.
At 27 years of age, he purchased the 180 acre family farm which at the time consisted of 120 acres of potatoes and livestock. Early in his farming career, he was active in all areas of the potato industry including growing seed potatoes to be shipped abroad by the Pirie Potato Company. Soon after, with the arrival of the potato processing industry, he sold the live- stock to specialize in growing processing potatoes.
In 1962, he married Lucille Dubé (a teacher) and together they raised six children who all earned university degrees. In 1998, Mr. Poitras and his son Alyre, formed the company "Les Fermes Lionel et Alyre Poitras Lteé". On July 27th, 2000, he lost a leg in a farm accident. His other son, André, came on board to work full time with Alyre on the farm. Today, the company has 575 acres of land and grows 300 acres of potatoes plus rotation crops.
Always an innovator and eager to become involved, early in his career he took on and continues to hold leadership roles in the agricultural industry and community at large.
A true steward of the land, Mr. Poitras has always had a keen interest in environmental sustain- ability. To this end, he has worked tirelessly with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, the Eastern Canada Soil and Water Conservation Centre and other stakeholders on the Black Brook Water- shed project and more recently, has been a producer/cooperator in the Black Brook "Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs)" project. In an effort to slow run off and reduce soil erosion, he has constructed 660 metres of diversion terraces and 750 metres of grassed and rock-lined waterways on his farm.
Significant agricultural industry activities include:
- 1975 - 1980, President of the North West Potato Agency (forerunner of the NB Potato Agency)
- 1981 - 1992, Director, Co-chair and Chairman of the NB Potato Agency
Significant community activities include:
- 1956 - 1959, Member and Chairman of the Civil Defense Association
- 1959 - 1991, Volunteer Fireman for Saint André
- 1967 - 1980, Councilor for the Village of Saint-André
- 1957 - 1977, Director, School Board
- 1983 - 1992 & 2001 - 2006, Mayor of the Village of Saint-André
- 1998 - 2009, Director Caisse Populaire de Saint André, Les Chutes et La Valleé Lteé
- 2001 - 2003, Director, Grand Falls Industrial Commission
- 2001 - Present, Director COGERNO
- 2001 - Present, Chairperson Des Habitations Sociales de Saint-André de Madawaska Inc.
- 2001 - Present, Chairperson de la Villa Saint André
- 2004 - Present, Directeur de l'Association Francophone des Municipalités du N.B. et Représentant de la Region de Madawaska-Victoria
- 2006 - Present,Mayor of the First Rural Community in New Brunswick, the Saint-André Rural Community
G. Melvin Barclay
Melvin Barclay of Upper Kintore graduated from the Perth High School in 1949, the New Brunswick Teachers' College in 1951, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Degree Course with high honours in 1961, received his B. Sc. (Agr) with honours from McGill University in 1964 and graduated with high honours from the University of Maine with the Degree of Master of Science in Agronomy (M.S.Ag) in 1972.
He taught school for 10 years before joining the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture. He had a very distinguished career in agriculture. He was appointed Officer-In-Charge of the Bon Accord Elite Seed Potato Farm in 1971. While in this position, the Seed Farm expanded the land base and facilities as well as the quantity and quality of seed produced. During his 21 years at the seed farm, delegations and visitors were hosted from 51 countries. Without a doubt, Melvin has been widely recognized as a "driving force" behind the development of the New Brunswick seed potato industry and helped lay the ground work for many successful farm organizations.
His work as District Agriculturalist for Victoria County from 1986 until retirement in 1996 set new standards and unparalleled dedication and initiative in the development and dissemination of information and technical advice to farmers. Among his many agricultural publications, he is best known for six editions of "Potato Varieties in Canada" which is still sought after and widely used nationally and internationally. He is still referred to as "the most knowledgeable potato specialist in New Brunswick."
Indeed, he has served as a role model for numerous students and young agrologists and is held in high esteem by all who know him.
His impeccable career as a Professional Agrologist in the Agricultural Industry, mostly in the potato sector, won him many honours and awards such as: "Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada"; the highest honour of the
Organization; "The Distinguished Services to New Brunswick Agriculture Award" from the New Brunswick Institute of Agrologists and the "James Robb Award" which is the highest honour given by the New Brunswick Federation of Agriculture.
In addition, this distinguished Professional Agrologist is a tireless community worker serving in important capacities at his church and the Potato World Museum.
In retirement, Melvin continues to stay up to date professionally by subscribing to every major potato magazine and research journal and purchasing new agricultural textbooks for his already extensive library.
Reginald Deveber Gilbert
Reginald Gilbert was born in Gagetown, Queens Co., New Brunswick on July 8, 1913 to the late Thomas W.Gilbert and Margaret E. Gilbert. His ancestors came to Canada with the Loyalists in the 1700’s. He grew up on the family farm in Gagetown along with two brothers, but his father died when Reg was 12 years old so he and his brothers continued growing potatoes along with other crops on their 300 acre farm during the depression.Mr. Gilbert graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1933 then from MacDonald College of McGill University with a B.Sc. Agr. In 1935. He first went to work at the Canada Agricultural Research Station in Fredericton in 1935, then joined the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture in 1936.
Reg served as Deputy Minister of Agriculture 1957 – 1973. Through his involvement in the New Brunswick Government Programmes for the potato industry while serving as Deputy Minister and as Chairman of the Farm Products Marketing Commission, he became very interested in the potato industry.
Reg made a significant contribution to the potato industry. He was a key player in obtaining millions of dollars of Federal Stabilization funds for the New Brunswick potato industry and played a leading role in getting government financial and technical support in the development of the Potato Processing industry in New Brunswick.
Significant leadership and vision was shown by Mr. Gilbert in developing government legislation and financial programmes to assist the potato industry. Recognition of this was made in the honours he has received such as:
- Inducted into Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, Toronto, 1984
- Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame 1982
- Queen’s Twenty-fifth Anniversary Medal 1977
- Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, 1976
- Centennial Medal in 1967.
Mr. Gilbert’s innovations were many, but to name a few:
- Played a leading role in gaining government financial and technical support for the establishment and operation of the Bonacord Seed Farm
- He was one of a few organizers of the first Annual Meeting of Ministers and Deputies of Agriculture across Canada in 1950
- Has been a supporter of Potato World since startup
Mr. Gilbert recognized the great importance of the potato community and governments
working together to solve marketing and production problems. He was always willing to
meet and discuss with individual farmers and various associations on how to improve
and enhance government services to the Potato Belt.
He is a generous and determined businessman who loves people and loves New
R. Joseph Toner
R. Joseph Toner was born in Grand Falls, NB on February 13, 1921, to the late Thomas and Marjorie (Savage) Toner. He grew up on the family farm in the Grand Falls Portage along with his sister, the late Emily Toner-Barrett, and two brothers, the late Reverend Arnold Toner and Francis Toner. Joe is married to the former Kathleen (Kay) Cummins
of Johnville, NB. Today, they are parents to six sons and one daughter.
After graduating from the Grand Falls High School,Joe began working with his father and brother, growing, packing and shipping seed and table potatoes.
Joe was involved in supplying Canadian markets in Quebec and Ontario, and shipping to markets in the USA, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard. He was also active in promoting and exporting New Brunswick seed and table potatoes to the foreign markets of Argentina, Algeria, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Uruguay.
He would continually strive for improvement in all areas of production, shipping, and customer satisfaction. Joe has always been willing to try new procedures and techniques, endeavoring to improve the production, handling and delivery process of potatoes for his customers. As founder, co-founder, and owner of various commercial ventures in NB, Joe believed in the potato industry and invested time, energy and capital in the development of these businesses.
Besides employing many people of the region, Joe has always supported numerous community events, projects, and charities. As well, he has served as a director of the following industry organizations:
- Regional Development Board
- New Brunswick Potato Shippers Association
- New Brunswick Potato Exporters Association
- Potatoes Canada
Joe shared his enthusiasm for the potato industry and its related businesses with his sons who are carrying on today with some of his initiatives.
Whether as a family man, a volunteer, or an entrepreneur, Joe has positively influenced the potato industry and added to the economic vitality and the stability of the entire
Ivan Savage was born in 1929 in Edmundston, New Brunswick to Alma Toner and Herman Savage. In 1937 the family moved to Grand Falls Portage where his father began farming.
In 1950 Ivan Savage graduated from St. Thomas College, Chatham, with a BA degree. He returned home to farm with his Dad.
In 1952 at the age of 23, he began buying and selling potatoes under the name of H.J. Savage & Son which is the name he continued to use until he retired from farming in 2005. He was always interested in commercial farming and grew as many as 500 acres of potatoes and grain per year. Over the years, he exported potatoes internationally to USA, Argentina, Uruguay, Jamaica, Panama, Algeria, Greece, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. These were shipped in crates, barrels, and in bags.
He married Rebecca Gillespie in 1955. They bought the Savage family farm and lived there for fifty years raising four children; David, Joe, Anne and Mary who gave them 17 grandchildren and so far seven great grandchildren under the age of four.
In the early years, Ivan was on the Grand Falls School Board, and from 1968 to 1972 he was a member of the Land Compensation Board of New Brunswick. He was a founding member and later became President of the Grand Falls Manor. He was also President of the New Brunswick Potato Shippers Association.
In 1955 he became involved in Toner Brothers Ltd. as a Director and now is President of that Company. In 1979 he had an opportunity to purchase a fertilizer plant and since his sons were eager to farm, Ivan accepted the challenge and for twenty years, was CEO of Grand Falls Agro-mart. He sold this in 2000 to his son Joe.
Ivan is a generous man who loves a challenge and is a well-respected and determined businessman who genuinely loves working with potatoes He is a hard worker and always there to lend a helping hand to others. He is very community minded and loves New Brunswick.
Ivan Savage is a man who well deserves a place in the Potato Hall of Recognition at Potato World / The New Brunswick Potato Museum.
Byron McGrath was born in 1954 in Bath, New Brunswick to Ruth Lawrence and Bert McGrath. He graduated from the Centreville High School in 1972 and worked off the farm for a few years. He returned to the family farm and established a modest 22 acre potato farm in 1976, which has now grown into a 500 acre seed and table potato operation along with 500 acres of grain crops, known as B. McGrath & Sons Ltd.” He is married and has seven children.
In 1983, in partnership with Ronald Piper, Byron was co-founder of Mountain View Packers Ltd.. The potato packaging facility was started in Knoxford, N.B., and later was moved to Florenceville in 1987 to a larger facility to accommodate the growing business. In 1988, County Tractors & Machinery Ltd, a Case IH agricultural machinery dealership was established in Florenceville. Byron became sole owner of these businesses in 1996, and a new CASE IH Construction dealership known as Maritime Case Ltd. was built in 2006 in Fredericton, N.B.
Byron is very generous to the surrounding communities and charities. Scholarships and bursaries are awarded on an annual basis to graduating students of Carleton North High School.
A Business Achievement Award was received from Enterprise Carleton in 2007.
Byron currently serves as a Director for the N.B. Potato Shippers. He is a determined and innovative businessman who is concerned with the economic growth and stability of the agricultural industry in New Brunswick, and is always looking for ways to involve and spark interest in today’s youth.
His commitment to the potato industry is evident as Mountain View Packers Ltd. has grown to one of the largest growers, shippers and exporters of New Brunswick potatoes to the Eastern Seaboard in the USA., as well as New Brunswick and Quebec.
Gilbert & Marcel Michaud
Gilbert Michaud was born in 1943 in St. Andre, New Brunswick son of Narcisse Michaud and Adelia Vaillancourt who had eight children - and was from a family of farmers. At 16 years Gilbert started
farming with his father and completed with success a Technical Course at St-Basile Agricultural School and returned to work farming with his father. In 1963 Gilbert married Anne Leclerc who was a precious associate for Gilbert in his work and life. They have four children; Gilberte, Marcel, Lise and Lisette,
Soon Gilbert took control of the management of the mixed farming from his father and mother, got rid of the animals and specialized in potato production, as he saw at that time good opportunities in the potato industry. He started contracting with McCain Foods in the 1960’s, during the period Harrison McCain himself was going farm to farm signing potato contracts. In 1979 they won the Champion McCain Top Ten Potato Grower Award and for many years he was one of the Top Ten potato growers. He later went into shipping table potatoes.
Gilbert Michaud is well known, and industrious, he has great foresight. He grew 275 acres of processing potatoes and 1000 acres of grain.
Gilbert and Anne’s son Marcel, born in 1967, was very interested in farming potatoes. He received a Bachelor in Agronomy Science at Laval University in Quebec in 1991, as well as his wife Louise. They have three children – Julie, Catherine and Isabelle. As the 5th generation of farmer, they came back to the family farm and Marcel started farming with his father and Louise taught at the Agricultural College in Grand Falls. After ten years she started working full time at the farm. Both Marcel and Louise are
concerned that their children be interested in agriculture.
In 1995 Marcel bought a neighbour’s farm where they could improve the rotation of crops – one year out of three for potatoes. In 1996, they decided to diversify their market and clients and invest in grading, washing and packing equipment. They understood the opportunity of the table potato market so invested in an electronic sizer, weigher, and bagger for poly and paper bags. To attain a solid base of quality control, the farm obtains: C-PIQ from CFIA(2004), C-TPAT from US Custom and Border Protection (2005),FDA register facility (2006), SQF code 2000, Level 3, Guelph FoodTechnology Center (2010).
Marcel is member of NB Potato Board, NB Shipper Association and Grand Falls Enterprise for 6 years and Chairman since 2010.
They now wash, grade, and pack 100% of their 400 acres and buy another 400 acres from other farmers resulting in 25 million pounds. of finished product per year. They hire 21 employees. GAM Michaud Farms has great relationships with key players in the potato industry and are a proud vendor for Sobeys Group since 2004. They also distribute across Central Canada, Eastern Seaboard of United States and South East United States.
Gilbert and Marcel both have shown that they well deserve to be in the New Brunswick Potato Museum Potato Hall of Recognition.
Jock Fraser was born in Contin, Scotland, educated at Invergordon Academy, and in 1927 at the age of fifteen, he and his family immigrated to Canada at a cost of 4 pounds. The Soldiers Settlement Board was responsible for the 100 acre farm in Greenfield which was mostly wooded and poorly drained. The first year they grew six acres of potatoes, twenty acres of oats, other crops, and raised cows, pigs and hens.
Jock had four siblings and he worked on the farm with his father. Later he married Dorothy Kilpatrick and they had two children and later had six grandchildren. Their daughter Sheila, a Mount Allison
graduate married Paul Dean, a Food Technologist and they live in Wicklow. Son Harry graduated from U.N.B., married Janet Wilson and they moved to P.E.I. where he worked for his father and
later published “Fraser’s Potato Newsletter”. This carried important news on the potato industry. This Newsletter was circulated around the world for about 37 years.
In 1941 Jock and family moved to Jacksonville and eventually grew 400 acres of potatoes. Jock had built four large storage houses and started a trucking business called “Highland Transport”. He grew, packaged, and shipped potatoes by train and truck under the name of “Highland Brand Potatoes” for many years. In 1960 he bought land in P.E.I. to expand his potato business. He worked for and in the potato industry all his life.
He was Chairman of School Boards, a Charter Member of the Carleton County Historical Society, was elected as a Liberal Member of the Provincial Legislature in 1948 serving a four-year term. Besides his large potato business, he was best known as a Director of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission where his work improved power infrastructure in Carleton County to better serve the farm communities and his fellow growers. Along with his love of potatoes and his potato business, and politics, he loved horse racing and raced horses in the Maritimes and Maine.
Jock was a hard worker, honest, fair, and well known throughout the Maritimes and Maine. His quick wit and fairness won him the respect of farmers. He was well liked and a great friend to everyone and clearly had the personality and business sense for entrepreneurship. A role model. Jock was a “Potato Pioneer” and well deserves the honour of being in the New Brunswick Potato Museum “Potato Hall
Gary Foster was born in Bath, N.B., Nov. 8, 1945 to Sadie (Oakes) and Timothy Foster. Gary was the youngest of five children. (three sisters – Ann, Marie, Leota, and one brother Leonald). His father and mother farmed in the late 40’s and grew approximately 8 acres of potatoes as well as grain and had livestock.
Gary is a graduate of the Bath High School. In 1965 he took over the family farm in Moose Mountain, and what was an 8 acre farm, he expanded to a 825 acre farm where he currently grows 400 acres of potatoes and 425 acres of grain.
In 1967 he married Dorothy Kilfoil. They have three children – Allison Foster, the late Nola Foster, and youngest Kelly Foster Hallett, and a grandson Foster Hallett and two step-granddaughters, Drew and Bree Hallett.
In addition to farming, Gary Foster worked full time in Woodstock at NBTel where he started in 1964 as a linesman and retired after over 34 years in 1998 as Manager of Engineering.
He has been operating a potato farm and contracting with McCain Foods since 1965 until present. He has been on many boards and committees working for the betterment of the Potato Industry.
Gary Foster was a Director of District 3 for Potatoes New Brunswick from 1998 - 2003 and replaced a part of 2007 and full years of 2008 and 2009. He was Treasurer of Potatoes New Brunswick 1998 - 2000, Vice-Chair 2001, and Chairman for 2002 and 2003.
He chaired the Potatoes New Brunswick Processing Negotiating Committee from 1998 to 2009. During that time he led negotiations with McCain Foods, Cavendish Farms, Michel St-Arneault Inc., and Aliment Baril Inc.
For five years he served on the Canadian Horticultural Council’s Safety Net Committee and was on the Appeal Committee of the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) Programme. He also was on the Processing Advisory Committee of Potatoes New Brunswick Orderly Marketing study in 2008 and led the establishment of the Potato Harvest Hotline.
Gary was very involved in many negotiations with both the Provincial and Federal Governments in efforts to improve support for our farmers. He believes in the benefit of farmers working cooperatively to improve their individual businesses.
He takes an active part in community matters, supports many good causes and charities. He relates to the farmers who also come to him for advice.
Gary Foster well deserves the honour of being in the “Potato Hall of Recognition” at the New Brunswick Potato Museum/Potato World.
Mogens “Moose” Givskud
Mogens Givskud was born in Drummond, NB on July 4th, 1936. The youngest of 5 siblings born to Hans and Elizabeth Givskud whom immigrated from Uldum and Naestved Denmark in the late 1920’s. Mogens started working the land early in life, leaving school with a grade 7 education. He worked alongside his father growing potatoes, grain and raising livestock. In 1964 he married Victorine Violette and together raised two children, Michael and Mia.
Mogens bought the family farm from his father in 1964 and quickly focused on the potato growing operation. Producing high quality seed potatoes and grain; continually acquiring more land and developing strong client relationships was his focus. From what started small, the family farm now grows 925 acres of seed potatoes.
Established in 1981, Mogens Givskud Co. Ltd markets the production of the family farm operation and also buys potatoes from other growers to support client demand. Over the years potatoes have been exported internationally to Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Russia, Uruguay, USA and throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. In 1986, Mogens and three of his farming neighbors; Carmel Beaulieu, Leopold Desjardins and Gilles Desjardins formed Salmon River Seed Farm Ltd., a company intended for exporting to Cuba. At its peak, 110 000 50kg bags of potatoes were exported per year. With this venture as with others, Mogens had developed strong relationships with his clients referring to them as good friends. In 1994, he was implicated in acquiring a seed supply contract with Hostess Frito Lay that is still held today.
In 1983 Mogens was awarded the NB Soil and Crop Farmer of the year award.
In 1993 Ferme Givskud Farm was honored with the Business excellence award.
In 1996 Ferme Givskud Farm was awarded the Minister’s Marketing award of excellence.
Mogens shared his passion and vision with the industry. He was instrumental in developing soil erosion procedures in the ’70s. An application that was not seen as important proved to be vital in the soil and crop conservation practice. He was a long time member of the NB Shippers Association, the NB Export Association and member of the Farm Debt Review Board.
He has passed on the family farm to his son Michael, but continues to be a constant presence in the office. He is amazed at how the industry has evolved and remembers well his humble beginnings; loading railway cars with a bag of potatoes carried over his shoulder.
Moose, as many know him, is a kind and humble man. A gentleman farmer would best describe him, he always thought of his neighbors and fellow farmers, always ready to lend a hand. His determination, hard work and passion made him the business man he is and the legacy he leaves for future generations.
David C. Frost
David C. Frost was born in 1940 in Farmington, Maine. He graduated from Wilton Academy, Wilton, Maine, in 1958. In 1963, he obtained both his B.Sc. in Agricultural Science and a Class A Maine State Teaching Certificate from the University of Maine at Orono, Maine. An excellent student, David graduated in 1965 with a M.Sc. in Agronomy also from the University of Maine at Orono, Maine. His Master’s thesis was: “Studies Concerning the Retention of Organic Materials by Clay Minerals”. During university student years, he was a research and teaching assistant in the area of small grains and forage research on fertility and varieties. He also instructed courses in soil chemistry, soil physics, chemical weed control, radiobiology, and experimental design statistics.
From 1965 – 1968, he was a Research Scientist with Agriculture Canada, Fredericton, NB, conducting field and laboratory research on potato fertility and soil chemistry.
From 1968 – 1977, he worked as an Agronomist with Nutrite Fertilizers, Saint John, NB and Presque Isle, Maine. There he specialized in fertilizer formulations, soil testing, fertilizer and lime recommendations, grower-company relations and he also conducted numerous seminars.
Always an entrepreneurial spirit, from 1977 – 1986, David was the Field Department Manager, McCain Foods Ltd., Florenceville, NB. He was responsible for procurement of all raw material supplies (potatoes, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts); contract negotiations with grower organizations and individual growers; grower relations, seminars, newsletters; the co-ordination of research results from the McCain Research Farm to grower recommendations. As well, he implemented or advised on the potato storage construction incentive grants to growers and on research trials.
During the final 25 years of David’s career, he was an Agricultural Consultant specializing in potato production and storage management. This involved extensive soil testing, plant tissue testing and making fertilizer, lime, cultural and potato storage recommendations.
Throughout his career, David was considered to be the most experienced potato fertilizer consultant in Atlantic Canada, if not in North America. Many growers and consultants relied on his advice to successfully grow their potatoes and rotation crops.
David was an active participant on many industry committees and attended many functions related to potato research. He was an industry leader in developing accurate fertilizer recommendations for potato production and a visionary whose advice and counsel were highly sought after.
As a lasting tribute to David’s contribution to the agricultural industry, the National Farmers Union has established an annual scholarship for a deserving agricultural student at an accredited college or university.
Honourable Frederick William Pirie Sr. and Frederick William Pirie Jr.
The Hon. Frederick William Pirie Sr. was born on February 1, 1893 in Red Rapids, New Brunswick and died on October 3, 1956. He was the grandson of William Pirie Sr. and wife, Margaret Scott who arrived from Aberdeen, Scotland in 1874 and first settled in Kincardine, NB and later moved to Grand Falls, NB. Frederick Pirie Sr. was also the son of William Pirie Jr. and Phoebe (Jane) Roberts. He was
married to Adeline Clark of Limestone, Maine and was educated at the Grand Falls public schools and Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB.
Fred, as he was referred to, was a spirited and energetic person who was always ready to tackle new
challenges. Some businesses that he owned and operated were:
- a large farming operation which, at one point in the mid 1950's, saw him cultivating over 2,000
acres of potatoes
- a saw mill, barrel factory and a cooper shop where the barrels and potato crates were assembled
- a starch, dehydration and chip plant
- an Imperial Oil franchise
- a greenhouse used in the development of disease free potatoes and creation of new varieties which
was quite innovative at the time
- a car dealership in Grand Falls and Saint John
- a fertilizer dealership
- a building supply outlet
One of the greatest impacts he had on the potato industry was to open up the Cuban market as well as exporting a great number of potatoes to Central and South America. In an article written in The Evening Times-Globe on September 30, 1953, he was reported to be “Canada’s largest grower, shipper and exporter of healthy, disease-free potatoes for planting". The same article stated that he had in his employ “at least 1,000 workers”. In addition to being active in his own enterprises, he was director of many other companies.
Politics played an important role in his life, sitting as a town alderman for a number of years and then as mayor for three years. From 1930 to 1945, he was elected MLA for Victoria County and from 1935 to 1945, served as Minister of Lands and Mines in the Dysart and McNair governments. In 1941, Fred Pirie was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Mount Allison University and in 1945 he was appointed to the Senate. In order to accommodate his busy schedule, he was known to have the first airplane around, which he used to travel at his own expense, to and from his governmental responsibilities in Fredericton and Ottawa, which earned him the name “The Flying Pirie”.
Fred Pirie Sr. had one son and three daughters. Frederick William Pirie Jr. was born on July 8, 1918
and died on May 3, 1999. He was married to Betty Jane Skofield of Fort Fairfield, Maine.
His contributions were as follows:
- played an active role from an early age in expanding many of the family enterprises, one of which was the seed potato export market to include Western Europe and North Africa.
- started his own businesses which included a grocery store and a farm equipment manufacturing operation.
- contributed financially to various causes including donating the land on which the present Grand Falls General Hospital is now situated.
- contribution of his time which involved the establishment of the Rotary Club in Grand Falls in 1946, being its Charter President. He also served for a period of time on the advisory council to the Minister of Trade and Commerce in Ottawa.
Frederick Pirie Jr. had three sons, John, Tom and Peter and one daughter, Brenda. All were active in the family businesses. However, Tom’s life ended at the early age of 24 in 1968.
Gaylon Henry Crain
Gaylon Crain was born in Bath, New Brunswick in 1941 to William and Carrie (DeMerchant) Crain. He was sixth in a family of 16, five sisters and 10 brothers. He grew up on his parents’ farm in Piercemont, and became acquainted with mixed- farming life at a young age. At the age of 15, he finished his formal schooling and went to work in a lumber camp, yarding and loading logs in the day of horsepower and rail transport. He also worked for a brief period in construction work in Ontario before returning to farm work as an employee of Alex and Douglas MacIntosh in Bath. He also worked in the construction of the Northern Carleton Hospital in Bath. In 1962, he married Alice Broad and together they raised three daughters: Beverly, Gail and Robin. He took great pride in his children and seven grandchildren and looked forward to family time together. A hearty meal with all his family around the table was what he considered a special occasion. With a strong desire to farm on his own, in 1964 at the age of 23, he planted his first potato crop on 15 acres of land belonging to William Pierce in Piercemont. With the proceeds from this crop and a small bank loan, he purchased his own mixed-farm in Piercemont in 1965, within eyesight of his father’s farm.
His passion for farming was the driving force in his life and he gained great joy and personal satisfaction from watching his family and farm flourish. In the early years as his potato crop increased, he continued to provide potatoes for McCain Foods, marketing many by rail through Ervine Canam in Upper Kent, and also exporting potatoes by ship from Saint John. Farming opportunities soon also included employment of three of his younger brothers: Wavel, Hugh John and David. Eventually, they became an integral part of the day-to-day operation. Gaylon’s ability to manage and direct farming operations lead to increased production, a greater variety of crops, improved machinery and additional acreage. Over the years, his leadership has developed what is known today as Crain Farms Ltd. - farming as much as 1300 acres and growing as many as 500 acres of potatoes. His farming operation was named 14 times in the McCain Potato Growers Top 10 and named three times as the Champion Grower. In 1993, his farming operation was featured in the Canadian Farming Magazine.
Gaylon’s hard work and dedication to the farming industry has had a positive influence on the community around him. His honesty, generosity, quiet demeanour and ability to work with people are only a few of his leadership qualities. He met and talked regularly with local growers to discuss their challenges, new practices and new equipment that would promote growth in the potato industry. He was well respected in the community for his advice and guidance and was considered a role model in farm and business management. Gaylon believed the potato industry was of vital importance to our region and that increasing production, quality and yield could employ more local people, benefit more local business and shift the declining relevance of New Brunswick farms. He believed in the work ethics of local people and our ability to provide quality farm-grown foods to a world market.
He saw the importance of experimenting with new varieties and adapting to our changing climate and environment. He has been part of many potato variety trials including the Shepody, Brandon, Ranger Russet, Bristol Hawk, Borden and Highland varieties. He was one of the first farmers to realize the importance and benefit of crop rotation in order to maintain suitable soil organic matter for long-term potato production. Over time, he experimented with various rotation crops to find which practice achieved the highest potato quality and yield. His proven rotation practices were soon the habit of other local farmers. Gaylon also saw the benefits of updating machinery and adapting to new technology and practices in order to improve efficiency and crop quality. He experimented with newer potato cultivators and his farm was among the first to embrace the Thomas B88 Air Vac potato harvester and the improved Axial Flow combines. He ventured into potato crop irrigation in order to improve yield during dry summers. He maximized use of his land base by clearing additional acreage and draining land considered too wet to support quality potato growth. He changed farming practices to prevent soil erosion and added water ways that would sustain the land base and allow future potato crops to flourish. His vision and leadership consistently promoted the growth of the potato industry and the importance of family farming operations in his surrounding community. He dedicated much of his time to promoting what was considered a family business and ensuring his farming practices would sustain not only his generation but also the next generation of farmers. He encouraged young people to be involved in farming and today the operation includes his daughters, three brothers, their sons and other nephews and extended family.
Gaylon believed in supporting and encouraging local business. He was one of the first farmers to invest in and support Northern Carleton Potato Packers, a facility which is known today as Mountain View Packers. He intentionally shopped local and hired local business to support his farming operation. He had a heart for people and supported local charities, musicians, pastors and frequently assisted under-privileged people and families. He was also an avid supporter of the Billy Graham Association. Gaylon had a genuine love for family and farming and believed both could achieve great things.
Heber Harold Hatfield
Heber Hatfield was born in Middle Simonds, Carleton County NB. He attended public school in the local school house and at an early age gained his first business experience as a clerk in his father’s store. He became involved in shipping potatoes in the early part of the twentieth century and continued a life-long interest and association with all phases of the potato industry. He was also involved in business ventures and community improvement projects. One of the pioneers in the large scale marketing of NB Potatoes, he set up an office in Hartland in partnership with F.S. Scott of Montreal in 1909. He later incorporated as Hatfield and Company Ltd. to purchase and market seed and table potatoes. Mr. Hatfield also started Hatfield Industries, NB Potato Products Ltd. and Canada Potato Products Ltd. as well as other companies.
Always an innovator, Mr. Hatfield developed many new concepts in marketing and processing potatoes: the shipment of small (10lb) consumer packages of table potatoes, a potato dehydration plant supplying dehydrated potatoes for the Allied Armies during World War II and one of the first potato starch plants in Canada and most significantly, he developed and operated the first potato chip plant in Canada.
Also, he established markets and shipped both seed and table potatoes throughout the USA, the Caribbean and South America. The Caribbean market remained profitable for the NB Potato Industry until very recently.
As well as being a leader in the developing potato industry, Heber Hatfield served the wider communtiy as the MP for Victoria-Carleton in the elections of 1940, 1945 and 1949. In addition, he served as the mayor of Hartland, a warden on the Carleton County Council and president of the Hartland Electric Co. all the while continuing to operate his various diversified businesses.
Mr. Hatfield was among the larger employers in Carleton County and always did his best to find the most lucrative markets for produce grown by local farmers.
An admired and successful entrepreneur and politician throughout his life, Heber Hatfield especially with the development and operation of the first potato chip plant in Canada, elevated NB Potatoes from a relatively unknown commodity to a well known snack food eaten in every Canadian household.
Eugene Joseph Brennan
Eugene Brennan was born and raised in Johnville NB where he worked on his father’s (T.J. Brennan) farm from a very early age.
He attended the local rural school and later graduated from the Woodstock Vocational School. Upon graduation, he returned to the family farm (T.J. Brennan and Sons Ltd.) to work with his father and brothers Raymond and Bill and in later years his son Matthew who continues to operate the farm.
Eugene loved farming and people from all walks of life. He had a special appreciation for other farmers; his desire was to see their farms prosper and their families become upstanding citizens in the community.
As such, he was a role model and mentor especially to young farmers and a sounding board to all veterans of the business. Mr. Brennan was very active in the affairs of the potato industry. He was a potato shipper, marketing the crop grown on the farm along with potatoes from many other farms in the area. He worked with other potato shippers, helping to assemble offshore export orders and coordinated rail transportation from the siding in Bath to market destinations.
Seed and table potatoes were his specialty and the eastern seaboard, as well as Ontario and Quebec were major markets he supplied with high quality product.
Eugene Brennan was a pioneer in the formation of the NB Potato Shippers Association. Prior to the commencement of Potatoes NB, it was the NB Potato Shippers Association who met with governments and the Canadian Horticultural Council to effectively promote and protect the potato industry.
A gentle, honest family man of integrity, Eugene represented potato farmers and shippers with a calm, quiet demeanor and a keen mind focused on resolving issues and charting the best path forward. He was very hard working and always treated everyone with respect; he thoroughly enjoyed the people he came in contact with through his business.
Eugene Brennan was very community minded and worked hard, quietly promoting his community just as he did the potato industry. He served as a member and often as chairperson for: the Bath Chamber of Commerce, Northern Carleton Hospital, Annie I. Lockhart Home, Florenceville Rotary Club, Bath Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph’s Parish Council and Bath Non-profit housing.
The potato industry and the wider farming community are better organized today due to the leadership and wise council of Eugene Joseph Brennan and others like him.
Jean-Louis Daigle was born and raised on a small mixed potato farm in Drummond NB and it was here, from an early age that potato farming captured his interest. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in agricultural Engineering from Laval University, Quebec.
Due to his observations on the home farm and the expertise gained through summer employment with the NB Department of Agriculture, soil conservation became very important to him. Therefore, upon graduation from Laval in 1976, he accepted a position in Perth Andover, NB with the Engineering Branch of the NB Department of Agriculture. His keen interest and expertise in the control of soil erosion coupled with his ability to convince farmers of the benefits of proper land stewardship enabled him to quickly become well known and respected by the NB Potato Industry and its stakeholders. From 1976 until 1991, in Jean-Louis’ own words, ‘I was a pioneer working directly with innovative farmers in the implementation of erosion control systems’. Jean-Louis Daigle is considered the ‘Father’ in the implementation of diversion terrace cultivation systems in NB. It was also during this time that potato farmers and industry leaders in the NB Potato Belt gave him the nick name ‘The Soil Conservation Preacher ‘.
In 1991, Mr. Daigle accepted the position of Head of Engineering with the Provincial Land Resources Branch of the NB Department of Agriculture located in Fredericton. There, he directed and coordinated engineering services and programs related to land improvement, soil and water conservation and land stewardship.
In 1998, Jean-Louis was appointed Director of the Eastern Canada Soil and Water Conservation Centre in Grand Falls, NB where he was able to further his passion for soil conservation on a broader scale through advisory committees, round tables at regional and national levels on agri-environment, soil and water protection and climate change.
Jean-Louis Daigle has truly had an exceptional professional engineering career. He is responsible for significant influential changes to our farming methods with regards to potato industry sustainability from a land management and stewardship standpoint.
Among his major accomplishments was encouraging and spearheading local research with Agriculture Canada and farmer cooperators in soil and water conservation and land management,notably, the soil erosion plots in Drummond, bench mark research study sites in Drummond, the Black Brook Watershed Study in Saint-Andre (one of seven Canadian pilot watershed cooperative studies with Agriculture Canada) and the Soil Health Pilot Study project with Potatoes NB.
In recognition of his accomplishments as a major visionary leader, Jean-Louis has received many provincial and national awards:
- The NB Institute of Agrologists “Initiative Award”, the Distinguished Services to NB Agriculture” and the “James Robb Award” for outstanding professional achievement and leadership.
- Inducted into the “Conservation Hall of Fame" in 1990 by Soil Conservation Canada.
- The “Sustainability of Land Resources" under the drainage and irrigation CANCID Award in 1997.
- The Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineering “Jim Beamish Award” in 2001.
- The Town Of Grand Falls “Environmental Initiative Award" in 2002.
- The “NB Environmental Leadership Award—Lifetime Leadership Category" from the NB Minister of Environment.
Always giving of himself, at the community level Jean-Louis Daigle has chaired the Drummond Parish Church Council, organized Centennial events for the promotion of agriculture and the potato industry. He also worked closely with municipalities in creating partnerships for the protection of their drinking water supplies. He is currently the volunteer treasurer for the “Association d’integration communautaire d’Edmundston et Madawaska” with the objective of integrating people with physical or intellectual disabilities into the community.
The Potato Farmers of NB and all of the Potato Industry Stakeholders are indebted to Jean-Louis Daigle for his tireless and beneficial efforts to conserve our rich land resources for the future.
Jean-Marie Pelletier was born and raised and continues to farm in Drummond, NB. He is the second oldest of five children and from a young age, he worked on the family farm under the guidance of his father Gérard who taught him important family and agricultural values.
Upon graduation from the secondary School Polyvalente Thomas-Albert in 1976, Jean-Marie immediately commenced farming full-time with his father. His natural passion for potato farming grew quickly and in 1977 with assistance from his father, Jean-Marie purchased his own farm land where he continued to grow potatoes in partnership with his father.
In 1979, Jean-Marie married Sylvia Cyr. They have three children: Melanie, Jeannot, and Mélissa and now sons-in-laws Chris and Marc, daughter-in-law Jessica and six grandchildren: Dominic, Bradley, Zakary, Karissa, Alyssa and Marika known as ‘the family guardian angel’. The family farm now incorporated under the name ‘Bald Peak View Farms Inc.’ continued to expand with the purchase of two nearby farms. A true steward of the land, Jean-Marie is proud to say that all of their farm land has been terraced and waterways installed as prevention against erosion.
Always a strong family man, when his father retired, Jean-Marie continued to farm with his brother Rino who had purchased the family farm. Later on, his other brother Marcel joined them with his potato farm and the three brothers together formed a partnership, under the name “ JMMR Pelletier Farms”. Since then, son Jeannot and son-in-law Marc have also joined the farming operation on a full-time basis. It is anticipated that the addition of the younger generation will ensure efficient farm succession.
Jean-Marie Pelletier has always paid strict and careful attention to the successes in the industry as well as issues and challenges facing agriculture in the big picture. This fueled his desire to become involved on industry leadership committees designed to bring forth new ideas and changes necessary to promote better functioning and sustainability of the industry. Involvement on these committees has allowed Jean-Marie the opportunity to share the vast and valuable experience he has gained overcoming the farming challenges he has faced, for the betterment of the whole potato and general agriculture industry both in New Brunswick and Canada not only for now, but in the future as well. Jean-Marie is thankful to his family for allowing him to sacrifice so much time away from the farm serving on committees and groups for the benefit of New Brunswick and Canadian agriculture.
Here at home, Jean-Marie Pelletier has served as chair of Potatoes NB from 2004 to 2005 and also in 2008. This important role enabled him to work with all levels of government involved in agriculture. He has also chaired the New Brunswick Processing Potato Negotiating Advisory Committee, the Safety Net Committee and the French Fry Negotiating Committee. At the National level, Jean-Marie has served on the ‘Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization’ (CAIS) Committee and has provided advice on other Safety Net and Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) committees. Numerous other regional and provincial committees have also been the beneficiary of the wise practical input of Jean-Marie Pelletier.
Jean-Marie Pelletier’s passionate contribution to the New Brunswick and Canadian Potato Industries is exemplary and greatly appreciated by all industry stakeholders.
Robert R. McCain
Robert R. (Bob) McCain was born in Florenceville in 1922. After public school in Florenceville, he followed his father’s wishes and enrolled in Dalhousie University Medical School with the assistance of the Canadian Officers Training Corps. It was during military training in Sussex that a premature mortar explosion ended his medical career. After a lengthy stay in hospital, he returned home to work at McCain Produce with his father and his brother Andrew. It was during this time that he became interested in frozen french fries. After much research and study, he was able to convince his brothers to join together to start a new venture, McCain Foods which he was a Director of until his death in 1977. As well, he continued to co-manage McCain Produce with Andrew.
He developed an export market for dairy cattle from the Maritimes. From his registered Holstein herd, Bob sold and shipped the first pure bred Holstein bull to Cuba. He was also a founding director of the Atlantic Sires Stakes Association for Standardbred race horses. His horses raced in the Maritimes, Montreal, Maine and Florida.
In addition, Bob was active in the Canadian Horticultural Council and the Canadian Seed Potato Export Agency. As a tribute to his exceptional contribution to the agricultural industry, his portrait hangs in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in Toronto and the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame at Dalhousie University.
A man with deep community interests, Bob and his brother Andrew were instrumental in bringing the Rotary Club to Florenceville; he later became President of the Florenceville Rotary Club as well as District Governor. He was the first member to be made a “Paul Harris Fellow” in Rotary at the Florenceville Club. Bob was also Worshipful Master of the Masonic Order. He and his wife Rosemary had four children ‒ Beth, Andrew, Mary and Kirk.
Andrew H. McCain
Andrew H. McCain was born September 22, 1921 in Florenceville. He graduated from Florenceville High School in 1939 and attended both the University of New Brunswick and Acadia University. He and his wife Marjorie Pearson raised six children – Allison, Kathryn, Linda, Margaret, Stephen and Nancy.
He began his business career at McCain Produce Co. Ltd. with his father, Andrew, and his brother Robert. Together, they made it one of Canada’s largest exporters of seed and table potatoes to countries throughout South America, Central America, Southern Europe and Cuba.
Andrew was a founding director of McCain Foods Limited which grew to be the largest processor in the world.
He was a businessman with a love for both community and the Province of New Brunswick. In business, he served on several boards including the New Brunswick Telephone Company, Juniper Lumber Company and Potatoes Canada. In the community, he was active in the Rotary Club of Florenceville, Masonic Lodge, Elks Club, Boy Scouts, Curling Club and as Treasurer of the NB Liberal Party.