Long-time area farmer, Ken Monteith, was inducted on Saturday into the Elgin Federation of Agriculture Agricultural Hall of Fame. As well, Briwood Farm Market was presented with the 2015 Agri-Business Award and Elgin County/Kettle Creek Agricultural scholarships were presented to Anita Rastapkevicius and Caroline Strieb.
Terry Carroll represented the Kettle Creek Environmental Trust, presenting two 2015 scholarships which are a partnership between EFA and the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority for students who have shown an interest in agriculture, the environment and education. Anita is studying Food and Agricultural Resource Economics at University of Guelph, and Caroline is studying at Fanshawe College to become an Environmental Technician.
Briwood Farm Market co-owners Sherwood Lefler and Brian Giles were named 2015 Agri-Business Award winners. In presenting the award, a partnership between EFA and Elgin Business Resource Centre, Sharen Symondson commended their philosophy since starting their business in 1991 to support local businesses, products and farms, thereby providing their customers with fresh quality products. They now employ more than twenty-five staff. Accepting the award, Brian said, “We appreciate being recognized for something we just naturally do.”
Sandra Albias, a director with the EFA, met Ken Monteith in 2010 when both were part of the corporate sponsorship team for the International Plowing Match. She brought greetings from several associates and friends. She described five core strengths she had discovered in working with Ken - leadership, passion, accomplishment, family and friends.
Ken was MP for Elgin Norfolk from 1988 to 1993 and held many positions including member of the standing committee on agriculture, member and chair PC agriculture caucus Canada, and also chaired several legislative committees.
Sandra named some of the organizations Ken has supported and is still supporting, “This is just the short list - University of Guelph, St. Thomas General Hospital, Kiwanis Club, Masonic Lodge, St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce, Family and Children Services, United Way, Canadian World Plowing Match, International Plowing Match, and CASO Train Station … You have made a positive difference and inspired us all to do the same.”
Associates from Ridgetown also brought their congratulations and thanks for Ken’s contributions to University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. David Baute said, “I have had the unenviable position of having to take over the chair of the Agri-Food Foundation after Ken … It has been a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to be under Ken’s guidance. I said I would not take the role unless Ken would mentor me along and he has done that as he has done for so many in this room. He is the real deal. He is a generous kind man who pays forward and I am pretty sure when he goes to ask someone for help on a project, they say yes because they know that Ken won’t say no. That’s why he has been so very successful at being a leader, an ag- leader, a gentlemen leader and I am proud to have had the opportunity to get to know him. Thank-you Ken."