Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees announced
Stephanie Rogers - October 16, 2012
A world-renowned blueberry juice. Cooperation to improve the lives of farmers. Leadership in conservation farming. Bringing quality produce to the people.
These are just a few of the accomplishments of this year’s Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees, who will be celebrated Thursday at Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus.
The awards were established in 1968 as a means of honouring individuals in Atlantic Canada for their contribution to the development of the agricultural industry in the region. Each year, one person from each of the four Atlantic Provinces is inducted, and the event is hosted annually at the Agricultural Campus.
“It is very fitting that the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame is housed within our Faculty of Agriculture,” says Harold Cook, dean of the faculty and principal of the Agricultural Campus. “The men and women who have been honoured over the years, many of whom are alumni, lead by example and are pioneering the way for the next generation of bright young minds who will be directing their energy and talents to ultimately influence the future of this industry.”
Case van Dyk (Nova Scotia) has etched out a place in this province’s agricultural landscape through his innovative production and processing of the blueberry. Case’s signature product, van Dyk’s 100% Pure Wild Blueberry Juice is found on shelves and in kitchens across the globe. This unique product maintains the nutritional value of the original fresh fruit without added sugar, water or preservatives. Recognized for its pioneering design, van Dyk’s blueberry juice won the 2005 award for Best New Juice Innovation at the 2005 World Juice Congress in Madrid, Spain. Nominated by the Lunenburg/Queens Federation of Agriculture in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to agriculture and his passion for innovation.
Bert Dykerman (Prince Edward Island) has influenced the agricultural industry in Prince Edward Island with his belief that innovation and cooperation between farmers are keys to success. Bert’s own production, Brookfield Farms produces 300 acres of mixed vegetables annually, with carrots as the principal crop. Bert was a founding member of the PEI Vegetable Growers’ Co-Operative, which now markets root crops to markets in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Scandinavia. Bert’s desire to improve the lives of farmers extends beyond PEI to Kenya, where he has been involved with Farmers Helping Farmers since 1989. Nominated by the PEI ADAPT Council in recognition of his valuable contributions to agriculture in PEI and to farm families in PEI and abroad
Robert Theriault (New Brunswick) is well recognized for his commitment to quality seed production and his dedication to sustainable farming. Theriault’s operation, Eastern Grains Inc., specializes in seed grain production, processing and marketing, providing a high-quality product to producers in the Maritimes, Quebec and Maine. As a leader in conservation farming, Theriault has adopted many on-farm sustainability practices to preserve soil and water resources on his land. He was recognized for his valuable work in promoting the importance of soil and water conservation by receiving the 2010 Leadership Award from the New Brunswick Institute of Agrologists. Robert is currently serving as a board member of the Eastern Canada Soil and Water Conservation Centre, tasked with creating a new Applied Technology Centre for Atlantic Canada. Nominated by the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick in recognition of his service to industry and his dedication to the preservation of our soil and water resources.
Mary Lester (Newfoundland and Labrador) is a producer, leader and volunteer recognized for her cheerful smile and willingness to help others. Mary and her husband John began selling their vegetable harvest on a small roadside stand. To accommodate the incredible demand for her fresh produce, Mary co-founded Lester’s Farm Market, well-known in the St. John’s and Mount Pearl community as much for the quality produce as for Mary’s keen interest in connecting with her customers. Newfoundland youth have benefited immensely from Mary’s extensive involvement in the 4-H program. As a leader, judge, fundraiser and executive council member Mary’s considerable commitment to 4-H has enabled hundreds of youth to learn by doing, while participating in camps, international exchanges, leadership conferences and competitions. Nominated by the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador for her dedication to her customers and the youth of Newfoundland.
The Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame operates as a result of the support given by agricultural organizations, public agencies, corporations and private individuals.
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