William Swetnam

(Class of ’56)
Distinguished Alumni 2010

Raised in Port Mouton and Liverpool, NS, William (Bill) Swetnam, graduated from Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1956.  Bill discovered what he was destined to do when he purchased a farm in Sheffield Mills, NS in 1958. 

As a young farmer, Bill began in broiler production and became involved with the Broiler Association. In 1970 he increased his quota and built his first large broiler barn. His first flock of turkeys were marketed in March, 1971. 

Throughout his career, Bill dedicated countless hours to many boards. As a founder of the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board he also spent time on the County South and East Livestock Health Services Board, the NS Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission, Canadian Livestock Feed Board Advisors Committee, as well as Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board.  Bill also served as president of the Kings County Federation of Agriculture and became a member of the Council of Leaders with the Federation.

In 2004, the NS Federation of Agriculture recommended Bill to the Farm Practices Board of Nova Scotia for a three year appointment.  He has served as Chair of this Board for the duration of his two terms. Bill’s latest appointment is to the Agriculture Land Review Committee given to him in October 2009. 

Aside from his devotion to the agricultural industry, Bill has exhibited dedication, commitment and community leadership in many ways.  As a member of Canard United Church, he has served as an elder, Chair of the Board of Trustees, a steward, a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Men’s Club.  Bill has represented Canard United Church in the Valley United Church Presbytery and has chaired both the Finance and Property committees.

Bill is a member of the Kentville Rotary Club, has been a Scout Leader and served as President of the Sheffield Mills Community Association.

Even the health field in NS has been touched by Bill. Serving on the Board of the Valley Health Services Association, Bill lead the fundraising campaign to help build the Valley Regional Hospital. 

Bill’s dedication to his community has not gone unnoticed. In 2002 he was honoured by the Queen with the Golden Jubilee Medal.

Today, Bill’s family farm includes Wilmar Acres Ltd. and Dominion Produce Ltd. Spanning over 750 acres and including six broiler chicken barns and quota, the farm produces field crops, fresh market carrots and onions.

Many times Bill has expressed his appreciation for life with his family living in Sheffield Mills.  If asked why he has devoted so much of this time and resources to community, church, recreation and agriculture he would probably say, “because it’s the right thing to do!”

Bill and his wife Mary have five children and 12 grandchildren.

Bill has truly distinguished himself in his area of expertise, bringing honour to NSAC and the Alumni Association. It is with great pride that we name Bill Swetnam NSAC’s Distinguished Alumnus of 2010.