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Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductees Honoured for 2014

Posted by Media Centre on October 15, 2014 in Agriculture, News

The 2014 inductees into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame are Leonardus (Leo) Cox, Nova Scotia; Robert Colpitts, (1933-2014), New Brunswick; Wayne Dickieson, Prince Edward Island and Ross Traverse, Newfoundland and Labrador. Induction ceremonies will be held on Thursday, October 16 beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Alumni Theatre, on the Dalhousie Agricultural campus.

Two of this year’s inductees are also alumni of the former Nova Scotia Agricultural College Ross Traverse, Class of ’64 and Robert Colpitts, who will be inducted posthumously, Class of ’54.

Key Points:

  • Nova Scotia- Leo Cox has lived his life by the founding principles of extension – work alongside people, support them in taking leadership roles and improve their lives through education. The agricultural industry in Cape Breton has been shaped by many developments initiated by Leo, including co-operative trucking of livestock and purchasing of machinery, ongoing development of fur and blueberry industries and organizing woodlot owners into a co-operative group. Leo has also exhibited a commitment to the youth of this area, with his strong support of 4H clubs. Leo’s leadership in the agriculture industry was recognized with his Honourary Lifetime Membership of Inverness/Victoria Federation of Agriculture. In 2006 he also received the award for Life-Long Contribution to Farming and Rural Life in Inverness County.

  • Prince Edward Island- As a breeder, showman and specialist, Wayne’s career and personal life have been spent dedicated to the improvement of the dairy industry in general and the Holstein breed in particular. His contributions have been felt locally, nationally and internationally. Throughout his career Wayne has been instrumental in improving artificial insemination and breeding programs. As a member, Director and President of the Canadian Association of Animal Breeders, Wayne’s influence was wide-reaching. This organization established standards for semen production, identification of semen and embryosa nd a code of ethics for advertising. During his tenure as President, Wayne was influential in forming the Canadian Dairy Network, which supplies genetics evaluation services to the dairy industry. When the PEI Department of Agriculture privatized artificial insemination services in 1981, Wayne served as the Director-Manager of the resulting PEI Artificial Breeders Association Advisory Board until his retirement in 2001. As a result of a number of mergers, this advisory board is now EastGen and Wayne currently sits on the Board of Directors.

  • New Brunswick - Integrity. Respect. Fairness. All words describing the exceptional character of Robert Colpitts. These qualities served him well during his career as a livestock specialist, judge, and active member of his community. During his more than 35 years of public service and extensive involvement with industry organizations, Bob’s greatest asset was his ability to connect with people. Whether as a specialist in extension services or as the Director of the Livestock Branch, Bob treated each of his colleagues and farmers with the utmost respect and consideration. While his contributions to agriculture in New Brunswick have been wide-ranging, Bob’s primary passion was beef cattle. He was the province’s beef specialist for many years, serving the cattle industry well within the Department and also on the regional and national stage. Bob was the Director of the Maritime Beef Testing Society and served as Secretary-Treasurer for both the New Brunswick Angus Association and the New Brunswick Hereford Association. He was also a member of the National Advisory Board for Beef Cattle. The New Brunswick Federation of Agriculture showed their appreciation by bestowing upon him the James Rob Award for significant contribution to agriculture over his lifetime. Bob was also recognized nationally when he was named to the Canadian Hereford Association’s Honour Roll for his contribution to the advancement of the Hereford breed in Canada. He was the first non-farmer to receive this distinction.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – Over his career, Ross became well-known for his expertise in peat soils. While in the public sector, he developed methods for producing landscape sod on peat soils and was instrumental in establishing the first commercial peat turf farm in the province. Ross drew upon his knowledge of Scandinavian systems to create a commercial peat excavation system for use in producing peat based soil mixes. In the private sector Ross consulted on industrial uses of peat moss, including projects in Egypt and the Caribbean. As a champion of horticulture, Ross left his mark on the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He helped introduce new crop varieties to the province’s unique climate, acted as a mentor to greenhouse growers and taught courses and workshops on horticulture. Ross’ most notable and arguably greatest contribution is as the province’s expert on growing plant life in Newfoundland and Labrador’s cool climate. For over 40 years, Ross has responded to questions on production, insects and harvesting, culminating in his 2006 book Ask Ross Traverse About Gardening: Practical Advice for Gardeners in a Cool Climate, now in its second printing. As the province’s go-to gardening expert, Ross appears regularly on CBC radio’s Gardening Crosstalk, and VOWR Community Radio. His columns appear monthly in Downhome magazine, and feature in Deck’s Awash and the Evening Telegram.

  • The Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame was 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 honoured at an induction ceremony and reception held at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture during the month of October.

Pull Quotes:

  • “We are very proud as a Faculty to host the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame on the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus." “These industry pioneers have led by example and are such a positive influence and reminder to the future generation of all that can be accomplished with determination and vision “Congratulations to this year’s inductees." - Dr. David Gray, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Principal, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.

  • “The Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame helps recognize people in the industry who make strong contributions to the practice of farming,” “Congratulations to Leonardus Cox and all of this year’s inductees for their long term service to the agriculture sector.” - Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell


Robert Colpitts
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Ross Traverse
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Leo Cox
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Wayne Dickieson
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Dalhousie Links:


  • Stephanie Rogers, Communications Manager, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, 902.893-7247,