Canadian Poultry Magazine

Poultry leaders among honorees at Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

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Bill Gray and Dr. Tina Widowski lead distinguished lineup recognized for transformative contributions to Ontario's agriculture industry.

Six distinguished leaders in Ontario agriculture will be honored at the 2024 Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame (OAHF) induction ceremony, recognizing their significant contributions to the agricultural sector. The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association has selected these individuals for their lifelong dedication and impact on Ontario’s agriculture industry. The induction ceremony, scheduled for June 9, will bring the total number of inductees since 1980 to 262.

Among the honorees are Bill Gray and Tina Widowski, notable figures in the egg and poultry industry, along with four other influential leaders. Gray, the CEO and owner of L.H. Gray & Son Ltd., has been instrumental in advancing egg farming science and technology throughout Ontario and Canada. He has fostered quality partnerships with hundreds of egg farmers, continuously seeking innovation and improvement within the industry.

Gray’s commitment extends beyond borders as he actively collaborates with international industry leaders, enriching Ontario’s egg farming practices with global perspectives. Moreover, his advocacy for welfare-friendly advances in hen housing systems has positioned his egg farms as pioneers in Canada.

Widowski, a professor at the University of Guelph, is recognized as a leading expert in poultry behavior and welfare research globally. Her groundbreaking work has significantly enhanced our understanding of farm animal housing and management.

Widowski’s research encompasses a wide range of topics, from the endocrinology of sow nest-building to the behavioral responses of hens to different lighting systems. Her contributions extend beyond academia, as she has played a pivotal role in developing new Codes of Practice in collaboration with the National Farm Animal Care Council and producer groups. Through her mentorship and research, the scientist has made enduring contributions to animal welfare in Ontario and Canada.

The other inductees include Bert Andrews, Ron Bonnett, Grant Howes, and Verner Toews, who have each left indelible marks on Ontario agriculture through their leadership, advocacy, and innovation. Andrews has been a champion of agricultural education and community engagement, while Bonnett has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the agriculture sector at various levels of governance. Howes’ pioneering efforts in apple growing and cider production have shaped the industry, and Toews’ contributions to greenhouse farming have been instrumental in its development over the past six decades.

The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association aims to recognize and preserve the legacies of individuals who have significantly contributed to the growth and development of Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry. The induction ceremony will provide a platform to celebrate the achievements of these exceptional leaders and their lasting impact on the agricultural landscape of Ontario. Registration for the ceremony is available on the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association’s website.

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