2016 Inductees into Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame
Barry Andrew, a grain and cattle producer from the Foxleigh district north of Regina was a founding member and director of Canadian Western Agribition. He served as president in 1980 and 1981 and played a key role in lobbying all levels of government for funding of buildings and for show promotion around the world. Barry served as president of both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Shorthorn Associations. His Duncairn Shorthorns were promoted and sold across Canada and the U.S. for more than 40 years. From 1982 to 1990, Barry was program director of the provincial Counselling and Assistance for Farmers program which was developed to assist producers struggling with high interest rates and difficult economic times. Barry Andrew passed away in December, 2012.
Byrnne Rothwell spent much of his early life on the family farm gaining an appreciation for the value of family and rural life. After graduating from Ontario Veterinary College in 1964, he worked as a veterinarian in Mission, B.C. and Wakaw, SK before building a home and a clinic at Shellbrook, SK in 1970. In 1986-87, the practice was sold and Byrnne joined Agriculture Canada working in animal health, meat hygiene and food inspection in locations that included Moose Jaw and Saskatoon. He had a long history of volunteerism with organizations that included the Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Canadian Western Agribition and the Prince Albert Exhibition. He was highly respected across Canada for his dedication to equine welfare. Dr. Byrnne Rothwell passed away in January, 2014.
Florian Possberg has been a tireless supporter and advocate for the hog industry in Saskatchewan and Canada. Together with his wife Betty, he started his farming career by building and managing a 60 sow operation near Humboldt in 1976. Florian was one of the founders of Big Sky Farms which grew to become the second largest hog producer in Canada. Big Sky Farms is now owned by Olymel, a large agricultural co-op based in Quebec. In 2009, he partnered with his son Brian to form B&F Polar Pork Farms Ltd. Darrel Possberg, another son has joined the operation and the expanding farm now includes four of Florian and Betty’s eight children. Florian has been a leader and an ambassador for the Canadian pork industry through Sask Pork, Canadian Pork Council and Prairie Swine Centre.
Linda Braun has worked in the agricultural food industry for almost 40 years. A graduate from the College of Home Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, Linda has worked to promote and advance many Saskatchewan food products including pork, pulse crops and flax. As executive director of Sask Flax from 1997 to 2014, she participated in the development and approval from Health Canada of a health claim for flax seed and she worked to build the foundation for the use of flax fibre. She also helped lead the industry in efforts to remove the genetically modified variety CDC Triffid from the Canadian flax supply. Linda was one of the founders of the CropSphere conference.
Pat Beaujot is a pioneer of direct seeding equipment. Pat and his brother developed an independent hydraulic pressure opener and seeded their first crop with it in 1992. With the success of the opener, Pat quit his job at Simplot to focus on a new manufacturing business called Seed Hawk. By the late 90s, Seed Hawk was employing up to 30 people from the local area. Employee numbers grew to 250 as large, high-capacity carts with independent depth control openers became the industry standard. Seed Hawk continued to innovate developing sectional control to avoid costly overlap. In 2014, Seed Hawk was sold to Vaderstad of Europe, but the manufacturing plant remains at Langbank and Pat continues to look for ways to improve farming practices.
Robin Morrall is recognized nationally and internationally for his work on plant diseases. His pioneering research has served as a foundation for controlling sclerotinia stem rot in canola and ascochyta blight in lentils, chickpeas and field peas in Western Canada. Robin was a professor of plant pathology in the Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan from 1965 to 1997. After that, he continued to provide expertise on disease diagnosis and management as an Emeritus Professor and as an expert on seed-borne diseases for Discovery Seed Labs of Saskatoon. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with farmers with much of his research in farmers’ fields.
The induction ceremony will take place on July 30th at Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum which houses the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.