Babiuk, Lorne Alan - 2013
Baker, Ralph - 1998
Beach, Dexter H.C. - 2010
Beatty, Guy Hunter - 1993
Beaujot, Pat - 2016
Bechard, Jerome - 1997
Beck, Thomas Victor - 2002
Beeler, Delcie Isobel - 2003
Bell, John Milton - 1989
Biggart, Robert Lynn Hampson - 1991
Bigland, Christopher Hedley - 2003
Binnie, Frank - 1989
Blacklock, John Robert - 1995
Block, Carl Vissing - 2005
Bobier, Thomas Griffin - 1983
Boden, Edward Arthur - 1988
Boyes, Lindsay John - 1997
Brack, Robert Edward - 2010
Bradley, Bill - 1985
Braidek, John George ( Jack ) - 2015
Brandt, John - 1974
Braun, Linda - 2016
Brown, Jacob - A. 1986
Bryce, W.H. Scotty - 1977
Buchan, John Alexander Joseph - 2009

PortraitJerome Bechard

Jerome Bechard was a farmer-inventor whose innovations revolutionized the farm machinery industry on the Prairies. He was born on a farm near Lajord in 1911, took his schooling at Montmartre and Gravelbourg and then gradually took over the family farm.

He was not satisfied with his father's reliance on horses for farm power nor with the machines available to farmers at that time. He converted to tractor power and immediately began modifying machinery to provide more efficiency and service.

Jerome put dual wheels on his tractor. He began the practice of using rubber tires on tillage machinery to cut down on drag. He developed a levelling hitch for a cultivator that reduced the pounds of pull.

This was important in an era of lower horsepower tractors. He experimented with cultivator seeding. He developed new coatings for cultivator shovels to make them last longer. He invented the inline series hydraulic control system. He installed a drill fill with distribution augers on his truck to cut out back-breaking shovelling. Most of these ideas were picked up and marketed by farm machinery manufacturers.

His crowning achievement was the air seeder. He'd discovered that standard seed drills did not seed at the same rate throughout the operation because when the box was full it was heavier. His air seeder, which he patented, had a caddy behind the tractor that carried seed and fertilizer and the seed was blown into the ground rather than being allowed to drop by gravity. It was manufactured first in Winnipeg as the Bechard Seeding System but later was produced by Bourgault.

Aside from farm machinery, he built an energy efficient house, mostly underground, and equipped it with a number of innovations, including electrically controlled curtains. He experimented with electrical generation by a huge windmill, running a 110-volt system. He had a powerful fan that blew snow away from his front door.

His many achievements in the farm shop and on the farm were important to him but he also found time to be an active community worker. He served on the Wascana Conservation and Development Board for 25 years, on his church board and in the Knights of Columbus. Jerome received the Air Canada Heart of Gold award in 1988. He died in 1991.

Sponsored for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 1997
by Bourgault Industries.


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