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Dairy farmer, researcher among 2023 ag inductees

Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame announces 11 honorees

A Massey dairy farmer and a Thunder Bay crop researcher are being recognized for their lifelong commitments to Ontario agriculture.

On Feb. 1, the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame announced that Carleton Mackinnon (“Mack”) Emiry and Tarlok Singh Sahota will be among 11 inductees to receive the honour in 2023.

To qualify, honorees have to have demonstrated visionary leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

“Our board of directors was overwhelmed by the number of nomination packages received for consideration last year,” said Nick Whyte, president of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association, in a news release.

“This level of interest really shows the importance that the agricultural industry places on recognizing its leaders — both past and present.”

Mack Emiry is a dairy farmer who has dedicated his life to the advancement of agriculture in Ontario, and his contributions are far-reaching.

His greatest passion in agriculture is soil health and his objective has always been to leave the soil in an improved condition for following generations. His work as chair of the Land Stewardship Committee evolved into work that led to the development of the Environmental Farm Plan.

He has also provided a much-needed voice to many agricultural discussions on behalf of Northern Ontario. Organizations benefiting from his commitment include the Manitoulin West Sudbury Milk Producers’ Association, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and the provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee.

Mack Emiry was nominated by the Manitoulin North Shore Federation of Agriculture

Tarlok Singh Sahota has made great contributions in his work managing and sustaining the privately run Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station and its successful transition to Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station.

The research station, under the leadership of Dr. Sahota, has always focussed on development-oriented agricultural research which found an easy application on farms, due to vigorous extension efforts of Dr. Sahota and receptive farmers. Until 2004, Thunder Bay producers grew only a few crops that were needed for cattle. Dr. Sahota’s research and extension helped area growers to diversify their cropping systems by adding numerous crops to their mix.

He has authored hundreds of publications, extension articles and participated in media reports. Thunder Bay farmers rely on research conducted by Dr. Sahota to make their businesses more profitable and environmentally sustainable.

Tarlok Singh Sahota was nominated by the Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture

This year’s inductees will be recognized in a ceremony on June 11 in Elora, bringing the total number of inductees recognized since 1980 to 256.