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Sask. ag hall of fame announces new inductees

New members represent farming, communications, home economics, beef research, education and irrigation.
The Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame will induct five members this year. From left are Laurie Tollefson, John McKinnon, Dorothy Long, Kevin Hursh and Bill Huber.

WESTERN PRODUCER – Another crop of individuals will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame this spring. They include Bill Huber, Kevin Hursh, Dorothy Long, John McKinnon and Laurie Tollefson.

All are leaders in their respective fields and represent farming, communications, home economics, beef research, education and irrigation.

“We cover pretty well everywhere from the field to the plate,” said Reed Andrew, president of the volunteer-run hall of fame organization.

“The benefit of their work has been felt not only in Saskatchewan but across Canada. Their accomplishments speak to the diversity and strength of Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector.”

As in past years, inductees were announced during the Crop Production Show in Saskatoon.

“For over 50 years, the hall has been recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to Saskatchewan agriculture and the life of the family farm,” Andrew said during the announcement.

“The 2023 inductees highlight the depth and commitment people have in improving and promoting Saskatchewan agriculture.”

The inductees:

  • Bill Huber of Lipton, Sask., has spent years working to improve agriculture through his roles with the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and as president of Inland Terminals of Canada. He has volunteered many hours announcing events for rodeos, team penning and 4-H achievement days, and has judged many livestock shows across Canada and the United States. He and his wife, Jan, have hosted numerous field days on their farm for farmers from all over the world. Huber is currently vice-president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.
  • Kevin Hursh of Cabri, Sask., established himself as a knowledgeable and trusted voice on farm issues as host of Farmgate with CTV Saskatchewan. He became the go-to media and communications person for many agriculture industry organizations and served on the inaugural board of the Canary Seed Development Commission and as executive director. Also a farmer, he operates Hursh Consulting and Communications with his wife, Marlene, and is a guest speaker, moderator or host at several agricultural conferences and conventions across Western Canada.
  • Dorothy Long of Lloydminster has a degree in home economics and continues to advance consumer knowledge about food and farming. Through marketing and digital communications, she has helped build consumer trust in the Canadian food system. Long has helped organize and guide farm tours for dietitians, journalists and food writers with the goal of connecting rural and urban residents. She is director of communications for Canadian Food Focus and Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan.
  • John McKinnon’s career has been focused on beef cattle nutrition, particularly with research on the use of byproducts. A veterinarian and professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan, McKinnon has been deeply involved in extension work, delivering hundreds of presentations on beef production, nutrition and agriculture policy. He served on the Beef Cattle Research Council’s Science Advisory Panel and has sat on more than a dozen other committees and boards throughout his career. He was also a founding organizer of the Western Canadian Feedlot Management School and is a regular contributor to Canadian Cattleman magazine.
  • Laurie Tollefson has long been an ambassador for irrigation. He recently retired as director of the Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation and Diversification Centre in Outlook, where he worked to promote the value of irrigation and research and what it can do for the future of agriculture.

He led and helped grow the centre to include participation from the federal and provincial governments, two producer organizations, as well as the University of Saskatchewan.

Tollefson has been involved with numerous national and international agencies and in 2018 was instrumental in bringing the International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage to the province.

The five will be formally inducted to the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Saskatoon in April.

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