Late Francis Henderson remembered at Dundas Seed & Forage Show

Amy Tibben's apple crisp entry was judged tops at this year's Dundas Seed & Forage Show. She poses with children Ivy, 4 (right) and Hunter, 6. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

DIXONS CORNERS — Bustling crowds of visitors and a record number of exhibitors filled the Matilda Hall last Friday for the annual Dundas Seed and Forage Show — a celebratory showcase of the prior year’s crop bounty surrounded by a popular agribusiness trade fair.

But there were poignant notes to temper the March 10 event’s optimism of the coming spring planting season.

News of the death of well-known Brinston-area businessman Frank Ault rippled through the crowd inside the Hall.

And very much missed after many consecutive years as winner of the Premier Exhibitor award was Francis Henderson. The Brinston-area dairy farmer died last November at age 68.

Two of Henderson’s grandchildren, Olivia and Terrence Mudde, handed out the Premier 1st Time Exhibitor Award on behalf of the family in his memory. “He was a longtime exhibitor and supporter of this seed show,” said his granddaughter, almost overcome with emotion while introducing the award that was presented to Rick Hess.

“Francis was a man who took great pride in growing and exhibiting his crops, who spent many hours getting just the right sample,” said Terrence.

“Pop loved to share his knowledge and expertise about farming and field crops with others, and we are very thankful to have learned so much from him,” added Olivia.

Tracy Porteous — daughter of the late Henderson — and her husband, Ian Porteous, carried on the family tradition by winning this year’s award as Premier Exhibitor. The couple also claimed Premier Forage Exhibitor, Champion Forage Exhibit and Champion Haylage Exhibit, while their son, Bruce, was Premier 4-H Exhibitor.

At 141, the seed and forage competition yielded the highest number of entries in a decade, reported event organizer Mark Tibben of the Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association. 4-H competitors entered an additional 39 displays.

See the image gallery below for the full list of winners.

In a fun highlight of the show, Amy Tibben, wife of the organizer, finished first in the homemade apple crisp-baking contest. Her entry was judged the best by representatives of several local orchards.

Above, from left in the video thumbnail, Jenny Dentz (Dentz Orchards), Joanne Havekes (Mountain Orchards employee), Sandra Beckstead (Smyth’s Orchard) and Claire Taylor (Cannamore Orchards), judge the apple crisp contest at the Dundas Seed and Forage Show, March 10.


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Booth 1701, March 14-16
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