OTTAWA — Catch the Seed and Forage awards at noon today at the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association’s flagship “Court of Honour” display — site of the annual trophy handouts that are a highlight of the Ottawa Valley Farm Show.
The Show’s 90th annual edition kicked off yesterday at the EY Centre, celebrating its past and highlighting the importance of those awards.
“The great part of all is that we’re from Eastern Ontario, and we’re damn proud of it,” said opening ceremonies emcee Barry Dean, highlighting the OVFS as one of the oldest trade shows in the country and one the last remaining seed shows.
“We put a lot of pride and soul into growing our crops to be able to have our name added to these historic trophies,” added Dean, recounting the history of the competition that began in 1927 in Renfrew County. “This show has moved around the eastern counties over the years, until 1959, when it got a permanent home, starting in the Coliseum at Lansdowne Park,” he said, also noting that as the start of the surrounding machinery trade show.
“Thanks to the kind of people like Graham Hudson, Bob Dick, Jim Arbuckle and John Posthumus, the seed show has always contributed to the Court of Honour,” he said, crediting the four with “working behind the scenes” to keep alive the seed and forage competitions that are today dwarfed by the trade show element at the OVFS. “To this very day, it’s still a proud moment to have a red ribbon on your sample, to be one of the best in Eastern Ontario.”
The opening also saw special recognition on 12 surviving past presidents of the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association — under whose auspices the OVFS takes place each March. Dean acknowledged them all as part of the Show’s “deep foundation” of knowledge and dedication to the seed industry.
Hudson (1976-77), Dick (2008-9), Arbuckle (2010-11) Posthumus (1984-85) were among the dozen past presidents, each of whom received a commemorative tractor seat.
Also honoured were Yvon Proulx (1986-87), John Joynt (1988-89), Denis Perrault (1994-95), Keith Lackey (1996-97), Lynda McCuaig (2002-3) Keith Matthie (2006-7), Bruce Hudson (2012-13) and Jan Roosendaal (2015).
The Ottawa Valley Farm Show runs through tomorrow, March 16.
The show runs until 8 p.m. this evening, March 15, continuing tomorrow, March 16, for a final day.
Video of the March 14 official opening ceremonies appears below, including the recognition bestowed on the past presidents.
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