Long-time supporters of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers are formally questioning the organization’s decision to shift to a mainly electronic display in Guelph.

The Hall of Fame decided to move from its home for 36 years at Country Heritage Park in Milton to the second floor of Guelph’s Ontario AgriCentre where only current inductees and 20 of 210 past inductees’ portraits and citations will be on display.

The new gallery will offer an “electronic kiosk” where visitors will be able to search and find any of the inductees. Portraits and citations not on display will be archived nearby at the University of Guelph where they can be viewed by appointment.

During an OVSG meeting April 19, directors requested that a letter be sent from the association seeking an explanation as to why enough space wasn’t acquired in the move to allow all inductees to remain on display.  For the past several years, the OVSG has supported the Hall of Fame with a $1,000 annual membership. At one point, the association gave $5,000 for improvements to the Milton site.  In addition, it has often sponsored nominations to the Hall of Fame and even paid to establish a mini gallery featuring Eastern Ontario inductees now housed at Kemptville College.

Because of their support, the Seed Growers received two complimentary tickets to the 2016 Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held June 12 at Country Heritage Park.

In other business, directors discussed the OVSG-sponsored 2016 Ottawa Valley Farm Show held March 8-10, heard committee reports, and received written thanks from various groups they assisted. Association president Cecil Cass thanked all members for their hard work in staging the 2016 show.

Directors also approved funding from farm show proceeds for several organizations including $8,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, $10,000 each for agricultural researchers Scott Banks and Gilles Quesnel, $2,000 for the 4-H Regional Show in Metcalfe, $2,000 for Junior Farmers, $250 for membership in Farm & Food Care, $500 for the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, $3,300 in assorted regional 4-H grants, $1,200 to agricultural societies, and $4,000 in Soil & Crop grants.

“In all over the current fiscal year, we’ll allocate $50,000 in support for assorted Eastern Ontario and agricultural organizations,” said OVSG Secretary-Treasurer Arlene Ross.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Tom Van Dusen, GM, OVFS, 613-445-3407.

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