Two Albertans are among the six 2019 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.
A visionary pioneer, the late Louis Latimer leaves the legacy of developing a global demand for Canadian beef genetics.
Latimer was a trailblazer in using data-based selection methods and seeing the value of telling the story of his farm with his Remitall Cattle Company brand — a marketing move that was decades ahead of its time. His passion for breeding and marketing premier Canadian Hereford genetics opened market opportunities for elite genetics from his farm, and decades later led to the Canadian Genome Project selecting one of his sires to be the most influential sire genetically in the Canadian Hereford Association.
Many other Canadian breeders followed his model, helping elevate the overall quality of Canadian beef genetics. Latimer lived in Olds and was nominated by the Canadian Hereford Association.
A strong leader and excellent ambassador, Robert (Bob) Prestage dedicated decades to improving the genetics and quality of Canadian cattle to open international markets for Canadian beef and other livestock.
He began by developing a progeny test program for beef cattle 60 years ago — a program that is still used across the country. His work with Canadian Beef Sire and Western Breeders improved the genetic pool of Canadian beef cattle. Prestage was instrumental in creating a worldwide beef export network with the Alberta Angus Association, raising Angus to the dominant breed in the beef industry.
Through his Wicklow Angus farm, Prestage has a thriving international export business of semen and embryos of all species of livestock. Prestage lives in Camrose and was nominated by the Canadian Angus Association.
The other four inductees this year are former Canola Council of Canada president and recently retired Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth; Quebec Holstein breeder Marc Comtois; recently retired Ag Canada soil and crop nutrition scientist Cynthia Grant; and Quebec farm leader and hog producer Laurent Pellerin.
They will be officially inducted into the national Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Quebec City on Nov. 28.