Two individuals were inducted in 2010 – Paul Mistele and John M. Walker
Paul was born in London, ON, but lived his whole life on the family farm at 23379 Talbot Line, (Aldborough Township) Municipality of West Elgin. He attended Kerr Road Public School, West Elgin District High School, Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology and was an avid reader resulting in much self-education. Paul married Carol Kriter and had 2 children, Matthew and Amanda.
Paul along with Carol and children owned/ operated the family farm “Misty Lea Farms Limited, in the production of beef, pork, poultry and grain crops. Paul was involved with many agricultural organizations.
- Elgin County Cattlemen’s Association – Director
- Elgin Federation of Agriculture – Director and President
- Ontario Pork Quality Assurance Pilot Project – Committee member
- Ontario Farm Animal Council – Vice Chair / Board of Directors
- Agricultural Adaptation Council – Board member
- Provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee member
- Natural Spaces Leadership Alliance – Committee member
- Elgin County Pork Producers’ Association – President 2000, 2001, 2002
- Co-ordinated and organized March 14, 2001 – “Day of Action” province-wide Rally and Convoy along Hwy 401 extending to Ottawa for the purpose of taking the farm message to politicians
- Acted as Rally Co-Chair – March 2005 – “One Voice” Rally to Queen’s Park
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture – Provincial Director / Elected to Position of Executive Committee Member/Vice President until 2007.
Paul was actively involved in presenting the agricultural perspective to the Governments –
- arranging alternative housing for several farm organizations resulting from government cutbacks (Elgin Agricultural Centre)
- National Council of the Canadian Federation of Agricultural – appeared before House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry to provide perspective on Bill C-19, Act to Amend the Competition Act – November 2005,
- Appeared before House of Commons Standing Committee on General Government to provide perspective on Section 20 of the Line Fences Act to protect farmers’ interests
- Agricultural advisory role working with Ministry of Natural Resources on Species-at-Risk Legislation
- Rodney/Aldborough Fair Board – Director / President
- Driving force behind “Donate-a-Hog” program to help fight hunger through the food banks and
& highlight the plight of struggling pork producers.
- Recipient of Agri-Food & Rural Communities Volunteer Recognition Award presented at U of G.
- Recipient of Ontario Volunteer Service Award in honour of commitment to volunteerism
- West Elgin Community Health Centre – Chairperson, Board of Directors
- Recipient of 2009 “Friend of OFAC” Award ( presented posthumously)
Paul devoted many years of his life to the betterment of farming and the farm family. He was proud of his wife and children – they were No. 1 with him. He was well respected in his community and found time to be a good neighbour.
John M. Walker
John was born and has lived his entire life in Elgin County. He grew up on a small dairy farm two miles north of Aylmer. He attended Malahide SS # 10 public school, but dropped out of high school after the principal sent as letter home telling his parents it was a waste of time sending him to school.
John married his wife Anne in 1957 and they have 4 children, Shelley, Jon, Christine and Judy and 15 Grandchildren. It is a “family” business as Anne, Shelley, Jon, Christine and Judy have all played a part in the family operation and the third generation is now entering the family business.
- Traded and rented horses to local tobacco farmers (1950’s to 1970’s)
- Monthly Auction sale for over 44 years, giving the local dairyman market access to USA and Mexico also supplying local dairymen with replacement cattle.
- Continued with the monthly sales even with BSE
- Opened markets in Korea, Iran and China
- Shipped to USA & Mexico for over 40 years making lifetime friends
- International Exporter – shipped cattle to other markets in Singapore, Australia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Morocca, Germany, England , The Netherlands
- Involved shipping first shipment to Russia after BSE
- 1st to start monthly leasing program for cows
- Tobacco Farmer 1958 – 2000
- Presently milking 700 dairy cows and has milked cows all his life and held quota
- One of the founding members of Canadian Livestock Exports Assoc (CLEA)
- President of CLEA 1992
- 40 year member of Holstein Canada
- Member of Canadain Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) since 1999
- For 20 years helped teach basic management and dairying skills through the Fundacion Mexicana Para el Desarrollo Rural, a volunteer organization supporting poor farmers in Mexico
- Received recognition award from The Queretaro Fair Livestock, Queretaro, Mexico for being the 1st and longest International exporter to participate in the Queretaro show.
- Broiler operation 1996 – present
- Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2008
- Supporter of Aylmer Minor Hockey, Baseball, Soccer, Ball Hockey
- Supporter of Elgin – St. Thomas General Hospital
- Supporter of Elgin County Holstein Club
- Supporter of East Elgin Agricultural Society
- Supporter of London Health Sciences
- Supporter of Local Museums
- Support of local schools – elementary and secondary
- Supporter of 4-H
In running this family business, John has always relied on a couple of basic principles: “You can never make money off a man who is mad at you” and “Love many, trust few and always paddle your own canoe.”
John M. Walker has gone through good times and bad times in the dairy cattle sales and exporting business. Despite the challenges, this astute trusted businessman says “I have loved every minute of it.