The newly-minted Stratford Perth Museum Agriculture Wall of Fame celebrated the accomplishments of its inaugural inductees Thursday, April 10 at the Rotary Complex.
The first three honourees, all posthumous winners, were announced at the Rotary Club's Rural-Urban night.
Anderson, who died in 2013, began his farming career on the then outskirts of Stratford where Kelsey's is now. He moved his family to the present location of Athlone Farms in South Easthope Township in 1966 and the farm continues under the guidance of the firth and sixth generation of Andersons.
As a Perth County dairy farmer, Anderson showed leadership both as a business manager and as an active participant in many community organizations.
He was aggressive in adopting and implementing new farming technologies while promoting safe environmental practices to protect water quality.
Keller was well known throughout Perth County in both the pork industry and with the Federation of Agriculture. An immigrant from Switzerland, he worked as a cheese maker and operated a factory in Fullarton for Stacey Brothers before starting to farm.
After abandoning mixed farming he specialized in raising pigs and the success of that, along with promoting the cross breeding of York and Landrace swine, is now a standard in the industry.
Along with his wife Clara, the Kellers were instrumental and active in the early years of the Ontario Pork Congress in Stratford. Keller died in 2012.
McLeod graduated from the University of Guelph in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He began his 35-year career with Dairy Farmers of Ontario in 1978 and initiated the concept of farm visits. As a result, Perth now leads the province in milk producers with 392 and is second in milk production.
McLeod's advice was key to many successful transitions in the industry and in some cases worked with three generations of milk producers. As the milk quality inspector he had a reputation for being firm but fair, and was very well respected throughout the dairy industry, both in Perth County and the province.
Over the 35 years he held his position he attended 98 per cent of the monthly Perth County Milk meetings, a further testament to his commitment to the industry. McLeod died in 2013.
The Wall of Fame is open to current or former residents of Perth County who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture in Perth County. Nominations are solicited from the public and a committee determines the honourees.
A display celebrating the accomplishments of the honourees will be part of a permanent display at the museum, and will also include recognition for the seven Perth County residents who are in the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame in Milton. They are Kenneth Lantz, Norman McCully, Peggy Smith Knapp, Samuel Nelson Monteith, Gordon Bell, Terry Daynard, and Robert W. Carbert.