CHESTERVILLE – Consistency in farming is everything.
There is no sure thing in the field, but longevity and dedication in a rapidly changing industry were the hallmarks of those recognized by the Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association (DSCIA) at its annual awards banquet and annual general meeting Thurs., Dec. 12 at the Chesterville Legion.
In an industry where the big fish continue to swallow the small, names that have been synonymous with local agriculture for decades were chiseled on their respective plaques.
Winchester-area farmer John Cinnamon was named the Farmer of the Year. Along with his wife Linda, Cinnamon and his family have farmed and provided custom work in the area for decades.
“Though he has now scaled back his custom services, he has not done so with his service to the community,” said Robert Byvelds while reading the long list of Cinnamon’s agricultural and service achievements.
An active member of the Winchester Lions Club for 34 years, “Farmer John,” as he is affectionately known, has been the cog in the wheel of the annual antique tractor parade during Dairyfest – a real highlight for the young, young at heart and admirers of agricultural history.
Larger than life, Cinnamon was also an entertaining and outspoken agricultural advocate on the popular Lowell Green talk-show on 580 CFRA.
“I’m sure there are a lot more people more deserving of this than me, but I think someone has let the secret out that I’ve still got eight, 40-year-old working White combines,” he said, upon collecting the award.
Vanden Bosch Farms was the recipient of the Innovative Farmer of the Year Award for their “long history of innovation and progress that carries on today,” according to Byvelds.
The late Stan Vanden Bosch and his wife Betty were one of the earliest adopters and installers of tile drainage, eventually selling that portion of the business and building the first local corn dryers and elevators, now well-known landmarks on County Road 7 as it enters Chesterville.
The family business was, and still is, on the cutting edge of tech improvements in every facet of the farm, including the introduction of computers in 1982, yield data collection, variable seeding rates, as well as actively practicing soil conservation through windbreaks, no-till planting and reductions in compaction.
Brent Vanden Bosch proudly accepted the award on behalf of the family.
Sevita International was given the Award of Merit for the instrumental role in planning the DSCIA soil compaction day at their Inkerman site. Sevita staff donated much of their time and expertise in site and event planning, day of co-ordination and clean up.
“Without their support, the event could not have happened as it did,” said Byvelds.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs engineer, Alex Barrie, presented early findings from the soil compaction day.
Some of the research from the day reinforced some tried and true methods of reducing soil compaction which included reducing load size, increasing the number of axels, controlled traffic and timing your field work according to conditions. Newer tires and the addition of a controlled tire inflation system are trendier solutions being offered today that can be cost prohibitive for some farmers.
One of the exceptions to the rule was found with forage equipment, such as balers, choppers and haybines, as their weight tends to not vary as it travels the field.
Dual tire configurations also consistently outperformed low side wall (LSW) tire set ups, but as Barrie pointed out, the biggest factor in compaction continues to be timing. No matter the technology, if the conditions are wrong, no tire is right.
During the annual general meeting, Brian Vandenberg was named the new chair of the DSCIA with Wray Holmes serving as vice-chair.
The association also made more than $33,000 in net revenue thanks in large part to their annual bus trip and the aforementioned soil compaction day, which generated more than $10,000 in profit.