Agricultural Wall of honour
Century Farm Award Applications
This honour recognizes the contributions to Agriculture by individual producers, individuals in agri-business, or individuals in extension and research work. Candidates for the Agriculture Wall of Honour should have demonstrated leadership in farm, rural and community organizations at the district, county or provincial level. Selections for the Camrose Agricultural Wall of Honour are considered on the basis of a person's outstanding contribution to agricultural development and the quality of rural life within the perimeter of Camrose County.
Agricultural Wall of Honour Inductees
In 2008, Verlyn entered politics and served as MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose until 2015. He was appointed as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 2011, and from mid-2012 until 2015, he served as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. During this time, he led trade missions to Asia and Kazakhstan, helped negotiate the federal, provincial, territorial Growing Forward 2 Agreement and led the development of the Rural Economic Development Action Plan. He was proud to be an advocate for agricultural stakeholders and was involved in the creation of Open Farm Days.
After leaving politics, Verlyn founded OlsonLaw, based in Vegreville. The focus of his practice is assisting families with the transition of their farms or small businesses to the next generation.
As a volunteer, Verlyn has coached baseball and hockey, and served on the boards and committees of the Bethany Group, Camrose Lutheran College Corporation, Alberta Motion Picture Development Corporation, Viking Cup, Scandia Lutheran Church, Armena Athletic Association, Camrose Sport Development Society, Nordlys Film and Arts Society and Diabetes Canada.
Verlyn and his wife, Mardell, raised three children and live near Armena, on land which has been in his family for generations. Spending time with their grandchildren is now their favourite pastime.
Allan was a dedicated member of many organizations including: member of Camrose 4-H Beef Club, Leader of Bawlf 4-H Beef Club, Life member and past president of the Alberta Clydesdale Association, Life member, past President and Director for 35+ years of the Clydesdale Horse Association of Canada, board member of the Camrose Agricultural Society (now CRE) for 20+ years, as well as member of the Ohaton Athletic Association for 40+ years.
Allan showed Heavy Horses at the Camrose Fair, Toronto Royal Winter Fair as well as numerous fairs across North America having won numerous titles over the years. He also judged many Heavy Horse Competitions across North America and Scotland. All of Allan’s dedication and hard work led to being recognized on many levels including: Provincial Farm Family Award in 1978, Camrose County Farm Family Award 1992, Calgary Stampede Longest Standing exhibitor in the Heavy Horse Division, 2011 World Champion Mare 6 Horse Hitch, 2018 World Clydesdale Show Supreme Halter Horse Champion.
Over time, the family expanded the existing hog operation and gathered in several Provincial Awards for top quality hog carcasses. During this period, Don served on various Provincial wide committees including the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, Cro-Offset Appeal Committee and as President of the Western Hog Growers Association.
While farming, he participated in “Farming For The Future On Farm Demonstrations” experimenting with locally grown feed peas for protein, hulless barley for feed energy and manure odor control with peat moss.
He served as a facilitator for Alberta Environmental Farm Plan, and along with his wife, Joan, served as an Executive Director of the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association.
Always active in the local community, he served on the Executive of Ankerton Gas Co-op, Bawlf & District Historical Society, Bawlf-Daysland Pastoral Charge and regularly judged 4 H Public Speaking. His favorite organization was the Kelsey Community Society and he was actively involved in the Kelsey Dinner Theatre throughout its twenty five year life.
In 2004, Don was elected as County Councillor for Division 3. He remained Councillor until retiring in October of 2020, a total of sixteen years, twelve of which as Reeve.
During that time, the County made significant advances in attracting new business, bringing water lines to several communities, developing an exhausted gravel pit into an award-winning park and receiving Provincial Municipal Awards for its innovative management practices. In 2017, the County received the Canadian Bull Congress Award of Distinction. It was Don’s pleasure and honour to work with so many talented County Councilors and staff members during his years in office.
He is the proud Dad of two daughters, Kirsten (Saanich, BC) and Stephanie (Edmonton, AB). Don and Joan, now live in Leamington, Ontario.
“To everything there is a season”.