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Lafond, Guy - 2014
Laird, Henry Elmer - 2008
Lavallee, Mary Ann - 1988
Lawrence, Thomas - 1995
Lewthwaite, James Gilfred - 2001
Loveridge, Gordon - 1982
Lucas, Louise - 1973

PortraitHenry Elmer Laird

Elmer Laird is an outspoken champion of organic farming. Born on a farm near Swift Current in 1924, he began farming organically in 1969, and is considered the grandfather of organic farming in Saskatchewan. His commitment played an important role in building a strong organic community in the province.

Elmer served in the air force in World War II and then began farming near Davidson. He was elected Director of the Saskatchewan Farmer’s Union for his area in 1952 and was re-elected annually until 1964. Elmer was a founding member of the National Farmer’s Union in 1969, the same year he married Gladys McKay.

In 1964, Elmer was a key participant in an agricultural study in Ghana and Nigeria, which helped to solidify trade, educational and agricultural ties between these nations and Canada. Through the 50s and 60s, he was involved with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Local Committee and was also a member of the local Credit Union and local Cooperative Boards.

In 1966, Elmer served as President of the Arm River Housing Corporation, and was influential in establishing a nursing home in Davidson.

In 1973, Elmer and his wife Gladys established the Back to the Farm Research Foundation, under the sponsorship of the NFU. The foundation is dedicated to researching organic farming methods.

In 1983, Elmer and Gladys were instrumental in founding the Canadian Organic Producers Marketing Co-operative in Girvin. It was the first certified organic farmers’ cooperative that milled flour and marketed grains and oilseeds in North America and abroad.

When Elmer retired from active farming in 2001, he donated the use of his land (640 acres) to the Back to the Farm Research Foundation. This became the first certified organic research and demonstration farm in Canada.

In 2005, Elmer's contributions to agriculture in Saskatchewan were published in The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan: A Living Legacy.

In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saskatchewan Eco-Network and an Organic Visionary Award at the Organic Connections Conference. That year the Saskatchewan government also presented him with a Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan. The medal recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the province.

Sponsored for Induction in the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 2008 by the National Farmers Union.

 

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