A special night at the Hanover Knights of Columbus Centre.
It was a night of celebration and achievement as those from the agricultural community came together for the Tommy Cooper Award.
Three nominees competed for the title, but in the end it was Henry Reinders a long time member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and current Chair of Grown in Grey that took home the award.
The Tommy Cooper award is presented annually by Bayshore Broadcasting and the Sun Times to the person making the greatest contribution to agriculture and rural living in Grey and Bruce Counties.
The award is named after Tommy Cooper, a 39 year veteran of local agricultural work, who served as a provincial government farm extension worker in Grey County.
Cooper is widely credited with helping area farmers adapt to new scientific and mechanical innovations.
Like Cooper, Reinders is also a big promoter of education and agriculture innovation.
He recently returned from a trip to Malawi where he turned a learning tour into a teaching and educational opportunity.
For 20 years, Reinders has been involved with the Canadian Foodgrains, which is a partnership between churches to end world hunger.
He also plays a prominent role in the Grown in Grey and is the current Chairman. (10 years on board, last 5 years as chair)
Reinders is also a longtime member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Reinders who recently retired from dairy farming still has some land to keep him busy with cash crops.
His message to farmers is that they need to do an even better job educating the consumer as well as children about what farming is really about.
He says “there is a lot of misinformation out there, and who better to tell our story than us.”
Reinders competed for the title against two young farmers that both participated in the 2017 World Ploughing Contest in Kenya.
Both Bruce County’s Tom Evans and Grey County’s Jay Lennox did the region proud by representing our nation at the international Ploughing Contest last year.
Evans of the Tiverton area earned a second place finish in the sod land event at the Kenya competition, marking the first time since 1976 that a Canadian won a medal at the worlds.
During the Tommy Cooper Awards banquet the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture presented the 2017 Award of Merit to Chris Cossitt who holds a number of titles including a member on the Ontario Pork Board.