The Elgin Federation of Agriculture (EFA), a county affiliate of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), is said to have been established either in the 1930s or 1944. The EFA’s stated purpose is to be an advocate for and supporter of Elgin County farmers’ welfare. The federation also generates awareness of issues in agriculture and the food system and provides farmers with important information about the farming community. The EFA is member-based and governed by a board of directors with many regional affiliates.
EFA meetings were held monthly with the occasional meeting scheduled in between. At meetings, problems were presented and discusses, motions were voted on, and resolutions were forwarded to the OFA. The sheer size of Elgin County meant that travel factored heavily into attendance and, especially in the beginning, was a sacrifice that denoted the dedication of directors and other members to club functions.
One of the EFA’s greatest successes was the establishment of The Co-operators insurance group in St. Thomas in the late 1940s. As one of many projects or organizations initiated and realized by the EFA, The Co-operators was an attempt to care for area farmers who did not feel adequately covered traditional insurers.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of various records created and maintained by the Elgin Federation of Agriculture. Fonds includes:
Ads: "Sale of Calves, Limousin Crossbred: March 17th, Talbotville Sale Yards, Belldoon Farms Ltd.", 1978-1983.
An outline of the accomplishments of Angus Campbell. Angus Campbell is a fourth generation farmer on the Belldoon Farm in the Iona Station area. He was the Past Director of the Elgin Cattlemnen's Association and the Elgin Soil and Crop Association.
Materials relating to F.S. Thomas induction in the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, June, 2015. Includes application, career summaries prepared by Elgin County Archives and Elgin Federation of Agriculture, supporting letter signed by the Elgin County Warden, article published in St. Thomas Times-Journal March 13, 2015. Fletcher Stewart (Tommy) Thomas served as Elgin County Agricultural Representative for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, 1927-1945; Elgin MPP, 1945-1957; Ontario Minister of Public Works, 1951-1953; and Ontario Minister of Agriculture, 1953-1956.
Wallacetown Women's Institute fonds - Tweedsmuir History series
1 photograph : col.
Scope and Content
Colour photograph of Elgin County Warden Dave Mennill, left, accepting a historic plow donated to the county by John Wise, right, former agriculture minister, included in the Wallacetown Women's Institute Tweedsmuir History, Volume Nine, page 368.
Elgin Federation of Agriculture Fall newsletter, 2000.
"Innovator in agriculture entering Hall of Fame- Robert Ball will be honoured by the Elgin Federation of Agriculture posthumously in an awards banquet Saturday": St. Thomas Times-Journal, January 31, 2012.
Elgin Federation of Agriculture Fall 2014 Newsletter, 2014. Included in this newsletter is an announcement regarding the Elgin Federation of Agriculture Awards, which will be held on March 28, 2015, and will include the induction of Ken Monteith.
-"Country Guide, The Farm Magazine", October 1979. Article: "The John Wise Philosophy".
-Biographies, ca. 1979-1984.
-3 pins: "I'm a Wise Guy", ca. 1980.
-Letter from William G. Davis, to Progressive Conservatives, regarding the upcoming federal election, July 12, 1984.
"Notes for an Address to the Kent County Federation of Agriculture, Chatham, Ontario". Release Date: December 3, 1984.
"Notes for an Address to the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association at the 89th Annual Convention, Sheraton Brock Hotel, Niagara Falls, Ontario". Release Date: December 5, 1984.
"Notes for an Address at the Opening of the Agricultural Outlook Conference, Ottawa, Ontario". Release Date: December 10, 1984.
-St. Thomas Times-Journal, January 11, 2013: "Wise was an honourable man", "Bygone Days: Former warden passes into history", "Warden, MP, Minister", "Served as mentor to young politicians".
-A pen & ink sketch of the Cockshutt No. 21 walking plow, commissioned by Bill Walters as a memento of his 2012 term as Warden of Elgin. The sketch was donated by Susan McConnell.
-Obituary of John Wise: St. Thomas Times-Journal, January 12, 2013.
-Funeral programme: "In Memory of The Honourable John Clayton Wise. Born December 12th, 1935, St. Thomas, Ontario. Died January 9th, 2013, London, Ontario. Service: January 14th, 2013, Knox Presbyterian Church. Officiating: Rev. Malcolm Rust, Retired Chaplain, St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital. Interment: Union Cemetery".
-Programme: "Celebrating the Life of The Honorable John Clayton Wise, 12th December 1935-9th January 2013: Celebration of Life Service".
-Print-out of an internet page from OntarioFarmer.com, July 26, 2013: "Wise dead at 77".
-Elgin Federation of Agriculture November 2013 Newsletter. Includes the article: "John Wise Inducted into Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame".
Clachan Women's Institute fonds - Tweedsmuir History series
1 photograph : col.
Scope and Content
Colour photograph of Paul Mistele's family at his induction into the Elgin Hall of Fame in February, 2010, included in the Clachan Women's Institute Tweedsmuir History, Volume Four, page 36. Mistele passed away in 2008, but during his life he was an active member of agricultural organizations and was a vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. He was also the founder of the Ontario Pork Producers' donate-a-hog for foodbanks. Accepted his award on his behalf from left are Ed Ketchabaw, Mathew Mistele, Carol (Kniter) Mistele, and Amanda Mistele.
Born December 12, 1935, John Wise served Elgin County as Yarmouth Township Deputy Reeve, 1966-1967; Yarmouth Township Reeve, 1968-1969; Elgin County Warden, 1969; MP, Elgin, October, 1972-October, 1988; Federal Minister of Agriculture, June, 1979-March, 1980 and September, 1984-September, 1988.
Scope and Content
Series consists of newspaper clippings relating to the political career of John Wise, 1956-1988. Also included in this series are newspaper clippings reltaing to his death in 2013.
dvd disc containing video tribute to John Wise shown at the 2013 Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held November 3, 2013 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto. Includes several images from Archives' collections. File also includes induction ceremony program, biographies of John Wise and other inductees, Elgin County Warden's speaking notes.
1.52 m of textual records ; 3 volumes ; 80 photographs, col.
1.52 m of textual records ; 3 volumes
History / Biographical
The Elgin County 4-H Association is a regional division of 4-H Ontario. They are responsible for running selected clubs throughout the county, and each club focuses on completing a specific project over the course of at least 12 hours of instruction. Originally, clubs were focused on either homemaking or agriculture, but in modern times the clubs have expanded to include other projects, such as finances and job searches, in order to foster the personal development and responsibility of youth. At its height, Elgin County 4-H offered many clubs throughout the county, often with regional markers to distinguish them from identically-named clubs in other parts of the county (such as the West Elgin Dairy Club and the East Elgin Dairy Club), but reduced membership in modern times lead to consolidation into single, county-wide clubs.
The 4-H Program arose from agricultural roots. The idea began in the United States: in 1901, President Orwell of the Farmer’s Institute of Macoupin County, Missouri, offered a bag of seed corn to local boys with the hope of encouraging youth leadership in agriculture. 500 boys signed up for that project with the intention of displaying their produce at the 1903 St. Louis Fair. The project drew praise from educators and agricultural leaders alike
The idea came to Canada in 1913, when the Department of Agriculture donated one dozen poultry eggs, potatoes, and seed to the youth of Roland, Manitoba, with the intent of having them plant, raise, and grow them over many months. During this time they would be guided by leaders who would teach them the best ways for raising their livestock and crops. This established the basic framework used by 4-H today, which is the completion of a project by youth of a certain age, under the supervision of a leader. These were originally dubbed Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, and were headed by the Department of Agriculture.
The first recognized club in Ontario was founded by Stanley Knapp of Waterloo in 1915, and spread from there. In Elgin County, the first recorded clubs date to 1935, alongside the newly founded Homemaking division of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. Both Homemaking and Agriculture were well represented in Elgin County.
In 1952, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs were renamed to 4-H Canada (head, heart, hands, and health), and under this new moniker, the focus began to shift from goal-oriented pursuits, such as completion of projects, to the personal development of its’ members.
Starting 1985, the Homemaking and Agricultural divisions, previously separate, merged to become one entity, with John R. Lyle as president. In 1988, 4-H Ontario separated from the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs to become an independent organization.
Fonds is a collection of four separate accessions: 2017-26, 2016-07, 2013-08, and 2014-21. 2016-07 and 2013-08 were gifted by Roberta Gillard, Treasurer for the Elgin County 4-H. 2014-21 was donated by Cathy Cocchio. 2017-26 was donated by Cheryl Gauthier to the Elgin County Museum on August 23, 2017, and was transferred to the Elgin County Archives on the same day.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records created and maintained by both the Elgin County 4-H Association and individuals within the 4-H program. It includes the 4-H Constitution, annual reports, minutes of meetings, financial records, correspondence, lists of members, project records and workbooks done by 4-H members, newsletters, and scrapbooks.
The fonds is arranged into the following series: