Baker, Charles (1900 - 1971)
Inducted: November 28, 1990
Charles Baker was one of the pioneers who helped organize the marketing of canning crops on a sound and stable basis.
Mr. Baker was a member of the Provisional Tomato Marketing Board before it was officially established in 1941. He continued to work for the Ontario Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board when it was established five years later; and served as its Chairman in 1956 and 1957.
Mr. Baker was born in Dresden, but moved with his family to a Raleigh Township farm at the corner of the Bloomfield Sideroad and Concession 8. The early death of his father gave him responsibilities for farm operation and management when he was still very young.
Mr. Baker soon became involved in farm organizations. He was convinced that farmers had to get together to gain a fair share of the national income.
An early hybrid corn grower, Mr. Baker was a Director of the Kent-Essex Corn Growers' Co-operative. He also served as the Secretary of the Chatham Farmers' Co-operative.
His primary interest was, however, in canning crops. With other growers, he visited area farmers to persuade them to support the establishment of a Tomato Marketing Board and, later, the more comprehensive Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board.
In all of the agricultural organizations he supported, he was a positive influence using a quiet diplomacy to solve any problems that developed. Everyone knew him as "Charlie."
He took an active part in Wesley United Church, as an Elder and Treasurer; and his baritone voice made him a popular guest soloist.
Mr. Baker was honoured by Kent vegetable growers in 1965 for the 26 years he had then devoted to their interests.
As the Chairman of the Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board, he was praised for his impartial approach and for his interest in seeing that all vegetable growers got a square deal. It was said of him, "Mr. Baker was, to a large degree, instrumental in the establishment of the Board; and since that time, has devoted a large portion of his time toward bettering the vegetable-growing industry in Ontario."
Mr. and Mrs. Baker, the former Ruby Tole, have two daughters and six sons; only one, Wayne, is a farmer.