Brien, J. Dufferin (1883 - 1947)
Inducted: November 29, 1989
J. Dufferin Brien believed that fall fairs could encourage farmers to aim for quality, a conviction that led to a long and productive association with Ridgetown Fair and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Mr. Brien was born in Howard Township, the son of Edward Brien, one of Canada's leading breeders of Shorthorn cattle. When he was a youth, the Briens moved to a large farm property on the north outskirts of Ridgetown, a cattle showplace later acquired by the Ontario Government to become the Ridgetown Experimental Farm.
Mr. Brien was an active Cotswold sheep, cattle and swine breeder and a judge, exhibitor, promoter and exporter. For 26 years, he was Secretary of the Howard Agricultural Society, managing the Ridgetown Fair. In 1917, he headed a group of livestock exhibitors who were promoting what became in 1919 the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. He was the Fair's first Superintendent, and held the post until his death in 1947.
That Fair was indeed "Duff Brien's Fair", and he helped many young men from the Ridgetown area at the annual show.
Mr. Brien helped organize and was Chairman of the Eastern Canada Livestock Union. He was Director and Chairman of the National Livestock Records Board, President of the Ontario Sheep Breeders' Association, the Ontario Swine Producers' Association and the Dominion Shorthorn Producers' Association.
He was active in promoting the systematic marketing of farm products and became the first Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Seed Corn Growers' Marketing Board, serving from 1940 until his death.
As a featured speaker, Mr. Brien added colour and humour to the information he provided to many agricultural events.