Inducted: November 18, 2008
His simple credo: “Farming does not end at the farm gate.” “I have been involved in farm organizations working with many dedicated and talented people who are trying to keep this industry dynamic, growing and exciting for current and future entrants.”
Lynn was born in Chatham, the son of Gerald Lawrence Girty and the former Helen Jessie Robertson.
He got his elementary education at the school at the corner of the Bisnet Sideroad and Erieau Road, and his secondary schooling at Blenheim District High School. He graduated from Western Ontario Agricultural School (now part of the University of Guelph) at Ridgetown in 1966.
Lynn married Judith Crewe, of Port Crewe on September 21st, 1968, and after a brief residence on Jackson Street, in Blenheim, they moved to the home farm.
From the first, Lynn was involved in everything that would improve agriculture. Inevitably, this has kept him busy over the years in a wide variety of farm and farm-related organizations. He has been a Director of the Kent Federation of Agriculture, Chairman of the Ontario Weather Services Committee, Chairman of the Southwest Ontario Training Board and the Local Agricultural Employment Board, a Director of the Kent Cattlemen’s Association, a Director of the Kent Soybean Growers’ Committee, and a Director of the Cedar Springs Cherry Growers’ Co-op.
He was a Director of the Seed Corn Growers of Ontario, and of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture; Chairman of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s Trucking Regulation and Hydro Committees; a Director of the Ridgetown College Agribusiness Advisory Committee, and of the Kent Industrial Advisory Committee; a member of the Electrical Safety Authority Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Chatham-Kent Agribusiness Advisory Committee.
In his community, Lynn has been a member of both Lambton-Kent Secondary School and Ridgetown College mentoring teams, a Vice-President of the Chatham-Kent-Essex Provincial Liberal Association and a Steward and Trustee of the Fourth Line United Church.
That busy life of service to farmers has won him recognition. In 1998, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Kent Federation of Agriculture, and in 2002, the Blenheim and District Chamber of Commerce named him “Agriculturist of the Year”.
Recently he was one of three Kent farm leaders whose “tremendous volunteer leadership” in the growth of Ridgetown College was recognized by the Ridgetown Agri-Food Foundation. Dr. Art Schaafsma, Campus Director, said “the three provided strong campus leadership for well over a decade”. During the important time in the College’s history, it became a campus of the University of Guelph; and the construction of the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre.
Dr. Schaafsma said, “We couldn’t ask for better ‘campus friends’ who have worked to ensure the on-going growth and success of Ridgetown.
His ideas on farming have received a wider audience through contributions to the CBC, CFPL, CKCO AND CFCO.
At an early stage in his farming career, Lynn applied for select seed grower status, and the Girtys grow seed corn and seed soybeans, and commercial grain on 230 acres, 100 of them under a rental agreement.
The Girtys have two children. Their son, Greg, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Windsor University, and now lives with his wife, Michelle, in Amherstburg, where he is employed at Azterik Media in Windsor . Their daughter, Sarah, graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario, and is now a nurse with the St. Elizabeth Service in London.
David Townsend, a friend, said Lynn is a “really good neighbour”. “If you need help, he is always there to help you, no matter what else is going on. He is the neighbour who canvasses the area when there is a death or an emergency. He is just a good man!”
Another neighbour said Lynn soaks up information like a sponge. “He goes places and hears things. He is an authority on every subject. He’s a great guy!”