Inducted: November 14, 2017
Dave Alexander and Brenda Jane Baute are founders of Maizex Seeds and have contributed greatly to the local agricultural community.
Son of Frank and Velma Baute, Dave was raised on a 250-acre family farm, and grew his first crop when he was 16. He obtained a diploma in Agricultural Production and Management from Ridgetown College in 1977 and then attended the University of Guelph. After Guelph, he began his seed career with King Grain and worked with Pride Seeds.
On December 15th, 1979, he married Brenda Jane, daughter of Vince and Yvonne Kelly, from Smith Falls. Dave and Brenda have three children, Nicole, Greg and Kurtis.
In 1983, with Frank's help, Dave and Brenda took over the family farm. They founded Maizex in 1985.
Throughout his career, Dave has been recognized and awarded for his innovation and leadership by many industry and government groups. He is the current chairman of the Agri-Food Foundation (Ridgetown Campus) and is Past President of the Canadian Seed Trade Association.
Dave is also active in his community and sits on the Board of the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation.
In addition to his responsibilities as Maizex's CEO, Dave manages Soiex Farms, a 2500 acre seed farm.
Dave was recognized in 2016 by the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce as its Agriculturalist of the year. In 2009, Maizex received the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence for their micro plot tape trial testing system.
"Many influential agricultural leaders gained their start under Dave's mentorship", says Emery Huszka.
Brenda's father owned and operated a slaughter house and butcher shop, and Brenda and her siblings were very active in the family business. At a very early age, she kept track of customer invoices and accounts, an experience that would help her greatly in her future.
Brenda has been an integral part of Maizex since its infancy. She attended the University of Guelph and worked in banking before turning to agriculture. As Chief Financial Officer of Maizex and Soiex Farms, she's played a pivotal role in managing the company's finances and human resources over nearly three decades of growth.
Brenda has been an important contributor to the growth of the farm and seed operations, helping it grow from a small enterprise to the 4th largest seed corn company in Canada, with her financial guidance and strategy.
Always putting other people ahead of herself, Brenda has worked quietly behind the scenes and kept business running smoothly. She coordinated detasseling crews, of as large as 100 students for 25 years, managing hiring and payroll, along with the three children. In the early years Brenda helped supervise field work.
For over 10 years, Brenda has championed an annual bursary for deserving summer students, going to college or university.
For several years, when the School Boards still allowed field trips, Brenda organized and hosted Grade 7 classes from local schools for a morning of ag education. This was always well received by science teachers at that time.
For 10 years, Brenda did a cancer drive for the Canadian Cancer Society, and she has always been supportive of local charitable causes some of them are – Ridgetown Campus University of Guelph, Chatham Hospice, Chatham-Kent Community Foundation, various 4-H Clubs, countless Ploughing Matches and Rural events as well as the United Way of Chatham-Kent.