Inducted: November 28, 1990
Kenneth Brooksbank, of Chatham Township, was an exemplary farmer and citizen and a role model for every young farmer whose life he touched.
Mr. Brooksbank was born in Chatham Township and attended Union School Section 25. When he left school, there was a serious farm labour shortage, and he joined his father in the operation of the home farm on Concession 8.
Mr. Brooksbank was an active conservationist, planting windbreaks before the importance of such erosion controls was fully apparent to many farmers. He was also one of the first to practice erosion-control tillage.
Mr. Brooksbank served the farming community in many ways. He was an active member of the Kent Federation of Agriculture and of the Kent Soil and Crop Improvement Association; and a Director of the Kent County Beef Producers' Association. For a time he operated a beef feedlot, in addition to being an innovative cash crop farmer. The Brooksbanks, over the years, had a bush and produced maple syrup.
His interest in the well-being of farmers was expressed in another practical way, as a member for 35 years of the Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, a service that won him special recognition.
Mr. Brooksbank's ties with Chalmers United Church were strong; as an elder, Sunday School superintendent, choir member and AOTS president. He was a member of the McVicar Cemetery Board.
Those closest to him recalled one incident that was typical of Mr. Brooksbank. Homeward bound after combining a field, he realized a storm was coming, and he turned the combine in to take care of the field of an area resident. As one friend said, "He would stop his own work to help others." He added, "He set a good example for every young farmer in the way he farmed and the way he lived. He showed a never-ending willingness to help others in need throughout his community."