Inducted: November 28, 1990
Ken Lantz went on, after seven years as Agricultural Representative in Kent County, to eventually achieve the highest non-elective job with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, responsible for programmes and policies that benefited all farmers.
Mr. Lantz was born on a farm in Perth County and attended Stratford Collegiate and the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph. After graduation in 1945, he joined the Ontario Department of Agriculture, first as Assistant Agricultural Representative in Middlesex County; and, after 1948, Agricultural Representative in Stormont County.
Mr. Lantz' association with Kent County began in 1951, when he came here as Agricultural Representative. His work with Kent farmers showed the high degree of efficiency that characterized his entire career; and his transfer to Toronto on April 1, 1958 as Associate Director of Extension came as no surprise to friends and associates here.
Less than two years later, he was promoted to Director of the Extension Branch; and in 1963, to Assistant Deputy Minister. Fifteen years later, he became Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food.
Mr. Lantz' emphasis on management as the key to successful farm operations was well-known to Kent farmers, and he later made it an important part of the extension programme. He represented Ontario on the National Farm Management Coordinating Committee until l973; and was Chairman of the Ontario Farm Management Coordinating Committee until 1979. He was also Vice-President of the International Farm Management Association.
Partially because of his efforts, Ontario now offers farm business management advisory services recognized for excellence by other jurisdictions.
Mr. Lantz was given the responsibility in 1965 of developing an Ontario crop insurance programme, and the Crop Insurance Commission was initiated in September, 1966. He served for the first six years as Chairman of the Commission, recognized as one of the most comprehensive and well-received.
During his years with the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate of Ontario, good rural development programmes were developed. He was Vice-Chairman of the directorate for 5 years, and Chairman for 12.
The efficiency Mr. Lantz showed in Kent County was demonstrated on a larger scale in the "Management by Objectives" concept, now referred to as "Management by Results" (MBR) that he introduced into the Ministry in 1968, and later widely adopted by government and industry.
Mr. Lantz established the Food Land Development Branch, responsible for the Food Land Guidelines, the government policy on the preservation of agricultural land.
As Deputy Minister, he encouraged the development of a better Ministry-wide planning system; established an Agricultural Energy Management Resource Centre; was a Co-Chairman of an inter-Ministry Agricultural Energy Policy; and introduced significant changes in the Ministry's Marketing Division.
Mr. Lantz and his wife, Mary, have four children.
Kent County farmers expressed appreciation when he retired in 1981 for his service to the county and province.
One of them, Walter Higgs, of Dresden, said that Mr. Lantz was "more of a realist than anyone I have ever known." At the same time, "he was never negative; and he always had faith in his own abilities."
Above all, Mr. Lantz had the ability to meet and accept people as they are. Mr. Higgs said, "He can make friends with whomever he is facing".