Inducted: November 29, 1989
Ian Maynard was one of the first seven Canadians to grow hybrid seed corn, near the beginning of a career in farming that has been characterized by a determination to welcome productive change.
His first hybrid seed corn crop was greeted with some skepticism, especially since it had to be detasseled from horseback, before the advent of the mechanized detasseler.
Mr. Maynard's success that first year in 1939, with yields l5-20 percent higher than open-pollinated corn, was convincing, and soon others followed his example.
Mr. Maynard started farming in 1932 near Kent Centre in Harwich Township, at the depths of the Depression when farmers were experiencing very hard times. To supplement the income from 50 acres, he grew white beans and cereal seeds for his neighbours; and operated a seed cleaning plant for most of his adult life.
Mr. Maynard has been an ardent land conservationist, for over three decades using a chisel plow in conservation tillage methods. He has been a strong advocate of crop rotation, and has taken this and other messages on agriculture to farmers in other parts of Canada. His one regret over the rapid expansion of corn and soybean acreage has been the damage to the land, in soil compaction, water and wind erosion.
Mr. Maynard served as President of the Kent Federation of Agriculture after a major reorganization in 1969. For two years, he was a Kent Director to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Mr. Maynard has always welcomed visitors; and this hospitality was given free rein in 1979 when he was the host farmer for the International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Show. He served as Mayor of the Tented City; and later was recognized by Kent County Council for his contribution to the successful event.
A member of the Canadian Seed Growers' Association for three decades, Mr. Maynard was named a Robertson Associate in 1963. The Ontario Institute of Agrologists made him an Honorary Life Member in 1982, recognizing his innovations in agriculture and his stewardship of the soil. He received the Kent Federation of Agriculture Meritorious Award in 1980 and was named the Agriculturalist of the Year by the Chatham & District Chamber of Commerce in 1979.