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In 1988, the Kent Agricultural Hall of Fame was created to honour those that demonstrated unselfish achievement within the realm of agriculture and service to the rural community.
Photo image of Francis R. Parry

Parry, Francis R.*

- 1989

Inducted: November 29, 1989

Frank Parry has been a booster of Kent County agriculture all his life, especially in promoting the quality of vegetable crops in potential markets here and abroad.

 His advice and opinions have been sought for decades by governments, industry and individuals on a wide range of agricultural issues.

Three decades after his official retirement, he maintained an active interest in everything happening on the Kent farm scene.

Mr. Parry was born in Dover Township, and was an early convert to the need for organized farm marketing while he was farming in Dover and Chatham townships. He helped initiate Ontario marketing plans for tomatoes, peas and sweet corn.

During the difficult World War II years and after, he served as both Chairman and Provincial Director of the Ontario Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board.

Mr. Parry worked on the FAVED Council, looking to Europe for markets for Ontario quality vegetables. He was actively involved in Ontario vegetable production research, particularly with the Horticultural Department at the Ontario Agricultural College, working with peas and the tenderometer.

Mr. Parry's diplomacy and good nature were a major factor in the establishment of better relationships between vegetable growers and processors. They were helpful, too, on negotiating teams for tomato, beets, green and wax beans and lima bean contracts.

Mr. Parry served as a founding member and Director of the Local Agricultural Manpower Board for some years; and he was a Past Advisor of the Ontario Crop Insurance Commission. He has been the recipient of many awards and honours.

In 1968, Mr. Parry received an Award of Merit from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association for his "outstanding contribution to agriculture." A year later, the Canadian Agricultural Congress held a testimonial dinner in his honour at Ottawa.

In 1972, Mr. Parry was appointed a Jaycee Senator, for his work in providing contacts with corn producers and processors for the annual Jaycee Corn Roast. The Jaycees named him "Mr. Agriculture" in 1979.

Mr. Parry's many years of service to the vegetable industry won him an Honorary Presidency of the Kent County Vegetable Growers' Association in 1974. The Chatham and District Chamber of Commerce chose him Agriculturalist of the Year in 1977; and he received the Meritorious Award from the Kent Federation of Agriculture in 1979. As well, he received the Ontario Agricultural College Centennial Award in 1974 and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Centennial Award in 1988. He is an honorary member of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.

Mr. Parry was given a history-making honour in 1983, when he received a special recognition award from the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, at Truro, Nova Scotia, the first of its kind in Canada. It was an added acknowledgement of what he had done for an industry that he has served long and diligently.