Inducted: November 28, 1990
Howard Pitz was appointed the Manager of the United Co-operatives of Ontario Marketing Department at the right time to be instrumental in buying and selling wheat for the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board in its crucial early years.
The Board formed a company, the Ontario Wheat Producers' Co operatives, to buy and sell the crop. The Co-operative, in turn, called on the U.C.O. Grain Marketing Department, headed by Mr. Pitz, to act as its marketing arm, a key responsibility which continued until an Agency Plan was established in 1972.
Mr. Pitz was born on the family farm in Brooke Township, Lambton County, and attended Alvinston Continuation School. He started work at the Alvinston branch of the Bank of Montreal at the age of 15, and served in a number of branches, including the Toronto main office, before his transfer to Highgate as teller-accountant in 1937. Five years later, he moved to the Elora branch as accountant.
It was while he was in Elora that the Board of Directors of the Orford Farmers' Co-operative at Muirkirk invited him to apply for the position as Manager. The Pitz family moved to Muirkirk in May, 1944.
Mr. Pitz' years with the Co-operative were associated with steady growth. Storage space was increased, the feed plant enlarged, hardware store offices built, and grain handling facilities, including a grain dryer, were updated.
Mr. Pitz supported the growth of producer organizations as the production of grain corn and soybeans increased. He was interested in the development of a more cohesive co-operative grain marketing system. To this end, a producer committee was formed, studies undertaken, U.S. grain handling co-operatives visited and producer meetings held before the U.C.O. Grain Marketing Department was established in 1955, with Mr. Pitz as its first Manager.
Mr. Pitz continued for two years after his 1974 retirement as a part-time consultant to the Grain Marketing Department. He was President of the Ontario Grain & Feed Dealers' Association from 1953-1955, and participated in Farmers' Week programmes at the Ridgetown College.
During his banking years, he took courses, including two from Queen's University which qualified him as a Fellow of the Canadian Bankers' Association (F.C.B.A.).
Mr. Pitz was also a long-service Board Member of the Chatham Horticultural Society, and its Vice-President when he retired in 1981.