Inducted: November 28, 1990
Ken Thompson's interest in preserving some of Kent farm history is matched by a determination to protect the future of agriculture.
His interest in the county's farming heritage has been shown by such projects as the restoration of an old mill with a working millstone in Canada's Centennial year; the re-creation of a blacksmith show for the Centennial of Cedar Springs United Church; and the restoration of a large dash wheel to working condition for the 1979 International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Show in Kent County.
Mr. Thompson's interest in the conservation of Kent's irreplaceable farmland has been demonstrated by his participation in the Kent Federation of Agriculture's Environment, Conservation and Drainage Committee, and the Environment Committee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. He took part in the Environmental Assessment Hearings on the Ridge Landfill site.
As part of this commitment to the future, Mr. Thompson has also served as an Ontario Federation representative on the Canadian Federation of Agriculture Special Environment and Pesticides Committee. He currently serves as a member of the Ontario Drainage Tribunal.
He was born on the family farm, on County Road 10, in Harwich Township, and attended S.S. No. 4 Harwich-Raleigh before qualifying for an honours Secondary School Diploma at Blenheim High School.
Mr. Thompson demonstrated an early interest in farm organizations as a Provincial Director of the Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario. He served as a Director on the Ontario Hog Producers' Marketing Board.
His concern for farm safety was reflected in his active participation in the Kent Farm Safety Council.
Mr. Thompson was 1975 President of the Kent Federation of Agriculture, and an active participant in Federation activities and programmes over the years. He was the 1986 recipient of the Federation's "Meritorious Award." His citation at that time lauded him as "a thinker, a negotiator and a person with a deep understanding of the issues of the day," and for his "strong desire to preserve our heritage for future generations."
Mr. Thompson and his wife, Helen Kirkby, continue to operate the Harwich Township farm. They have two daughters, Sheila, a Registered Nurse now attending University of Windsor; and Mrs. Wes (Nancy) Thompson, of Blenheim; and two grandchildren.
He was the recipient of the Blenheim & District Chamber of Commerce "Agriculturalist of the Year" award in 1985.