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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 Odlyn VanDeWynckel

VanDeWynckel, Odlyn

- 1990

Inducted: November 28, 1990

Odlyn Van De Wynckel served as a committee member on three Ontario farm marketing boards, an indication of the strength of his conviction that good farmers need sound marketing for their products.

Mr. Van De Wynckel was born in Belgium, and came to Canada with his family at an early age. After living for some years in Chatham Township, the Van De Wynckels moved to South Kent in the Glenwood area.

Five years after his marriage in 1942 to Mary Bogaert, Mr. Van De Wynckel bought a farm in Tilbury East Township near Merlin. From the first, he was interested in farm organizations working for the betterment of agriculture. He joined the Kent Federation of Agriculture, and worked for the General Farm Organization (G.F.O.) vote in 1969 and the massive reorganization of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture a year later.

Mr. Van De Wynckel was President of the Kent Federation in 1979, and the Federation's Provincial Director for seven years.

It was his belief that marketing was as important as management in a stable agricultural industry that led to his service as a committee member on the Ontario Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board, the Ontario Sugar Beet Growers' Marketing Board and the Ontario Soya-Bean Growers' Marketing Board.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Van De Wynckel took a deep interest in opportunities for young farmers. Mr. Van De Wynckel was President of the Kent County 4-H Leaders' Association; and he and his wife entertained exchange students and conducted exchange trips to promote better understanding of young people in other countries. These were exchange programmes through both 4-H and Junior Farmers. The Van De Wynckels' farm was the scene of many 4-H and Junior Farmer meetings, still recalled with pleasure by their members.

Mr. Van De Wynckel was President of the Merlin Agricultural Society when the Merlin Hall was rebuilt as a community effort; and a member of the Merlin Rotary Club when that group disassembled a corn planter on the Van De Wynckel farm for shipment to India.

After his retirement from farming in 1979, Mr. Van De Wynckel became a Canada/Ontario Crop Insurance Agent; a follow-up to a long-term commitment to protection that would help cushion farmers in the case of crop disasters.

Mr. Van De Wynckel was the 1987 recipient of the Kent Federation of Agriculture "Meritorious Award." The citation that accompanied the award spoke of his "untiring efforts on behalf of the rural youth and organized agriculture, coupled with his continued involvement in community programmes."