Inducted: October 30, 1996
Most recently he was named a Life Member of FIS (The International Seed Trade Federation), in recognition of his impressive contributions to that organization and to the industry as a whole. Behind that honour were more than 30 years of dedicated service to agriculture, during which he won his reputation for his forward-looking perspective on farming and on crop development.
Mr. King is a native of Pain Court, the son of Napoleon King and the former Pauline Caron. After elementary education in Pain Court, he went to the University of Ottawa for his secondary and university education.
Mr. King joined the King Grain and Seed Company Limited in 1961, and became Vice-President of the Pride Seed Corn Division. The company was committed to an extensive program of research and the development of new corn hybrids, soybeans and canola cultivars. Mr. King played a key role in the growth of the largest private seed research program in Canada.
As a trade ambassador for the company, he went to Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim, licensing King products and establishing important contacts in many countries.
Mr. King became the Canadian representative to the Board of FIS in 1982, and later, its President. He was President of the Canadian Seed Trade Association and was honoured by this association with a life membership in July of this year, in acknowledgment of his lifelong dedication to the development of the Canadian seed industry.
Locally, provincially and nationally, Mr. King served on the Ontario Grain Corn Council, the Ontario Corn Producers' Industry Advisory Committee, the Chatham Economic Development Advisory Committee, The Canadian Trade Opportunities Strategy Committee and is a member of Agri-Development Kent.
He has also worked on the St. Clair College Business Advisory Committee, the French Language Advisory Committee of the Kent County Board of Education, the Chatham and District Chamber of Commerce, the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation of Chatham, and is a member and Director of the Chatham Rotary Club.
Mr. King left the company in 1992, four years after it was sold to Elf Sanofi. Kingroup Inc. had expanded over the years to include, not only an extensive research program and production and marketing of seed through King Agro, but a grain elevator and farm supply business (King Grain-Farm Service), the only dry corn milling operation in Canada (King Grain Milling), and the export of soybeans for edible purposes to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
In 1995, Mr. King was recognized with an honorary life membership in the Canadian Seed Growers' Association.
Mr. King is Vice-President and Manager of Roy Investment Ltd., President of New Agriventures Inc., Pain Court, and is operating Valderose Gardens, a mecca for rose growers whose full beauty can be enjoyed by all at a yearly Open House which is held in the month of July.
Mr. King is married to the former Rose-Marie Caron. They have two sons, Andre of Toronto, Sales Manager for Volvo Canada, and Claude, Director of Finance for Moore Business Forms in Mexico City; and a daughter Danielle, a physiotherapist in Ottawa.
The people who worked with Mr. King for many years have difficulty finding words to describe him. He is "eminently fair in all he does," and "he does a good job in anything he undertakes." He is "quiet and unassuming"; but is as capable of presiding over an international association as he is of handling a local meeting.
He is, above all, "a very modest man," surprised to be praised for his contributions to agriculture.