Three men have been inducted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.

“The Hall of Fame is a tribute to the ongoing legacy of agricultural innovation in this province," says Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. "This year’s inductees are pioneers in their fields who have worked hard for decades to improve agricultural practices, support growth in the industry and educate the next generation of Alberta farmers and ranchers.”

Dr. John Kennelly of Edmonton is a dairy researcher, professor and dean. He was chair of the University of Alberta’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and later dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Kennelly taught dairy science and nutrition to thousands of students at the university, built world-renowned research programs from scratch, and oversaw tremendous growth of the ALES program.

Robert Prestage of Camrose has been dedicated to beef cattle breeding and genetic programs in Alberta for more than 50 years.

Prestage distinguished himself by developing the progeny test program for beef cattle, significantly improving the genetic pool of the Canadian cattle industry.

Prestage selected, processed and exported thousands of cattle to more than 20 countries, including marketing the first cattle to Russia to support the Alberta cattle industry’s recovery from BSE.

Prestage has supported Alberta breeders in selling cattle around the world, generously sharing his marketing expertise, hosting numerous international delegations, and judging at international cattle shows.

Cornelius (Cor) Van Raay of Iron Springs helped mould the modern day feedlot and set the bar in the Canadian cattle feeding business.

Starting with just 50 head of cattle, his business grew to be one of the largest feedlot operations in Canada.

To ensure that agriculture continues to attract young people and new entrants, his major financial gift launched the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College in 2014.

The Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame was created to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the agriculture and food industry and to the development and sustainability of rural life in Alberta.

Since 1951, almost 130 Albertans have been honoured for their leadership and accomplishments within the agriculture sector.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees were honoured at a ceremony in Leduc on Oct. 7.

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