Ken Porteous was nominated by the Norfolk Federation of Agriculture.
Porteous has been actively involved in local and provincial agriculture since the early 1970’s. He started his career on Lingwood Farms outside of Simcoe – a family partnership now involving his son, son-in-law and grandson. Porteous first started as an elite dairy breeder who sold bulls around the world. In 1973, the herd was put up for sale, bringing the highest average price per animal ever paid in Canada. This was a testament to the high standard and quality of Ken’s work.
By 1974, Lingwood Farms Ltd. had largely moved into orchard acreage. Today, Lingwood manages approximately 865 acres of crops.
Porteous has been president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization – and vice chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers Marketing Board. In these positions, Ken consistently advocated for farmers and the important development and economic role they play throughout the province.
In 2007, Ken became the president of the Canadian Horticulture Council (CHC). Under his leadership, the CanadaGAP program was implemented. The program is a food safety program for companies that produce and handle fruits and vegetables. It is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. This program has been internationally recognized and continues to be used as a model in other countries today. Porteous also helped develop the Self-Directed Risk Management Program to aid farmers during periods of hardship. The program continues to be an important and much valued component of the CHC.
In addition to his farm advocacy work, Ken has held community leadership roles as a councilor with the former Townsend Township and later the former City of Nanticoke. He also served as Deputy Reeve of old Norfolk County and held the position of Deputy Mayor for Nanticoke.