Larry Chanda was born in Simcoe, Ontario in 1941. After moving away for a short time, Larry returned in 1967 to work on the family tobacco farm. In 1970, he purchased the family farm making him the 4th generation to farm this land. Larry is not only a farmer but an ardent conservationist as well.
Diversifying the family farm has been key to Larry’s farming success. While continuing to grow tobacco, his farm operation has expanded to include cash crops and cattle. He, also, operates a wholesale large caliper tree farm.
In the 1970s, Larry served as Chair of the Charlotteville Federation of Agriculture. This organization represented the voice of local farm families and acted as their liaison to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. The work of the Charlotteville Federation of Agriculture focused on establishing windbreaks and the retention of water on Norfolk County’s fragile sand plains.
Larry has been a very active member of the Norfolk Cattlemen’s Association where he served as Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and acted as County Director at the provincial level. As a member of the Ontario Cattlesmen’s Association, Larry chaired the cow/calf committee. As a member of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, he was appointed to sit on the Canadian beef Research Council, serving two years as Chairperson.
For more than twenty years, Larry was involved with the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, server as LPRCA Chair for two years. While chairing the Resources Management Committee, Larry encouraged the use of catch basins in fragile areas to prevent bank erosion. He advocated for cover crops to be planted to deter erosion along creek beds. The success of this initiative has resulted in this becoming common practice today.
Larry was one of the original members of the Norfolk Land Stewardship Committee playing a pivotal role in establishing the mission, vision and terms of reference for the organization. Today, the Stewardship Council is committed to bringing community members together to promote resource stewardship on involvement and interest in land stewardship. Council members include farmer, woodlot owners, cottagers, naturalists, and industry people. The Stewardship Council provides a forum to foster funding opportunities to support their initiatives. Larry is a Life Member of the Lee Brown March Committee which manages the operations of 850 acres of marshland at Long Point.
Over the years, Larry has been the recipient of many awards including the Norfolk County Volunteer of the Year Award (2000) and Environmental Stewardship Award of Ontario (2000). A mature, three acre arboretum of Carolinian as well as various species and cultivars of trees and shrubbery has been planted by Larry and serves as a lasting legacy for generations to come.