Wilfred John Chegwin (1927 - 2010) was one of five people inducted into the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in Portage la Prairie on Thursday.
Established in 1976, the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame’s objective is to acknowledge people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and improvement of Manitoba agriculture.
Born and raised in Rossburn, Chegwin moved to Shoal Lake with his wife, Thelma, where they farmed and raised their two children, Betty Anne and Wayne.
With one gravel truck, Chegwin started a construction company and had 40 employees when he sold the business in 1967.
Wayne Chegwin said that his father had a passion for agriculture and helping to build the agriculture community.
“He was heavy into construction but he was brought up on the farm, so when the opportunity arose to get out of construction and back into farming again, he jumped at it,” Wayne said.
After the sale of the construction company, Chegwin expanded his farming operation and bought 300 Hereford cows and some farm machinery.
Chegwin was one of the first people in Manitoba to import Simmental cattle from France and he set up a quarantine station close to his Shoal Lake farm for the use of the Federal Department of Agriculture.
For 20 years, Chegwin showed Simmental and Limousin cattle at major cattle shows from the Calgary Stampede to the Toronto Royal. He was also involved in some of the first embryo transplants in cattle and was a founding member of the West Simmental Association.
Chegwin was a director of both the Manitoba and Canadian Simmental Associations and an honorary life member of the Shoal Lake Agricultural Society and its president from 1991-94.
He was a councillor for the RM of Shoal Lake from 1997-2001, vice-chair of the gasification committee, which brought natural gas to the RM of Shoal Lake, a founding member of the Prairie Mountain Regional Museum Board and was instrumental in building the new arena at the fairgrounds.
Chegwin also served on the steering committee that planned and oversaw the construction on the new Shoal Lake Communiplex and showed a hitch of six Belgian horses at local fairs for many years.
“He would have been very privileged to be honoured in this way. It’s to bad he couldn’t be here to accept the award. I’m glad that he’s getting recognition for some of the work he’s put into the agriculture industry,” said Wayne Chegwin.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 13, 2012