Bert Andrews

Year of birth: 1943

Inducted in 2024

Origin: Halton Region

Nominated by: Halton Region Federation of Agriculture

Specialty: Agritourism, Crops, Crops - Fruit, Crops - Vegetables, Horticulture

Bert Andrews has been involved in nearly every major issue confronting agriculture over four decades, from land use planning, migrant labour, farm taxation, easing regulatory burdens and advocacy for research and food education. Bert’s legacy has had significant economic impact for agriculture throughout Ontario.

In 1980, Bert and his wife Lauraine established Andrews Scenic Acres north of Milton where it grew to become one of the most diversified fruit and vegetable growers and visited agri-tourism destinations in Ontario. The farm produced 20 plus different crops which included field crops of wheat and soyabean, and pick-your-own produce along with an on-farm market, bakery, and educational tours. In 1999, they added the Scotch Block Winery to produce fruit wines and ciders from their own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and currants. Bert provided in-depth mentorship and career guidance for the over 2000 students he has employed at the farm.  In four decades, half a million Ontario students participated in the farm’s agricultural education program.

The farm was the site of many university, college and government research projects on varietals, pest and disease management, weed control, mechanical harvesting and pollinator studies. Bert was always on the cutting edge of commercial berry production and led the cultivation in Ontario of such crops as highbush blueberries, fall raspberries, currents, and gooseberries, plus cold climate wine grape varietals.

Bert was a founding member of Farmers’ Markets Ontario and Fruit Wineries Ontario and was actively involved on the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Ontario Berry Growers Association and Ontario High Bush Blueberry Growers. He was also instrumental in bringing fruit wine producers together to form Fruit Wines of Canada, which helped to develop a Quality Certified (QC) Fruit Wines standard adopted by LCBO on parity with VQA. Bert and his fellow advocates helped drive through provincial legislative changes to open new sales opportunities for fruit wineries, allowing them to sell fruit wines at farmers’ markets across Ontario.

Bert was acknowledged with 75 national wine awards for his fruit wines and in 2012 he received the Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence. Bert Andrews’ ongoing successes and contributions to Ontario agriculture in the areas of primary production, research, and innovation, mentoring and education, marketing and promotion make him a worthy inductee into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.