Year of birth: 1953
Inducted in 2023
Origin: Waterloo Region
Nominated by: Kenneth W. Knox
Doug Wagner has made significant contributions to the Ontario agriculture and food industry over his 50-year career. Through many organizations, he has developed numerous young agricultural leaders, established new programs for educational and networking venues for farmers and advanced opportunities to showcase innovative technologies to farmers, business people and government decision makers.
Early in his career, Doug was a key contributor to OMAF’s Youth Extension Branch, then responsible for running 4-H Ontario. Here he led training programs for 4-H leaders across the province and partnered in creating the National 4-H Dairy Show and the Contact Hays Classic at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
From 1983 to 2003, he served simultaneously as secretary-manager of both the Ontario Seed Growers Association (where he was always looking for the next best opportunity to promote Certified Seed), and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). He changed the course of history for the OSCIA by inspiring the development of a program delivery focus through such initiatives as the Land Stewardship Program and the Environmental Farm Plan program, thus enabling OSCIA to deliver millions of dollars to assist farm businesses.
With Ginty Jocius, Doug was a developing partner of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show from 1993 to 2011. He has been president of Canada’s Outdoor Show since 2012. This show has enabled farmers to access the latest in agricultural innovation and equipment technology. The recent development of Discovery Farm Woodstock will enable year-round extension and learning opportunities for Ontario producers, which will facilitate improved efficiency and competitiveness.
He served on other impactful organizations as well, including as an executive member of the Canadian Agrifood Marketers Alliance, as a past president of the OAC Alumni Association and as past president of the Farm Show Council representing 28 farm shows across North America.
In 2006, he was presented with the T.R. Hilliard Distinguished Agricultural Extension Award.
Doug is known as an effective “people person” able to work harmoniously with a wide range of staff, volunteers, bureaucrats, politicians and clients. Doug Wagner’s contributions to Ontario agriculture will have a lasting impact, making him a worthy inductee into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.