William (Bill) Gray

Year of birth: 1936

Inducted in 2024

Origin: Kent County

Nominated by: Gray Ridge Eggs Inc.

Specialty: Agri-business, Livestock - Poultry

Bill Gray is the CEO and owner of L.H. Gray & Son Limited, a 90-year-old family business employing more than 1,200 people. In 1970, Gray Ridge Egg Farms became the brand name for the business and has become one of the principal players in the Ontario egg market. The parent company has grading facilities in Listowel, Strathroy, Calgary, Alberta, and Abbotsford, British Columbia.  It also has ownership interests in the largest Canadian further egg processing business, supplying food service and ingredient markets.

As Bill continued to expand the innovative product lines, he also invested in technologically advanced housing and ventilation systems to enhance poultry welfare. He has grown his business by being a leader in developing high quality standards for eggs and utilizing advanced technology in the grading and processing areas. This equipment and attention to detail has made Gray Ridge Eggs a leader in food safety. The company was the first HAACP certified egg grader in Canada. In 2023, Gray Ridge Eggs won the Clive Frampton “Egg Products Company of the Year” award.

Bill’s passion for sustainability and energy efficiency led to the early adoption of LED lighting and energy efficient designs for modular inlet and hybrid tunnel barn ventilation. He has invested in solar power generation for his farms and processing facilities and intends to continue down the path to net zero. He regularly facilitates research trials at his facilities and frequently opens them up for tours through organizations such as Farm & Food Care Ontario and the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.

Bill has a well-earned reputation as a leader and innovator in the Ontario and Canadian egg and poultry industries. His leadership has helped motivate the industry to proactively adopt new science, new technology and new management techniques for continual improvement. He learns from industry leaders in the US and globally while attending meetings such as the International Egg Commission annual conferences. He often brings successful innovations back to Canada to incorporate in his businesses. He also has a passion for quality partnerships and works with hundreds of Ontario egg farmers to grade and market their eggs to Ontario retailers, supplying nearly half of the shell eggs to Ontario consumers.

Bill Gray has served as a role model for the Canadian and Ontario egg business, and he is unique in his generational knowledge and experience in the egg industry. He is an important addition to the list of inductees in the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.