Fred Longstaff was born in Colonsay, Saskatchewan in January 1922. As a young boy he was involved with the family ROP White Leghorn flock and also a turkey flock. The business moved to Saskatoon in 1932 and produced hatching eggs as well as table eggs for their egg route. Fire destroyed the farm and flock in 1938. In 1942, after a short time as a hospital orderly, Fred was persuaded to join his father, John F. Longstaff and brother Jack in starting Longstaff Electric Hatchery and officially starting his life long career in poultry. That fall Fred became a part-time employee of the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture, testing, selecting and approving poultry breeder flocks. This entailed considerable travel and advice to breeding flock owners.
Two young chick sexors from Winnipeg came to work in the Saskatoon area in the spring of 1946 and Fred was quick to recognize a good thing. Dolores Giesbrecht and Fred were married that July and have been in the feather business together ever since. Fred and Dolores moved to North Battleford in late 1949 and set up a hatchery there. The hatchery and family of four kept Dolores busy but Fred did this as well as the poultry field work and was a sales representative for Surge Dairy Equipment. Dolores kept both the family and the business going when he was on the road. Fred served the community by accepting leadership positions in various organizations and served as president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce, City Band, Curling Club and the Kennel Club. As the director of the Battlefords Agricultural Society, he promoted and took charge of the annual poultry and egg show. He served the hatchery industry as President of both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Hatchery Federations.
When a street closing limited the access to the hatchery in 1967, Fred and Dolores took a major career change. Fred accepted the challenge to become Secretary-Manager of the Saskatchewan Turkey Producers Marketing Board. In 1971 he accepted a dual role, becoming the Secretary-Manager of the Saskatchewan Commercial Egg Producers Marketing Board in addition to the turkey work. North Battleford lost a business and a family but the industry gained a mature, experienced and qualified spokesman. These qualifications have lent purpose, stability and perspective to turkey and egg deliberations all across Canada as Fred served as Chairman and member of numerous industry committees.
With twenty five years as a hatchery man, over twenty years as a poultry fieldman and twenty years as a Manager of Marketing Boards, Fred continues to serve the turkey industry as the Secretary-Manager today.
March 5, 1987