“I’ve never had time for a hobby” is a statement that aptly describes the life of business and service for Lloyd Crawford of Wynyard, Saskatchewan. He is now “semi-retired” which means he is free of the day to day strain of operating Crawford Foods Ltd., now under the capable direction of his only son, Gerry. He is free to develop new ideas or new companies, such as the rendering plant which is experimenting with poultry manure as feed or fertilizer. He can take an unhurried look at refrigeration and processing equipment at Regina, with a view to placing it in the Wynyard plant which annually sells in excess of seven million pounds of poultry and poultry products. He can watch with interest the growth of Kelliher Creamery and Hatchery Ltd. which he bought in 1945. It is now dedicated solely to the hatching of over 1,500,000 broiler chicks annually, and was incorporated in 1964 under the presidency of Jerry Novak, currently president for a second term of the Saskatchewan Hatchery Association. The hatchery has been rebuilt after a fire and now boasts three Big-J’s (232,000 setting capacity) with further expansion planned.
While Lloyd has been watching his own business growth, he has not neglected his duties as a private citizen. He served a number of terms as overseer (mayor) of the village of Kelliher and in 1964 was elected to a two-year term as Mayor of Wynyard. It was his job as Mayor to fulfill the wishes of the people in erecting a $400,000 Civic Centre which includes a firehall, town office, police station, library, auditorium and meeting areas. The plaque he received after his term was up, which recognized his contribution to civic matters, is but one of several he has received during recent years.
He was honored by the Saskatchewan Retail Merchants Association for distinguished service. He was honored by the Saskatchewan Poultry Council with an Award of Merit. And the Saskatchewan Turkey Association elevated him to the rank of Chief Turkey Strut at the 1968 turkey conference at Yorkton.
Born Near Brandon: Lloyd was born on a farm about 11 miles outside Brandon, Manitoba. His father arrived from Scotland in 1879 to homestead on a ¾ section of land where he took up mixed farming. After high school, and working four years on the farm, Lloyd attended Brandon College, which then was a Baptist institution, and affiliated with the University of McMaster. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. Because the College became affiliated with the University of Manitoba in the 1930’s, Lloyd’s daughter, Katherine, who holds the same degree from Brandon College, is actually a graduate of the U. of M. While Lloyd was attending College he met Margaret Woodhull Forrest who was studying piano and working toward her ATCM. They were married in 1930. They have three children, all married: Gerry, Katherine and Elizabeth, and 13 grandchildren.
Lloyd taught for awhile in a business college, but went to work for Central Sales Company in Winnipeg which came into being as a result of poultry pools being organized across the West. This company consisted of the Manitoba Egg and Poultry Co-operative, Saskatchewan Poultry Pool Ltd., Alberta Poultry Pool Ltd., and B.C. Egg and Poultry Co-Op Association. The object was to pool egg and poultry products and sell them through a central agency. By this means, in 1930, seven million dozen eggs moved east from B.C. Frozen New York Dressed Poultry often was assembled in all points over the country and carloads were shipped from Winnipeg to London, England.
By 1933, the B.C. group folded, followed shortly by Alberta. The Manitoba and Saskatchewan Co-Ops continued to operate through the company which maintained offices in Winnipeg and Montreal and worked through brokerage agencies on other markets. Eventually the company’s assets were liquidated, but at one stage in its more active years, it was operated by the late W. A. Landreth, father of Wally Landreth, presently secretary-manager of the Alberta Turkey and Broiler Chicken Marketing Boards, who succeeded to the same post. Lloyd, who was made secretary-treasurer of the company in 1939, used to organize buying and grading crews during the Second World War and these men, accompanied by a co-op grader and federal government inspector, would buy, grade, pack and load NYD at certain poultry points. “My job was to direct shipments from country points to their destination,” says Lloyd. “The turkey season was very short. It never opened until the third week in November and closed the third week in December. We found that 25 degrees was the right temperature for shipping frozen New York Dressed poultry.”
While turkey provided the largest tonnage and was bought in the Fall, Lloyd recalls that a fair amount of roasting chicken was available at country points. “Our company is scrambling now to organize growing units we see coming up. This growth will take two to three years to level off. Over the years, we have set up a number of men in growing units. Our policy is that the man must put in some money as well so that if he makes a mess, he gets hurt, too.”
Naturally as a grower and processor, Lloyd has been vitally interested in the operation of both the Saskatchewan Broiler Chicken Marketing Board and the Saskatchewan Turkey Marketing Board.
Mr. Lloyd Crawford is a Manitoban by birth, being born and raised on a farm near Chater, in the Brandon district. He attended Brandon College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. His wife, the former Margaret Forest, was also a graduate from the Brandon College. Following graduation, he instructed for a time at the College and, in 1929, accepted a position with the Manitoba Poultry Sales Limited of Winnipeg, where he became Secretary-Treasurer and was also in charge of sales.
In 1945 Lloyd decided to go into business for himself and purchased an egg buying station at Kelliher, Saskatchewan, later known as Kelliher Creamery. A small killing room was added in 1947 and gradually modernized to include a scalding operation and a rotary drum picker. This experience alerted him to the possibilities in the poultry business and, in 1958, he and his son, Gerry, moved to Wynyard where they bought out a garage and converted it to a poultry eviscerating station and also converted the old C.P.R. roundhouse into a broiler plant. The latter was replaced by a rather extensive plant in 1965 and the roundhouse was used for brooding turkey poults.
With the advancement in the Industry, Mr. Crawford has expanded and improved his operations and “Sunnyland” products grown and processed by his firm have won renown for their uniform high quality. This is indicative of Lloyd Crawford’s enterprising and business ability through which much has been accomplished in promoting the Poultry Industry area-wise and in the province which has also had its effect Dominion-wide. This is borne out by his trip to Japan last year where he studied their operations and investigated the market prospects.
Because of his extensive experience in the poultry business, Mr. Crawford has served in many capacities, having represented the Western Canada Produce Association at the Canadian Produce Council in Ottawa on numerous occasions and as director in the Poultry Products Institute of Canada. His services as an entertaining and informative speaker are also much in demand, which could account for his many activities in community affairs. While at Kelliher, he was on the village council and the Chamber of Commerce, latterly as president. He was also Master of the Masonic Lodge and held various offices on the Board of Stewards and Session for the United Church, both at Kelliher and Wynyard. As President of the Wynyard Chamber of Commerce, he was instrumental in launching the first district 4-H fair ever to be held in the province. During his term as mayor of the town of Wynyard in 1965 and 1966, one of the major projects completed was building the Wynyard Civic Centre, considered to be an outstanding venture for a town that size.
Because of Mr. Crawford’s leadership, inspiration and zeal within the Poultry Industry, was well as in outside activities, it is our pleasure to honor him at this time for these achievements.