Ralph was born June 25, 1929, one of a farm family of seven, on a truly mixed farm north of Riding Mountain Park in Manitoba. There was dairy, hogs and poultry as well as grain. He was educated in Gilbert Plains and took high school at Grandview. Later he studied General Agriculture at the United College in Winnipeg.
His first job was with Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-op. By age 21 he was Manager of the Swan River Branch and handled New York dressed poultry as well as egg grading. The poultry was gathered and shipped to larger centers in Canada and the United States.
In 1956, he joined Alberta Poultry Marketers Ltd. For the next eight years he was responsible for 40 egg grading stations and poultry killing plants all over Alberta. He was supervisor of product quality and procurement, hired key personnel and supervisor of maintenance. In 1964 he became General Manager of the Alberta Poultry Marketers, Lethbridge division. Here, turkey and broiler chickens were eviscerated, packaged and sold. During his twelve years, plant production increased from 3 to 14 million pounds annually.
He returned to his native Manitoba in 1976 for a year as the General Manager of the Manitoba Egg Producers Marketing Board. He was able to get the producer levy reduced, divest the Board of unprofitable ventures and steer the Board in a successful direction. He also was Director to C.E.M.A. and helped to establish the Federal-Provincial agreement.
Ralph returned to Alberta to work for Lilydale Co-operative in Edmonton. A year later he returned to Manitoba as the Chief Executive Officer for Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-op Ltd. He now had 500 employees and responsibility for manufacturing and sales of dairy and poultry products. Many needed improvements were made and company revenue increased from $600,000 to $2,300,000 in 4 years.
In August 1980, Plains Poultry Ltd. of Wynyard, Saskatchewan was successful in hiring Ralph as its General Manager. The company was struggling with continuing losses and needed one who could turn the place around. In the twelve years he managed the business, he did just that. Always keen on product quality, Ralph saw to it that product leaving the plant took second to none in North America. The producers of the province also get some credit as their total cooperation was a helpful factor.
While turning the company around, he also made sure that earnings were used for equipment upgrading, hatchery improvement and relocation as well as expansion and the purchase of additional facilities. Shareholders and the Saskatchewan poultry industry have both been winners.
During his career, Ralph served as a Director of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Egg and Poultry Associations as well as the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council. He also served as President of this Council in 1987 and 1988.
Ralph and his wife, Fay, now spend their summers in a home overlooking the ‘Links Golf and Country Club’ in Spruce Grove, Alberta. They winter within a few blocks of several golf courses in Sun City, Arizona. Golf and his ‘Licensed’ golf cart predominate but he was also a curler and cross-country ski enthusiast. He still delights in watching others play hockey or work on their lawns and gardens.
We wish Ralph and Fay well in retirement.