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April 21, 2024
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February 22, 2024

Heading to the Hall

Cider Pioneer Grant Howes will be taking his place in the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame
<p>The Late Grant Howes. (County Cider Co. photo)</p>
The Late Grant Howes. (County Cider Co. photo)

Cider Pioneer Grant Howes will be taking his place in the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame

A pioneering legend in the province’s booming craft cider industry will soon take a place in the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame.

The late Grant Howes of County Cider Company fame is part of a six-member class to be celebrated at the Hall’s home in Elora on June 9. Mr. Howes and his fellow members are hailed as leaders in Ontario agriculture.

At his orchard overlooking Waupoos, Mr. Howes was a visionary in apple growing, and specifically, cider production, at a time when Ontario craft ciders were virtually non-existent.

Mr. Howes helped change that landscape, pioneering innovative practices and technologies. He investigated and experimented with various varieties of apples to develop cider orchards that enhanced productivity and sustainability within the burgeoning industry.

Jenifer Dean nominated Mr. Howes for the Hall and said she was thrilled but not surprised to learn of his induction.

“It took some effort to get the nomination together, but it was the letters of support I received that made me realize it could actually happen,” she said.

Ms. Dean noted The Hon. Todd Smith, The Hon. Lyle VanClief, Nick Sutcliffe of Pommies Cider Co., the Ontario Apple Growers and Monica Alyea were kind and generous in their letters of praise of her late partner.

Mr. Howes became a vocal advocate for Ontario apple growing at the local and provincial levels. As the provincial craft cider sector grew, he mentored scores of apple growers, and was always eager to share information. His commitment to collaboration led to the establishment of the Ontario Craft Cider Association, of which he was a founding member. He was also a founding member of Fruit Wines of Ontario, and the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association.

“I am certain Grant would be pleased at the way the Ontario Craft Cider industry has expanded in the past seven years” Ms. Dean added. “He would still want us to be fighting for fair taxation and recognition of the industry as a whole. I’m not sure how he would have weathered the Covid years, but I know he would be proud of the fact that County Cider continues to entertain and serve the thousands of people who visit our farm each season. We will continue to champion the Ontario craft cider industry in his spirit.”

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