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P.E.I. farmer Keith Barrett inducted into Agricultural Hall of Fame

Keith Barrett was nominated by the Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island for his contributions to his community and the dairy industry. (Submitted photo)
Keith Barrett was nominated by the Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island for his contributions to his community and the dairy industry. (Submitted photo)

TRURO, N.S. - A Prince Edward Island dairy farmer is among the latest inductees into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Keith Barrett, who is from Belmont Lot 16, was nominated by the Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island for his contributions to his community and the dairy industry.

At the age of 20, Barrett joined his father on the family farm, raising his Oceanbrae herd and building one of the most prosperous milking shorthorn herds in Canada.

According to the hall of fame citation, “His reputation for breeding high-quality cows is well known, and his breeding stock and embryos have achieved international demand.”

Barrett’s Oceanbrae herd was awarded master breeder recognition in 2008 and his breeding stock and embryos have achieved international demand.

Barrett is a past-president of the Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society as well as the Canadian Shorthorn Association. He was given the society’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010 and is an honorary life member.

“Diversification has been an important philosophy at Oceanbrae Farms,” states the citation. “What began as 165 acres of land has grown to a 600-acre farm, including land for potato, corn, mixed grain, forage, hay and pasture. For over 40 years, the farm produced Elite Seed Potatoes, and it still maintains a small cow-calf operation.”

Barrett has also contributed to Island agriculture through involvement with local boards and projects. In addition, he has provided leadership to his local 4-H group and his church. He was also the founder and director of P.E.I.’s first community pasture, Lot 16 Grasslands, and taught agricultural training courses in partnership with the provincial government and Holland College.

Barrett continues to be involved in his farm, assisting son Fred and grandson Matthew at busy times of year with their milking shorthorn and Jersey dairy herd as well as a cow-calf herd of primarily purebred Simmental beef cattle.

Barrett was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame in October along with David Dickinson of Nova Scotia, Dick Oram of Newfoundland and Labrador and Joseph Brennan of New Brunswick.

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