On July 3, 2012, the OCA and Lambton communities lost a valued member with the passing of an OCA Past President, Tony Noorloos. Tony had many attributes that are part of his legacy.
Christian Faith. Tony was a key member and supporter of his local church community. When demand emerged for a new church in his community Tony was a key catalyst in translating that interest into a new building to serve the community’s needs. He made a specific effort to assure that his six children, 28 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren shared his faith as an important part of their lives. Besides witnessing his faith in his busy weekly work activities, Tony always valued time for church involvement.
Respect. Tony showed great respect for others and as a result earned respect from people in the community. He always valued the perspective of other beef producers, even if their approach differed from his own. His feedlot was always open and welcomed many visitors ranging from Cattlemen’s bus trips to politicians to seniors to school children. Despite many other time commitments, Tony and his family always shared their time and welcomed visitors.
Work Ethic. One of Tony’s most notable characteristics was his work ethic, exemplified by his long hours committed to his farm and feedlots. At a time when others might be considering retirement, Tony still demonstrated a strong example in his work habits towards which others could aspire. From the time he arrived in Southwestern Ontario as an 18-year-old immigrant from Holland, Tony pursued his dream of an active and vibrant farming operation. From his start in the sugar beet and seed corn fields through farm labour on local livestock farms and evening work in a local industrial factory, Tony never lost sight of his goal. In many cases, piecework allowed him to be rewarded financially for his noted work ethic. That work ethic helped translate his modest beginning in farming into the large and viable beef and cropping operation that currently exists.
Innovation. Tony was always at the leading edge of production technologies. Balanced rations, feed storage and handling, marketing, equipment and animal husbandry are some of the areas that hold many examples of Tony’s innovations.
Association Work. Tony followed in the footsteps of one of his early mentors, Lawrence Markusse, in getting involved with the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association. He served on the OCA board from 1976 to 1985, was OCA president in 1982 and a member of the OCA Executive Committee from 1977 to 1983. He also served on the Board of Canadian Cattlemen’s Association from 1980 to 1982. Tony’s involvement at OCA was during difficult times – wage and price controls in the mid-1970s, high inflation in the late 1970s, interest rates in excess of 20% in the early 1980s and the aftermath of debt problems through most of that decade. His work ethic, integrity and commitment to a market-driven beef business helped to shape the years in the Ontario beef sector that followed.
Sharing for the Collective Good. Tony was continually eager to share his knowledge and interests with other producers. His role as a key player in Lambton Cattlemen and the OCA was a classic example. Lambton Future Feeders, a group of 50 Lambton beef feeders who contributed to on-farm feeding trials enjoyed the benefits of his input and support. From his initial efforts to attend the Michigan State University beef short courses, the event has grown into one that attracts several American presenters to bring their latest beef production right to Lambton County each year for a large number of interested beef producers.
Building Relationships. Tony created many lasting personal relationships in his business and personal life. Cattle buyers, feed companies, transporters, input suppliers and packers all know that he valued service and integrity above costs. His word was golden with them and his customer loyalty was strong.
Tony will be greatly missed by all those who knew him, but the large and active beef and cropping operations involving his spouse Tena, sons John and Al, their spouses Margaret and Marlene and the next generation assure that his legacy and values will live on.
- Very involved with re-birth of sugar beet production in Lambton County
- Dedicated member of his church community
- Passed on love of farming to sons John and Alfred, who are also very respected among fellow cattle producers
Contributions to Cattlemen Associations
- Lambton Cattlemen director for many years and County President in 1974
- Participated in Lambton Future Feeders, which involved feeding trials with local farmers
- Hosted many visits to his beef feedlot over the years, including groups and schoolchildren
- Attended Michigan State University beef short courses and helped bring the courses to Lambton County
- Provincial Director 1976-1986 for Lambton
- Hosted feedlot demonstration day in 1976 for County producers
- Served on Ontario Board from 1976-1985
- One of two Lambton County residents to become an OCA President in 1982
- OCA Executive Committee from 1977-1983
- Served on Canadian Cattlemen’s Association from 1980-1982
- Well known and respected by fellow producers, cattle buyers, feed companies, transporters, input suppliers and packers