Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Noted vegetable breeder passes away


September 5, 2008
By Marg Land


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September 5, 2008, Simcoe, Ont. –
Dr. Ernest “Ernie” A. Kerr, considered one of the most successful
vegetable breeders in Canada, passed away August 30 at Norfolk Hospital
Nursing Home in Simcoe, Ont. He was 91.

September 5, 2008, Simcoe, Ont. – Dr. Ernest “Ernie” A. Kerr, considered one of the most successful vegetable breeders in Canada, passed away August 30 at Norfolk Hospital Nursing Home in Simcoe, Ont. He was 91.

Born in Wellington County, Dr. Kerr spent a major part of his professional career as a plant breeder at the Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario in Vineland, Ont. He transferred to the Simcoe Research Station in the 1970s. He is best known for his work breeding and developing tomatoes and sweet corn varieties.

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He retired from public service in the early 1980s and became Stokes Seeds’ first research director. He concentrated on consumer acceptance of varieties by improving the taste of tomato, sweet corn and sweet pepper cultivars. He also developed cold tolerant and insect-repelling varieties.

Dr. Kerr served as the former president of the Niagara branch of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists and was an active member of the Long Point branch. He was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2001.


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