GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Richard Oram, a local farmer from Grand Falls-Windsor, was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame today at the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Along with a 33-year career working with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Agrifoods agency, Oram started a family farm in central Newfoundland over two decades ago.
Most people of the area recognize the name Mark’s Market, named after Oram’s eldest son. The market produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and is an extremely popular spot with a strawberry U-pick in the summer and a pumpkin patch in the fall.
Oram spoke with the Advertiser today from Truro after receiving the honour.
“I was kind of set back with finding out that I was selected. I am honored and humbled to be receiving it.”
Gerry Byrne, minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, congratulated Oram at the House of Assembly on Oct. 18.
“The Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of individuals to the agriculture industry in Atlantic Canada. Richard Oram’s distinguished career included working with this department for more than 30 years. He is well known for his work to establish a cranberry industry in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Byrne.
Oram was unaware he was nominated by the Cranberry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador until he received a letter in the mail a couple weeks ago stating he was selected as this year’s inductee from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Oram’s work in the cranberry industry transformed the berry industry in Newfoundland, according to the biography provided by Dalhousie University.
“The cranberry initiative began in 1996 as a modest attempt to evaluate varieties of cranberry…in order to provide adequate stock to farmers for large scale production in the spring, vast quantities of cranberry plugs were housed in the cooling facilities of Wooddale tree nursery through the winter.
“This innovative approach to cranberry production was a global first and was integrated into commercial research sites across the province, including Deadman’s Bay, the province’s flagship cranberry site and the location Dick was directly managing.”
Byrne said Oram continues to share his passion with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
“His local produce is helping expand the industry and boosting the local economy.”