Dr. Daryl Frank Kraft was born on May 23, 1945 and grew up on the family cattle ranch southwest of Medicine Hat, Alberta. He attended Mount Royal College in Calgary. He and his wife, Myrna (Smith) moved to Winnipeg where he received his BSA (Hon.) from the University of Manitoba. He pursued his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Washington State University where the American Agricultural Economics Association recognized Daryl for excellence in research with the Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award in 1975. He returned to the University of Manitoba to join the Department of Agricultural Economics.
Daryl had a gift for clear analysis and his work encompassed a broad range of studies on rural real estate markets, agricultural production, various dimensions of agricultural policy and international trade.
He earned the trust and respect of farmers. Many of his recommendations to governments and industry formed an integral part in the development of agricultural policy and programs in Manitoba and Canada. Single desk marketing, safety nets, supply management, transportation, trade, farm subsidies, livestock and ethanol development are examples.
Daryl was an active member of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society and was named a fellow in 1999 in recognition of his excellence in research and public service. The University of Manitoba presented him with an outreach award for community service and extension activities.
Daryl was an outstanding teacher of undergraduate and graduate students. In 2003, he received the Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.
His services at the university included: Head of the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and member of the University Senate. With the support of the Co-operators Group, Agricore, Manitoba Pork, Federated Co-operatives and the Canadian Wheat Board, Daryl initiated the establishment of the Agribusiness Chair in Co-operatives and Group Marketing.
Daryl was extremely committed to public service. He was Chair of the Milk Prices Review Commission, a board member of the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, a member of the Special Regulatory Committee of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and served on the Co-ordinating Committee of Grain World. Earlier he served on the Agriculture Committee of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Cereal Processing Committee of Agriculture Canada.
As a cancer patient, Daryl made a significant contribution to cancer research in North America by participating in numerous clinical trials.
As a dedicated family man, Daryl’s work never outshone his deep love and devotion to his family: his wife, Myrna, son Dan, and daughter-in-law, Mya. He possessed a fine mind and came to be recognized as a man of sound and considered judgement. Daryl was admired and respected by all who knew him.