Lorne Edmund Parker was born in Sanford, Manitoba in 1927. He attended school in Sanford, Union Point and Winnipeg. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, was Senior Stick and received the Gold Medal. In 1950 he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Lorne married Gwen Wilson in 1949. They farmed on river lots at Union Point (near Ste. Agathe), homesteaded by Lorne’s great grandfather. This land is still farmed by family members. Three daughters and one son were raised here. Lorne was recognized for his expertise in agricultural production in 1975, receiving the “Manitoba Farmer of the Year” award. Together the family developed a beautiful homestead where they hosted numerous national and international delegations. Lorne was active in his community, serving on the Ste. Agathe Pool Elevator Board, Domain Co-operative, Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, both local and Meridian Charge United Church boards and as a 4-H leader.
Lorne was a farm accounting instructor at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Manitoba and developed a course in agricultural marketing. He served on the Carman District Farm Business Association as board member and analyst and later with the Manitoba Farm Business Association. Provincially he was a President of the Manitoba Farm Bureau, an executive member of the Keystone Agricultural Producers and in 1988 a member of the Drought Review Committee.
Active in agricultural service at the national level, Lorne was Chairman of the Federal Farm Credit Appeal Board for 6 years and a member of the Canadian Wheat Board Advisory Committee for 15 years. He also served on the Agricultural Institute of Canada Free Trade Task Force Committee, Canada Deputy Minister of Agriculture Advisory Group, The Prairie Rail Action Committee 1977-79, Director of the Canada Grains Council and Council member of the Canada West Foundation.
Internationally, Lorne was a member of the grain marketing team to South East Asia in 1972, organized by the Palliser Wheat Growers Association, served on the Canadian International Development Agency’s wheat evaluation committee in Tanzania in 1977 and represented Canadian wheat growers at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade talks in Geneva in 1978. Lorne and Gwen hosted agricultural tours to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Egypt in the 1980’s.
Known by his peers for his “tenacity, principles and well researched positions” Lorne was recognized by the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Manitoba, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Cattle Producers Association and the Manitoba Farm Business Association with the presentation of a plaque in 1990 that reads “with respect and appreciation for his long-time commitment to improving the lives of farm families through active participation and selfless leadership in a variety of farm related organizations”.