Douglas Allan Smith, the son of Wilfred and Lillian (Tolton) Smith, was born March 22, 1922 on the family farm north of Oak Lake. The Smith family had settled in the St. David’s District north of Oak Lake, Manitoba in 1882.
During his teens, Doug won the Grand Aggregate Judging of all classes of livestock at the provincial level at the Brandon Fair.
Doug joined the R.C.A.F. in 1943, graduating as a Pilot Officer in 1945. At the close of the war, Doug married Shirley Thompson. They commenced their farming career at this time. They have four children, Gerald, Janice, Jo-Anne and Sally.
Doug was a breeder and producer of purebred Yorkshire swine for twenty years. His “Veterans Pride” stock provided excellent competition in the show rings of local fairs, including the Brandon Exhibition, Regina and Saskatoon Fairs. During his term as president of the Manitoba Swine Breeders’ Association in 1959, “The All Canada Show” was staged. The show was a prestigious and educational event featuring swine from Prince Edward Island to Alberta. He was actively involved in the Record of Performance (R.O.P.) program and his advice in swine production and marketing was often sought. He was an innovator in the beef industry by housing cattle outdoors.
Production of seed grain was also a part of Doug’s farming operation. He became an Elite Seed Grower early in his career and cultivated seed plots of hard red spring wheat, durum, oats, barley and canola. In 2000, he was awarded the 50 year pin from the Manitoba Seed Growers Association.
Doug served as president of the Oak Lake Agricultural Society for two years and was a director for many years. He was an area representative on the Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies Board. He was elected to the board of the Brandon Keystone Centre in 1979 for a four-year term. The Smith family often hosted 4-H tours and the University of Manitoba Diploma students’ educational tour.
In his community, Doug served as chairman of the local Hagyard School Board. He served in different capacities on the rural St. David’s United Church Board and in later years, was a board and choir member of the Oak Lake United Church. He is an active member of the Oak Lake Legion.
Doug’s knowledge, logic and common sense attitude towards the agricultural industry in general have benefited his fellow producers.