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Vern McNair

Vern McNair, 91, on Mar. 11. Raised on a farm near Shoal Lake, MB, McNair was a pioneer in Canadian farm broadcasting. Starting his career as an ag rep with Manitoba Agriculture in Carberry, McNair joined CBC Winnipeg in 1955. Among the television programs he worked on were Country Calendar, which later became Country Canada, and weekly show FarmScene. On the radio side, the Country Comment series saw five-minute information briefs aired by nine radio stations across the province. McNair returned to Manitoba Agriculture in 1959 to develop the department’s radio and television strategy. Under his leadership, Canada’s first electronic distance education short course for farmers, This Business of Farming, was developed in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture, CBC and Manitoba Agriculture. He went on to become Chief of Information Services and then Director of Communication Services, retiring in 1989. McNair was inducted into the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2013.


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