"Castleton Farm Couple inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame at Farmtown Park" Cramahe Now, September 2019 online news article
- Sue Dickens, author ; Marion McComb, photographs
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- Castleton Farm Couple inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame at Farmtown Park
Lisa Meekes, of the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame Committee, presented the award to Shirley & Marvin McComb
Marvin and Shirley McComb Farmed in the Castleton area
Stirling – Marvin and Shirley McComb were inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame at Farmtown Park on September 15, 2019. This was the 14th annual induction ceremony.
“Shirley & Marvin were pleased to receive the honour. I think that they were surprised by the nomination as they are not ones who look for accolades for what they have done,” said Marion McComb of Castleton. Marvin and Shirley are the parents of her husband Bob.
“Bob and I and the family members are proud that they were inducted into the Wall of Fame as we felt that they were very deserving of this honour,” she added.
“We would like to thank the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture and the Northumberland Cattlemen’s Association for nominating them for this honour. Thank you to the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame Committee for choosing them to receive this honour.”
The Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame is in the Dairy Building at Farmtown Park. It recognizes agricultural and food leaders in the Counties of Northumberland, Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox and Addington.
The objective of the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame is to formally and publicly recognize the individuals in the Quinte area who have made an outstanding contribution to the agriculture and food industry at the local, provincial and/or national level. A photo and history of the individual’s achievements are placed on the “Wall of Fame”.
Shirley said, “It was really exciting,” when they learned about being inducted into the Wall of Fame.
The couple is now retired from farming and live on a smaller farm about two miles from the family farm, called Combview Farms Ltd., which is now owned by their son Bob and his wife Marion and grandson Matthew and his wife Shannon.
Matthew is the 5th generation of the McComb family on the farm.
Marvin’s grandfather bought the farm in 1904. “The farm came down the line from Marvin’s grandfather to his uncle (Alex). We bought it from Alex,” said Shirley.
Reminiscing about their life together, Marvin, who is 85, and Shirley, who is 83, talked with Trent Hills Now about what they enjoyed.
“I liked the livestock,” said Marvin. Now that he is retired he said with a chuckle, “I wonder what to do.”
Shirley added with a grin, “Marvin likes to drive tractor if there’s any tractor driving to do.” Shirley loves to play cards in her retirement.
They also get to enjoy their three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
One of their grandchildren, Evan, (Matthew and Shannon’s child) is 2 ½ years old. It looks like he might be a candidate for farming.
“He has his little shovel at the barn when there with his grandfather,” said Shirley with a grin.
“We’ve been farmers all our life. It’s a way of life, you can’t compare it to anything,” said Shirley. “You can be outside, you are with the animals, you see the crops you are growing, it’s just a way of life that you enjoy.”
Shirley taught school for a while and that helped them buy the farm in the first place. “I did a lot of gardening and we put up our own food for the winter. We loved the life we led. It was a perfect life to lead.”
Both of them “did their part” with the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture” each taking on the role of president at separate times, which meant they were also directors of the organization in Toronto.
They were members of the Northumberland Cattlemen’s Association too.
“Now we’re still members of both that don’t work too hard,” said Marvin with a chuckle.
But something else they enjoyed was playing ball.
“I played for Grafton and Brighton and Morganston had their own girls’ ball team,” said Shirley with enthusiasm.
“I started when I was 12 and finished when I was 50,” she added.
“I remember I had to lay down the law so I had to say I could leave the barn at 6:30 so I could play at 7 p.m.” she said with a laugh.
Marvin also played ball in Morganston. “We had our own team. I also later played with Warkworth.” He didn’t play ball quite as long as his wife.
Lisa Meekes, a member of the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame Committee, presented the award to Shirley and Marvin at the induction ceremony.
David Piccini, MPP of Northumberland-Peterborough South presented a certificate of congratulations.
A representative of MP Kim Rudd’s office presented congratulations as well.
Marvin and Shirley McComb’s photo and information on display at Wall of Fame
More Background on Marvin and Shirley:
Marvin was a member of the Dairy Producer’s Committee and chair in the 1980’s. He was a DHI Director and was on the steering committee for the transition from ROP to DHI.
As mentioned he is a past president of the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture and was a director until 2018. He was also on the board of the Warkworth Co-op, a Jaycee member. He was a Councillor in Cramahe Township and is a member of two cemetery boards.
Shirley was twice the Northumberland Dairy Princess and then the program coordinator. In addition to teaching at various elementary schools she was heavily involved in the farm. She, too, was a director of the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture and is a past president. She was also co-chair of the Cramahe Economic Development Committee. Shirley was also appointed to the Debt Review Committee for Ontario.
Both Shirley and Marvin were founding members of the Rural Ramble Farm Tour. They hosted several farm tours and Rural Ramble Tours.
They were also both board members of Morganston United Church and St. Paul’s United Church in Warkworth and Shirley is a member of the UCW and was a Past President.
Marvin was awarded for his years of service to the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture and received the Jaycee Volunteer Recognition Award.
Both Shirley and Marvin have received municipal volunteer awards.
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