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Atkinson, Robert Roy (1924–)

Roy Atkinson is an activist farmer who has devoted a major part of his life to lobbying governments and providing leadership in the Canadian farm movement. He was born on February 17, 1924, in the Springwater-Landis area on a farm his grandfather had homesteaded in 1905. Atkinson was president of the Saskatchewan Farmers Union from 1962 to 1969, and president of the National Farmers Union from 1969 to 1978. He served on the Economic Council of Canada in 1966 and 1967, for eight years was a member of the Canadian Council for Rural Development, and served on the board of directors of Federated Co-operatives Ltd. Atkinson was a member of the Canadian Wheat Board Advisory Committee from 1965 until 1994, and its chair from 1980 to 1985. From 1985 to 1994 he served as an elected Saskatchewan Wheat Pool delegate. From 1998 until 2001 he served as co-chair of Prairie Alliance for the Future, a western Canadian organization dedicated to creating a regional grain collection and Transportation system. Atkinson brought a new dimension to farm lobbying, using public demonstrations to attract wide attention to the causes he was advancing. His objective was to improve the economics of Farming, and he worked to ensure the continuation of the family farm as a way of life in western Canada. In 1990 he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame, and in 2002 was invested into the Order of Canada.

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