2017 Woman of Excellence in Agriculture Award

Woman of Excellence in Agriculture 2017.jpg

Pictured (L-R): Glenna Smith (FWIO Board Director), Charlie Johnstone

(RAWF CEO), Linda Zelem (FWIO President), Shelley Barfoot-O’Neill

and Sherri Griffiths (BMO). Photo courtesy of the RAWF.


Since 1996, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario have recognized the significant contributions made by women in agriculture at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF) by presenting them with the prestigious Woman of Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The members and leaders of the Wiarton 4-H Clubs nominated Shelley Barfoot-O’Neill for the 2017 Woman of Excellence in Agriculture Award. Shelley has held multiple roles in her local 4-H association and, over the last 30 years, has led approximately 70 clubs.

Shelley is more than a 4-H Leader; she is a mentor, cheerleader, coach, confidant and volunteer extraordinaire. She encourages everyone to live the motto “Learn to Do by Doing”, but also to take a leadership role in the club and community. She leads by example, giving of her time freely. Shelley and her family’s days off are dedicated to her 4-H volunteering and encouraging people to be great citizens and leaders in everything they do.

Today’s agriculture industry calls on mentors and leaders who are capable of working in harmony with others and who are able to collaborate, innovate and inspire. It is these qualities and skills that Shelley brings to every project that she undertakes. Shelley’s passion for the 4-H program allows her to be an outstanding leader and promoter of the agriculture industry.

When Shelley is not involved with her countless 4-H activities, she is a volunteer with the Wiarton Agricultural Society and the Grey County Holstein Club, as well as showing cattle and sheep at many shows in Ontario. In the last 4 years, she has been a valuable member of the RAWF Junior Sheep committee. Shelley is also involved with the Wiarton Rotary Village Fair

and Clavering United Church. She has 2 sons and 5 grandsons who also keep her busy.

Shelley received her award from FWIO and the Bank of Montreal (BMO) at the RAWF in Toronto on November 11, 2017.

Congratulations to a very deserving Woman of Excellence!