Few Canadians have occupied as many prominent positions in agriculture as the late W.J. Parker.
Among the many offices that he filled with distinction were the following: president, Manitoba Pool Elevators (1940-1968;) vice-president, Canadian Co-Operative Wheat Producers Limited (1942-1968;) vice-president, Canadian Federation of Agriculture (1941-1963;) member, National Agricultural Advisory Committee (1944-1957;) member, board of governors, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1944-1947;) member, board of governors, Canadian National Railways (1949-1959;) and many others.
Mr. Parker was one of the Canadian delegates to the organizational meeting of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (1947), an organization representing 35-million farmers throughout the world, and eventually served as chairman of its marketing committee. Because of his knowledge of agricultural conditions in various countries, he was called upon to serve as advisor to Canada’s delegation to the first Food and Agriculture Organization conference, held in Quebec City in 1945, and to the Canadian government in matters pertaining to the negotiation of international wheat agreements during the 1950s and 1960s.
Despite his deep involvement in international affairs, his primary interest was associated with the operations of the Manitoba Pool Elevators, where as president, he played a vital role in the development of this co-operative into an outstanding marketing and service organization.
In recognition of his many contributions to agriculture, Mr. Parker was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1946 and a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada (FAIC) in the same year. In 1950, he received a Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from the University of Manitoba, and in 1970 a Medal of Service of the Order of Canada.