J. Harvey Gjesdal is a seed grower on 1000 acres at Birch Hills, in the parkbelt area of northern Saskatchewan. He commenced production of pedigreed seed in 1947 and has set an enviable record of successful production on 175 fields, producing 12 different kinds of crops and 53 varieties. He has received numerous honours from the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, on which he served as National Director for eight years. He was elected a Robertson Associate in 1981, which is the highest award bestowed by the CSGA.
Mr. Gjesdal also achieved prominence as an inventor, and was regarded as a mechanical genius. In 1948 he developed and patented a prototype rotary snow plough, several thousand of which have been since produced and are used throughout Canada and the United States of America for snow removal from city streets, highways, and railroads. In 1979 he designed and patented the Gjesdal Five-In-One rotary seed cleaner, now used throughout North American and several other countries, including the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe. He also designed a variety of other agricultural implements, as well as portable cleaners for blueberries and cleaners for wild rice.
Mr. Gjesdal’s fertile mind served his community in a variety of capacities. He was reeve of Birch Hills municipality for eight years, and director of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. He was president of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association and director on the national Board for eight years. As an advisor, he served several government bodies, and the University of Saskatchewan. Starting in 1976, he was a biweekly contributor to Grainews (a publication of United Grain Growers).