Jas. C. Bartlett

The late James (Jim) Bartlett was an agribusiness pioneer who made tremendous gains for the Canadian horticulture industry throughout his career with N.M. Bartlett Inc.

Born into the family business in the Niagara region of Ontario – the heart of horticultural production – Jim worked alongside his father Norman. What began as Ontario-based Bartlett Spray Works Company, blossomed under Jims’ leadership to become N.M. Bartlett – the only national horticultural crop protection distributor in Canada.

Taking over day-to-day operations in the early 1960s, Jim worked his way through the business, serving as president for 17 years until his retirement in 1987. Under his leadership, Jim saw the company through successful expansions that brought the next generations into the business. From its regional roots, the Bartlett business expanded into Atlantic Canada in the 1960s and to the west coast in the 1970s. A national team of company representatives and nation-wide distribution were added to the business.

With a lifetime dedicated to expanding the horticultural sector in Canada, Jim spent considerable time and effort working for effective policy. He advocated tirelessly on behalf of the industry to the federal government on issues of cross border importation. He championed the first minor use registration of pesticides program in Canada in 1977 to help keep Canadian horticultural growers competitive. He was also an early promoter of the need for federal help to bring new crop protection products to the small acre crops that make up the diverse horticulture industry in Canada.

Jim served as chair of the national organization now known as CropLife Canada and was involved in the creation of the CropLife Ontario Council – working to balance the interests of the industry with the interests of society.

He was an active member of a group that brought the first Ontario horticultural conference in Toronto. Today that annual event is known as the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention and Jim’s grandson, Matt Peters, is the current president. He’s one of eight grandchildren that represent the fourth generation in the Bartlett family business.

Jim brought the same passion to his volunteer work on municipal council, local fundraising and as a deacon with the Baptist church. Jim and his wife Rheta participated in the recognition of the awards presented by the Niagara Region as Entrepreneur of the Year for a Family Business, and Outstanding Business Achievement by the local Chamber of Commerce.  

Jim was a visionary, passionate advocate and respected voice in Canadian agriculture. He leaves a lasting legacy in a family business that continues to have a positive impact on Canadian horticulture. Jim passed away in 2011, one year shy of the founding business, now Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc., celebrating 100 years.

Nominated By:
  • Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc.