Thomas Edwin Hays

Tom Hays, with his brother Harry, founded Hays Farms International Ltd., and became one of Canada’s foremost exporters and sales managers of quality livestock. His energy, salesmanship, and willingness to take risks in using novel methods opened and developed markets for Canadian purebred livestock in over 20 countries.

Tom was the first to ship purebred stock to Great Britain, reversing a trend of the past century. In 1946, he became the first to ship cattle by air when he organized a shipment of eight bulls to Cuba.

Tom Hays was one of the strongest promoters of Canadian Holstein cattle, making these Holsteins the finest in the world. He regularly sponsored several Ontario exhibits to the International Dairy Show in Chicago. Tom’s sale management skills were evident in the number of large herd dispersals, which he conducted. In addition, his annual Sale of Stars at major shows drew buyers from around the world and returned millions of dollars to Canadian livestock breeders.

In 1956, Tom exhibited cattle at the International Livestock Show in the Dominican Republic, and brought home many trophies. This, in turn, opened up the South American market for Canadian livestock.

An internationally acclaimed judge of livestock, he was also a noted trainer and racer of standardbred and thoroughbred horses, and a lover of fine flowers. His farm near Oakville was frequently used by 4-H and many other farm groups, and his generosity in support of stock shows and farm organizations was well known throughout Canada.

Because of his faith in youth, he founded the Scotia Bank Contact Hays Classic, a 4-H all-breed dairy calf show.

Nominated By:
  • John Edward Calvert