Wally Nelson, farm leader and long-time owner of Nelson Motors & Equipment, passed away

A well-known farm leader passed away.

Wally Nelson passed away on the weekend, after a lengthy business career in Avonlea. He was 95.

His son, Bill Nelson, says a key characteristic Wally had was tenacity.

“He had a saying: ‘You never lose anything unless you give up, and there’s a solution for every problem and if you haven’t found it yet you’re looking in the wrong place’” Bill said of his father’s philosophy.

“Those were pretty profound things for a young guy to learn early in his life because I used that all my life.”

Bill says his father always had a passion for agriculture and got into the business side of it, working at John Deere dealerships before purchasing Armstrong Motors in Avonlea in 1959 and re-branding as Nelson Motors & Equipment.

Wally was also the founding president of Palliser Wheat Growers, which became the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

He was also inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2015.

When asked what Wally’s legacy would be, Bill answered his dad was a people person.

“He really liked to help the underdog,” Bill added. “Back in the 60s nobody had money, and somebody would come in that dad didn’t hardly know. When they needed something, whether it was parts or machinery, he would make sure they went home with it whether they had the money or not.”

“The people really respected him for giving them a chance…so he really built a huge, loyal customer base based on that, because he was the guy that would help you, and that’s his biggest legacy.”

“If you asked an older farmer what he remembers about my dad, it would be that: a man you can trust and a man who would help you when you needed it.”

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