Drainage Contractor

LICO members granted honorary life memberships

April 19, 2016  By Drainage Contractor administrator

Two members of the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario (LICO) were named honorary life members of the association at the 58th annual LICO convention, in recognition for their work in the Ontario farm drainage industry.

Matt Williams, LICO president, named Kenneth R. McCutcheon and Bob McIntosh honorary life members for their distinguished service.

After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a mechanical engineer, Ken McCutcheon started his drainage business in 1977. He was very active in design and installation of tile drainage systems all over Middlesex and surrounding counties, and built a reputation as a competent and dependable contractor.

Between 1988 and 1994, McCutcheon was a field co-ordinator for a CIDA project in Egypt. He supervised the production performance of Canadian-built drainage machinery and provided on-site training for machine operators. He provided advice on how to increase installation rates on the Egyptian project.


In 1994, McCutcheon branched out, opening an office in Portage la Prairie, MB. For the next 12 years he designed and installed drainage works in the Red River Valley, while simultaneously maintaining his Thorndale business. He also did work in Alberta for the St. Mary’s Irrigation Project, providing drainage alongside a large irrigation pond and desalination of the groundwater in the area. McCutcheon also worked on various research projects in Manitoba and northern and southwestern Ontario.

McCutcheon represented LICO on committees writing the Best Management Practices book for agricultural drainage and the committee investigating the environmental impact of agricultural drainage. McCutcheon served on the board of directors from 1983 through 1986, holding the office of president for 1984 and 1985.

Bob McIntosh started his drainage career in 1973 as a youngster working for the Big “O” when grade was controlled with grade stakes and surveying or tilting the level to set a line of stakes. Bob’s job was selling trenchers with Laserplane systems for grade control. He was influential in getting laser technology adopted by Ontario farm drainage contractors – it was already widespread in the construction industry but new to drainage requirements. It soon became obvious that the system needed a method to compensate for situations where the machine wheel tilted when going over rough ground and around tight corners.

McIntosh, with his partner Tony Deboer, convinced Laserplane to develop a tilt angle compensator to address those concerns. They did much of the field testing on the technology before it was introduced for wide distribution. This resulted in dramatic increases in productivity for tile contractors. As technology changed, so did the equipment McIntosh offered to contractors. He sold the first analog control system for drainage. Without the work McIntosh did in promotion of electronic grade control, tile contracting in Ontario would not be as advanced and as efficient as it is today.

McIntosh served on the LICO board of directors from 1987 through 1989, holding the office of president in 1989.

LICO is proud to recognize McCutcheon and McIntosh’s contributions to the farm drainage industry by presenting them with the highest award of the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario.

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