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Animal Science at McGill: 50 years and counting… History and Personal Reflections by Eugene Donefer, Bruce Downey, Sherman Touchburn, and Kevin Wade.

Yearbook Photo 2010-11: The 50th Anniversary of the Department of Animal Science (Credit: MCSS)

Dedicated to the staff and students of the Department of Animal Science who are collectively responsible for its outstanding past and continuing contributions

Š 2018



1966 Clan Macdonald The Annual Publication of the Student Society Macdonald College of McGill University Volume 34

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................... VI PROLOGUE: 1907–1960 – SETTING THE STAGE… ............................................ 7 PART I - THE DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL SCIENCE THROUGH THE DECADES ........... 18 The 1960s – A Department is Born… ...................................................................... 19 The 1970s – Decision Time! ................................................................................. 38 The 1980s – Gains and Losses .............................................................................. 56 The 1990s – New Directions ................................................................................ 73 The 2000s – To infinity and beyond… .................................................................... 85

PART II – MAJOR ANIMAL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES, INITIATIVES, AND SPINOFFS ......... 96 International Projects in the Caribbean ................................................................. 97 Dairy Herd Improvement ................................................................................... 119 The Animal Biotechnology Wave ......................................................................... 125 Ruminant Nutrition Research on Forage Utilization ................................................. 131 The Nutrition Interaction .................................................................................. 137 The Medical Connection .................................................................................... 150 The R. Howard Webster Centre........................................................................... 160

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................... 167 APPENDIX: LISTING OF STAFF (2017) ...................................................... 168



Introduction By Kevin Wade Every great University owes its reputation to the sum of its parts, be it research, teaching or contributions to the general public. McGill University – currently recognized as one of the leading educational institutions in the world – is no different. Its achievements, accorded as they are to the institution, inevitably trace back to the smallest individual units: the departments, schools and institutes.

Regardless of current laudable strides towards

interdisciplinary studies and greater collaboration – all extremely worthy goals – these units provide a cohesion and a sense of belonging for staff and students alike, without which sense of purpose, much of the interdisciplinary achievements could not, by definition, exist. As McGill’s Department of Animal Science passes fifty years, we have taken this opportunity to document its proud beginnings, its challenges and its accomplishments. While there are several existing histories of McGill and Macdonald which list chains of events in a precise and chronological fashion – many of which have been consulted for this current exercise - the goal of this narrative was to write an objective and definitive history of our Department, in addition to providing insights from some of those who were there and participated in its growth. This project was instigated by the current Chair, who enlisted the services of three Emeritus Professors – Donefer, Downey, and Touchburn – to bravely commit their recollections to paper. Their time as department instructors, researchers, and in various administrative positions (Downey and Touchburn both served as Chair of the Department, and Donefer served as Director of McGill International – a unit of the Faculty of Graduate Studies), has allowed them to provide insight into the various events that transpired in the shaping of today’s department. In Part I, the Prologue and the 1960s are seen through the eyes of Dr. Eugene Donefer; the record of the 1970s was shared by Dr. Sherman Touchburn and Dr. Donefer; while the 1980s and 1990s were written by Dr. Bruce Downey. The short foray into the 21st century was tackled by the current Chair of the Department.


In Part II, the sections dealing with the early international activities, as well as the contributions of Crampton to the field of (animal and human) nutrition were written by Donefer with grateful input from retired Professor Linda Jacobs-Starkey (School of Human Nutrition) and Sherman Touchburn. The animal-biotechnology wave was written by Downey, as was the early record of the development of the R. Howard Webster Centre (Farm-animal Facilities). This latter section was finished by Wade who also wrote the section on Valacta. This text is not only intended to document the history of the Department of Animal Science, but to include the perspective and opinions of the various authors, and record certain facts and events for posterity. It has often been said that what makes our Faculty different from a Faculty of Science is our applied nature and our concentration on science as it relates to agriculture and the environment: if we lose sight of this context, we risk losing our « raison d’être ».

We only

hope that our reflections from the decades can help to impart a sense of belonging to those who currently call the Department of Animal Science home, and can provide an anchor (through a look at some of the men and women who built it up) for even greater accomplishments in the next fifty years.

Kevin Wade, Chair 2018

Kevin Wade


Eugene Donefer

Sherman Touchburn

Bruce Downey


We report, with great sadness, that Professor Emeritus Bruce Downey passed away on April 4, 2018. vii

Prologue: 1907–1960 – Setting the stage… By Eugene Donefer

The Raymond Building (Macdonald College) was named after Professor Carl Raymond, Chair of the Agronomy Department, and a member of the second Macdonald graduating class of 1912. It housed the Animal Husbandry Department (1st floor on the right), the Nutrition Department (1st floor on the left) plus the basement (which also contained the laboratory-animal and rumen-research labs), and the Animal Pathology Lab (1st floor in the center).

In 1907 the first class of students at Macdonald College started their academic program, going on to receive their bachelor’s degree in 1911. The establishment of an agricultural faculty in the Province of Québec was the result of actions started 20 years earlier by Sir William Macdonald2, who had “acquired a considerable fortune” from his tobacco enterprise, and spent the rest of his life actively supporting programs that enhanced rural education in Ontario, the Maritime Provinces and Québec (particularly directed to the English-speaking population). Macdonald had many allies in his later-life support for rural education programs, the most important being James W. Robertson, who was much involved in the reform of agricultural methods in eastern Canada. Robertson, and family, immigrated to Canada from Ayrshire, Scotland and from the ages of 18 to 27, worked in a cheese factory in Ingersoll, Ontario and ended up managing eight factories by 1884, at the age of 27. From 1886 to 1890, Robertson held the position of Professor of Dairying at the Ontario College of Agriculture at Guelph. In 1890, he was appointed the first Dominion [Federal] Commissioner of Agriculture and Dairying. In 1895 he was appointed Head of the new Agriculture and Dairy Branch of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, resigning from this position in 1904, to become the first Principal of the Agricultural College established by William Macdonald at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec. Robertson had met Sir William in 1897 and their continuing consultations resulted in combining the importance of improving livestock and dairy production with the development of rural education systems in Eastern Canada; their resultant actions were described as the “Macdonald-Robertson Movement”.

An initial project was the

establishment of model “consolidated schools” in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario, where children were transported to and from school.


Sir William obtained his knighthood in 1898, at which time his surname spelling was changed to Macdonald (earlier spellings included McDonald).


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This collaboration resulted in Macdonald’s ultimate project: the establishment, in 1907, of the Macdonald College and the Faculty of Agriculture at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec. The amazing synergy between Robertson and Sir William was, perhaps, related to similar aspects of their background: Robertson’s formal education ended at the age of 14 and Sir William’s at 16. They were both initially apprenticed to commercial operations and later, both were pioneers in promoting rural education opportunities. Robertson’s Macdonald College responsibilities, two years prior to the first students arriving in 1907, included the supervision of campus construction and acquiring staff “for which he raided the OAC, the [Dominion] experimental farms, and American colleges.” The new faculty “was a mixture of self-taught agriculturists [like himself] and college-educated specialists, who often disagreed, and Robertson was unable to smooth their relations.” A problem developed in the Robertson-Sir William relationship, due to their opposing personalities. Robertson’s “aggressive style came to offend Sir William’s sense of propriety” and this conflict resulted in Robertson resigning from his Macdonald College position in 1910, five-years after his arrival (7). Robertson would never again hold a permanent position, until his death in 1930 (at the age of 73). He served on various government commissions, was involved in WW I food-supply committees, served as a Canadian representative at the Paris Peace Conference, and in 1922 became the Chief Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of Canada. In 1928, he was awarded Québec’s Order of Agricultural Merit. This chapter establishes the important role of animal agriculture in the establishment of Macdonald College, and specifically to the development of Animal Husbandry programs which led, in 1960, to the establishment of the Animal Science Department. A major emphasis in describing the period from 1907 -1960 was the role played by the Macdonald faculty and staff in establishing livestock and poultry academic, rural community extension, and research programs. Animal Husbandry was just one aspect of the Macdonald College mission, as Sir William’s concept of support for rural education meant that the College’s areas of specialization would include training of agriculturists, teachers, and specialists in Household Science.


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Not only providing the financial support for the College’s establishment and operations, Sir William Macdonald also involved himself in the day-to-day development of the College until his death in 1917 (aged 86). Prior to the establishment of Macdonald College, Sir William had served an important financial and administrative role in the operations of McGill University in its Montreal location, including the purchase of Montreal land to augment the McGill campus and financing construction of buildings to house several departments (Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering). The McGill campus was not far from the offices of the Macdonald Tobacco Company and, although his fortune was based on selling tobacco products, Sir William was known to give personal advice against their use! Sir William was appointed to McGill’s Board of Governors in 1883 and served as the University’s Chancellor from 1914 until 1917, the year of his death. Establishment of Macdonald College Sir William initially intended “his” Agriculture College to be located in Ormstown, Québec, but when difficulties arose concerning the site and transportation to it, the location was changed to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. The initial act was the purchase by Sir William of the




other farms in the vicinity of Ste-Annes.


the Reford farm purchase with



Ayrshire dairy herd, Snell (1) gives little background information



Reford name is sometimes

The Island of Montreal, showing the Downtown and the Macdonald Campus

misspelled – as “Redford” in the Neilson reference (2)). Robert Reford emigrated from Prologue

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Ireland in 1845, at the age of 14. In 1866, he established the Robert Reford



Montreal, which was to become a pioneering steamship


concern in Great Lakes shipping and exporting Canadian products to

Morgan Arboretum

Great Britain and South Africa. After “amassing a considerable fortune”

Emile A. Lods Agronomy Research Centre

he dedicated time and money in support of educational


charitable institutions. This


Farm R. Howard Webster Centre


University, where he served as a member of

Macdonald Campus

the Board of Governors and donated $150,000 in support of faculty salaries.

West Island of Montreal showing the Macdonald Campus

Reford was

appointed a McGill Governor in 1906, the same time at which the Reford farm was sold to Sir William.

Reford and Sir William would thus have had overlapping interests and

time periods regarding McGill, which was probably related to Sir William's purchase of the Reford Farm and Ayrshire Herd [this relationship is not mentioned in Macdonald history sources]. Attesting to the quality of this herd, Macdonald Dorothy, later set a world record by producing 177,996 lb. milk and 7309 lb. of butterfat at 16-years of age.


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In addition to the Reford Farm, Sir William purchased some “half-dozen’’ adjacent farms for a total of 561 acres (by 1939 this had expanded to about 1600 acres).

Reford’s Farm, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, 1899

While construction of the College continued during the period 1906-1916, the first class of 215 students started their program in 1907, representing 115 in Teaching, 62 in Household Science, and 38 in the School of Agriculture. It is noted (3) that in 1911 the “Macdonald team won the International Stock Judging Competition in Chicago”, quite an accomplishment for the new institution and its first students. It is also recorded (3) that in 1922, a “Better Farming Special Train” traveled to rural areas in New Brunswick and Québec, with three baggage coaches provided with a steer, a cow, pigs, poultry (etc.) – a major extension activity for the new College. Staffing the College3 4 A major responsibility of James Robertson, the first Dean, was finding experienced faculty to cover a wide range of subjects. The staff mentioned in this chapter were


In Snell’s 259-page “History of Macdonald College”(1), from which much of the information in this chapter was obtained, there are short descriptions of the members of the Macdonald College Faculty, but often a name and a time period is all that is mentioned, and there are apparent omissions. Snell’s references are used to prepare the following listing, with further information obtained for specific individuals through on-line research.


Another source of information is the book by Helen R. Neilson entitled “A Profile of a Campus” (2), based on her personal recollections. Professor Neilson, a Macdonald graduate in the Dietetics program became Director of the School of Household Science in 1949, after obtaining her MSc degree in the Department of Nutrition.


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those responsible for the livestock and poultry programs. The first livestock-orientated faculty member was the Dean himself, James W. Robertson. Snell lists the Heads of Departments in the Faculty of Agriculture (precursors to the Department of Animal Science which was formed in 1960):

Head of Department


Animal Husbandry

Animal Pathology and Veterinary Service Nutrition

Poultry Husbandry


H.S. Arkell

1906 – 1910

G.S. Barton

1911 - 1932

A.R. Ness

1933 – 1956

L.H. Hamilton

1956 - 1960

R. L. Conklin

1923 - 1940

W.E. Swales


D. Dale

1952 - 1960

E.W. Crampton

1941 - 1960

F.C. Elford

1905 - 1912

M.A. Jull


W.A. Maw

1923 – 1959

N. Nikolaiczuk

1959 - 1960

1945 - 1952

1920 – 1923


In 1940 Dr. Conklin resigned to accept a position in the U.S, and the department lapsed as such [Animal Husbandry provided the Pathology course]. In 1945 Animal Pathology was re-established under the Chairmanship of W.E. Swales [Adapted from Snell (page 101)].


Elford resigned as Chairman in 1912 and was succeeded by Morley A. Jull with the title of Manager and Lecturer – not Chairman – since he did not possess a PhD at that time. This changed once he was awarded his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, and was made a member of the Faculty of Agriculture in 1920. He resigned in 1923 to accept a position in the United States Department of Agriculture [Adapted from Snell (page 105)].


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The following is a chronological list of Macdonald College faculty appointments to original departments of Animal Husbandry, Animal Pathology, Poultry Husbandry, and Nutrition.7

Animal Husbandry H.S. Arkell G.S.H. Barton W.J. Reid A.R. Ness R.B. Cooley A.A. Macmillan L.C. McQuat A.E. MacLaurin L.H. Hamilton E.W. Crampton C. Morin J.E. Moxley M.A. MacDonald

1906 - 10 1906 - 32 1911 - 13 1912 - 56 “early” “early” “early” “early” 1920 - 60 1922 - 41 1945 - ? 1947 - 60 1958 - 60

Animal Pathology A. Savage

1914 - 21

R.L. Conklin E.S. Swales D.G. Dale

1921 - 40 1945 - 52 1952 - 60

Poultry Husbandry F. C. Elford M. A. Jull W.A. Maw A.J.G. Maw N. Nikolaiczuk

1905 1920 1920 1929 1939

- 12 - 23 - 59 - 39 - 60



E.W. Crampton

1941 - 60

G.C. Ashton F.A. Farmer L.E. Lloyd E. Donefer

1935 1947 1954 1957

- 51 - 59 - 60 - 60

Not all terms of appointment could be verified.


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Notes Relating to Early Staff Members Animal Husbandry Department G.S.H. Barton: initially Lecturer in Animal Husbandry, became Chair (and Professor) when he replaced H.S. Arkell. Barton was a “livestock man” and later became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture (1911-1932), where one of his contributions was organizing






representatives of the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Agriculture.


leaving Macdonald he became Deputy Minister of Agriculture and represented Canada as Vice- Chairman of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO)8 Executive Committee (1948-50). H.R. Arkell: resigned in 1910 to become Dominion Livestock Commissioner. W.J. Reid: (class of 1911) joined staff, but resigned in 1913 to accept a position with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture. A.R. Ness: (class of 1912) joined the staff until his retirement in the 1956. R.B. Cooley: after leaving Macdonald was later at the University of Illinois. A.A. Macmillan: later serving at the Dominion Department of Agriculture (Chief of Sheep and Swine Division). L.C. McQuat: (Bacon Specialist) later became Agricultural Agent of the Eastern Division of the Canadian Pacific Railway. L.H. Hamilton: special responsibilities as external relations for the College, the supervision of the Diploma Program and of the British students brought to Canada by the Canadian Pacific Railway. He served as the last Chair of Animal Husbandry, retiring in 1960. E.W. Crampton: completed his BSc (Univ. of Connecticut) and served overseas in WWI in the U.S. Calvary. He completed his MSc (U. of Iowa) and was the appointed to the Macdonald Animal Husbandry staff in 1922. His program of Nutrition research 8

FAO was created at a Conference held in 1945 in Québec City, and its headquarters were moved to Rome (Italy) in 1951. Canada played a major role in FAO’s formation through the leadership of Lester Pearson.


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was initiated in 1925. He was promoted to Associative Professor in 1932, and in 1936 he completed a PhD at Cornell University, in the field of Ruminant Nutrition, with much of his thesis research conducted at Macdonald College. He became Head of the newly established Department of Nutrition in 1941. As the only Nutritiondesignated department at McGill, Nutrition research degrees (MSc and PhD) relating to humans, laboratory animals, and livestock could only be obtained through the department. In the ’40s there was only one other research-orientated Nutrition Department in Canada, at the University of Toronto. J.E. Moxley: served in WWII, completed his BSc (Agr) at Macdonald in 1947, and was appointed Lecturer in Animal Husbandry. During the 1950s, he was on leave to complete a PhD at Cornell University, where a computer-based dairy herd analysis system was developed for use in NY State. Moxley returned to Macdonald as an Assistant Professor with his major contribution being the development of the Québec-wide Dairy Herd Analysis System (DHAS) in conjunction with the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture. M.A. MacDonald: joined the Animal Husbandry Department in 1958 as an Associate Professor, specializing in physiology. He died unexpectedly in 1964 (age of 38) while a member of the Animal Science Department. Poultry Husbandry Department F.C. Elford: was recruited from the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa to become manager of the Poultry Department. In 1912, he resigned and became Chief of the Poultry Division of the Dominion Experimental Farm, until his retirement in 1939. M.A. Jull: succeeded Elford as Poultry Manager, and after completing his PhD (Univ. of Wisconsin) was appointed a Macdonald Faculty member in 1920. He resigned in 1923 to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and later became head of the Poultry Department at the University of Maryland. W.A. Maw: a Macdonald graduate and a Lecturer since 1920, was appointed Head in 1920. When Professor Maw retired in 1959, he had been on the Macdonald Faculty for 39-years. Prologue

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A.J.G. Maw: (a cousin of W.A. Maw) completed a PhD (Univ. Of Wisconsin) and was appointed Lecturer in 1929. He resigned in 1939 and joined the University of Pennsylvania where he headed the genetics division of the Poultry Department. N. Nikolaiczuk: was appointed Lecturer in 1939 and after completing a PhD (Ohio State U.) and in 1948, was appointed Associate Professor. In 1959 he became Head of the Poultry Department for a one-year period before it was incorporated into the Department of Animal Science. Nutrition Department E.W. Crampton: left the Department of Animal Husbandry to become Professor of the Department of Nutrition which he formed in 1941. G.C. Ashton: completed his MSc (McGill) in 1939, while a staff member in the Nutrition Department. He served as Lecturer and then Assistant Professor in the department (1946-1951), where he provided “invaluable assistance in design and statistical interpretation to Dr. Crampton.” He then went to North Carolina State University where his PhD was completed in 1955. From 1951-56 he was Assistant Professor of Animal Science at Iowa State College. He completed his academic career at the University of Guelph, where he was initially in the Department of Physics and Mathematics (1955-66) and then Professor and founding member of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (1966-86). F.A. Farmer: completed her MSc (1944) and PhD (1947) with Dr. Crampton and joined the department staff in 1947, where she supervised the Nutrition Laboratory and Small Animal Facilities (rats, guinea pigs, rabbits). Dr. Florence Farmer resigned from the department in 1959 for a 5-year volunteer position in India. She later returned to Macdonald College as a faculty member in the School of Household Science. L.E. Lloyd: obtained his BSc Agr (1948) at Macdonald College, and his MSc (1950) and PhD (1952) in Macdonald’s Nutrition Department, under the direction of Dr. Crampton. He then spent a postdoctoral year at Cornell University and returned to the department as an Assistant Professor in 1954. Prologue

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E. Donefer: completed his BSc and MSc at Cornell University, and joined the Nutrition staff as a Demonstrator and Senior Technician in 1957, responsible for the supervision of the Nutrition Laboratory and Small Animal Facilities. In 1958, he was appointed Lecturer. Animal Pathology Department The McGill campus (Montreal) had a veterinary science program which was initiated in 1866 by Dr. Duncan McEachran, a graduate of the Veterinary College of Edinburgh. In 1890, the McGill Faculty of Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Science was created and “produced many outstanding members of the profession” (1). It was discontinued in 1903 with the retirement of Dr. McEachran. The animal husbandry option – at the newly established Macdonald College – offered elementary studies in veterinary science. In 1914, Dr. Alfred Savage, a Macdonald B.S.A. graduate, with a previous D.V.M. degree from Cornell, was employed as College Veterinarian, and established the Department of Veterinary Science. Dr. Raymond L. Conklin (D.V.M., Cornell) succeeded Dr. Savage in 1921, as member of Faculty (1923) and in 1932 was appointed Professor of Animal Pathology. The department ultimately lapsed in 1940, when Dr. Conklin resigned to accept a position in the U.S. In 1945, the department was re-established with Dr. E.S. Swales (BVSc, PhD) as its head. Dr. Swales was stationed at the Macdonald Campus based Institute of Parasitology, representing the Dominion (Federal) Department of Agriculture, and was appointed Associate Professor in the Faculty (on a part-time basis). In 1948, a full Branch of the Laboratory of the Federal Division of Animal Pathology was established on the Macdonald Campus with Dr. Swales in charge and with Dr. Bill Pullen on staff. The Branch Laboratory worked in close association with Macdonald College, providing undergraduate teaching as well as care of the College’s flocks and herds.


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With Dr. Swale’s death in 1952, Dr. Douglas G. Dale (DVM, Guelph) became Head of the Animal Pathology Department. Dr. Dale also completed an MSc degree in Nutrition in 1960 under the direction of Dr. Crampton. In 1960, he became a member of the Animal Science Department. Animal Resources of the Macdonald College Departments The basic mission of the Animal Husbandry department was in the breeding and advancement of livestock breeds, particularly the initial dairy herd of Ayrshire cattle, later augmented by a herd of Holstein-Friesians. By the 1950s, Holsteins remained the predominant dairy breed (as was the case for most of the commercial dairies in Canada and the U.S.). The Macdonald Holstein herd also served as a model for the provincewide dairy herd analysis service (DHAS), developed by Professor John Moxley (see Part II, Chapter 2). For a period there was a herd of Aberdeen Angus beef cattle, but they were discontinued by the 1950s. Cheviot sheep and a swine herd were maintained, not only for breeding and teaching purposes, but for use in research programs, primarily by Professor Crampton in the Animal Husbandry department and later in the Nutrition Department, which then managed these herds, under the direction of herdsman Ted Sutherland. The close proximity of the animal herds to the Macdonald Campus, resulted in their major use as teaching resources for Animal Husbandry undergraduate students, and thus allowed a strong practical aspect to augment the emphasis on fundamental sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, and nutrition. Macdonald undergraduates were often seen walking across the highway and main CN and CP railway tracks to get to laboratory sessions on the farm (later to be replaced by a bridge). This agricultural training resource still characterizes the Macdonald undergraduate program where almost all campuses of agricultural faculties (in the U.S. and Canada) have become “urbanized” cutting off their students from practical training to match the academic program. Prologue

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Another “teaching” use for the farm became the organized visits by primary level students from schools located all over the island of Montreal. For many, this farm visit was the only exposure of the urban students to animal production units. A highlight in the spring was the sight of the crop of newly-born lambs. Poultry Department Much research was carried out by poultry science-orientated Faculty members such as Professor Jull (as early as 1915, PhD in 1920), later by Dr. W.A. Maw, in areas of poultry genetics, and still later in nutrition when Professor Nikolaiczuk joined the poultry department. Research was conducted since 1915 - according to Snell’s 1963 history of the College – on problems of a fundamental nature in the various phases of interest, (genetic, physiological, parasitological, pathological, nutritional and economic), by working in close co-operation with many departments within the College and University as well as with Dominion Department of Agriculture, the National Research Council and the Québec Department of Agriculture9. It should be noted that although the positions of Drs. Jull and Maw at Macdonald were for periods of 8 and 10 years, respectively, they both later obtained leadership positions in top U.S. Universities. Indicative of poultry research conducted in the department’s latter period, six MSc degrees in Poultry Husbandry were awarded between 1948 and 1957. The Poultry Department also served as an important source of eggs to be purchased primarily by the many employees of the college and nearby residents.10 Nutrition Department Dr. Crampton’s research involved many animal species (both farm and laboratory animals), and also extended to work directly related to human nutrition. This concept was apparent in the 1-year keynote course “Fundamentals of Nutrition” which was

9 10

Snell, 1963 (page 107) Today, the Macdonald Campus Poultry Unit provides eggs for the McGill Catering Group – “McGill Feeding McGill”, which takes care of some 40,000 clients across both Campuses.


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required of all Animal Husbandry/Science students as well as all students in the School of Household Science. This 1-year course was a synthesis of all aspects of comparative nutrition. Co-presenters in this course included L.E. Lloyd, F.A. Farmer, and E. Donefer. Another outstanding characteristic of Dr. Crampton’s leadership was the incorporation of newly developing concepts from other fields of science into the Nutrition Department's research and teaching program. An example was the use of statistical analysis in interpretation of experimental results, a process essentially unknown until the 1930s. Crampton’s knowledge in statistics related to his own MSc degree at Iowa State, applied statistical methods were being developed in agriculture, and with his later collaboration with G.A. Ashton, first an MSc student of Crampton and then a Nutrition staff member. Much later, Crampton pioneered the use of computer-produced commercial “least cost” feed rations for swine, based on the nutrient content and prices of ingredients (in association with the Ogilvie’s feed manufacturer in Montreal). In his post-retirement years (1960s), Drs. Crampton and Moxley, conducted a statistical study for the Montreal Diet Dispensary, studying diet supplementation for pregnant “welfare” women, with resultant recommendations leading to increased weights of babies born after their mothers supplementation (using the DHAS computer facilities). Perhaps the area for which Crampton was most well-known (internationally) related to basic concepts of ruminant nutrition (to be described in Part II, Chapter 4). During the WWII period, by request of the Canadian Government, the Nutrition Department was involved in several studies relating to human nutrition (developing a bio-assay for Vitamin C – using guinea pigs, factors affecting the nutritive value of fats and oils, the nutritive value of wheat, etc.).

Dr. Crampton and the Nutrition

Department were also involved with collaborative research projects with other Macdonald departments, particularly with Dr. Common in Chemistry and Dr. Cameron at the Institute of Parasitology.


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The above just outlines some of the research conducted by Dr. Crampton, his staff, and numerous MSc and PhD students (over 100 publications and 70 postgraduate students and two published textbooks). From 1947 to 1959, six PhD degrees were completed in the Nutrition Department at Macdonald, under the direction of Dr. Crampton. These graduates went on to academic positions in several Canadian universities. A specific example of an outstanding career, resulting from a Macdonald Nutrition MSc degree, was that of Theodore Sourkes, who graduated in 1946. He was recommended by Dr. Crampton for PhD studies at Cornell, in the Biochemistry Department, and completed his degree under the direction of Professor Sumner (who had won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry), focusing on enzymology. In 1953, Dr. Sourkes became a member of McGill’s Department of Psychiatry, specializing in “Biochemistry in Mental Disease” (title of a book he published), and later doing research on Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Sourkes 38year career at McGill continued until his retirement in 1991. Dr. Crampton served on many committees of U.S. and Canadian bodies, was editor of the Journal of Nutrition (1847-56), President of the American Society of Animal Science (1950) and the Nutrition Society of Canada (1959).

In addition, he received many

awards including “Commandeur de l’Ordre de Merite Agricole” from the Province of Québec, and an Honorary Degree from the University of Reading (England).


Crampton was truly an internationally recognized teacher and scientist, who greatly contributed to the development of Macdonald College over his 51-year career there. Dr. Crampton returned to his home state of Connecticut in 1973 and died in 1983 at the age of 88.

In the fields of Animal Science and Nutrition, Macdonald College was

international recognized through the research and publications of E.W. Crampton and his associates.11


This has been a very condensed summary of accomplishments by the Nutrition Department, written by the Chapter’s author who worked with Dr. Crampton over a 16-year period. More detailed E.W. Crampton biographies were published in the Journal of Nutrition (4) and the Journal of Animal Science (5).


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Chapter References 1. J.F. Snell. Macdonald College of McGill University. A History from 1904-1955. McGill University Press, 1963. 2. Helen R. Neilson. Macdonald College of McGill University 1907-1988. A Profile of a Campus. ECP Corona, Montreal. 1989. 3. Throughout the Ages: Macdonald College 1906-2006: a DVD produced by the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, QuĂŠbec. 4. Lewis E. Lloyd. Earle Wilcox Crampton (1895-1983). A Biological Sketch. Journal of Nutrition 115:153-158. 1985. 5. Eugene Donefer. Earle Wilcox Crampton. 1895-1983: A Brief Biography. Journal of Animal Science 75:297-299. 1997. 6. Stanley Brice Frost and Robert H. Michel.

Macdonald, Sir William Christopher

Dictionary of Canadian Biology 1911-1920 Volume XIV (online). 7. Ian M. Stewart. Robertson, James Wilson Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 19211930 Volume XV (online). 8. Mark Roberts. A Rural Revolution [founding Macdonald College]. McGill News, Summer 2007 (online).


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Part I - The Department of Animal Science through the Decades

The 1960s – A Department is Born… By Eugene Donefer

Background: To understand the events leading to the department’s formation in 1960, it is necessary to relate it to the Faculty of Agriculture’s transformation since its origin 53 years earlier in 1907 (as summarized in the Prologue). As I arrived as a staff member and graduate student in January 1957, just prior to the department’s origin, it is easiest for me to describe (in first person) the transition of the various animal science/husbandry departments prior to the events of 1960. During my MSc studies in Animal Nutrition at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, I received a telephone call from Dr. E.W. Crampton to come for an interview for a perspective position in the Macdonald College Department of Nutrition, which he chaired. My wife and I drove to Macdonald in December 1956 for the interview, and this constituted our first visit to Canada. While only about a 6-hour drive from Ithaca it was amazing how little my U.S. education (or lack of) had prepared me for understanding Canadian history, geography, and its people. Having accepted the “job” offer, I arrived at Macdonald College in January 1957, in a rented truck (with furniture and personal effects), having obtaining my “landed immigrant” card at the U.S.-Canadian border (while my wife and 1½-year old daughter following a day later on a flight from Syracuse). Even in winter the Macdonald Campus was beautiful but small (compared to my Cornell experience). After meeting many Macdonald College staff from various departments, I observed that most were also quite “older” (I was 24), many having been on staff since the 1920s (Dr. Crampton had arrived from the U.S. in 1922). The Department of Nutrition had three staff members (I became the 4th), and the three other Animal husbandry/productionrelated departments also ranged from 1-3 staff members. I learned later of the close relationship between Cornell and the Macdonald Nutrition Department. Dr. Crampton – on leave from Macdonald – had completed his PhD at Cornell in 1936. Dr. Farmer and Dr. Lloyd had both completed their MSc and PhD degrees Part I, Chapter 1

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at Macdonald under Dr. Crampon’s’ direction, and then both had spent a year at Cornell in a “post-doctoral” capacity. There were many others who would join the Macdonald Animal Science staff in later years, after completing Cornell post-graduate studies, among them were E. Mercier, P. Laguë, G.M. Jones, E. Block, X. Zhao, and K. Wade. There was also some reciprocation, as Jim Elliot, after obtaining his BSc at Macdonald, later joined the Cornell Animal Science Department, of which he was Head from 19831991. I quickly learned that a new Dean of Agriculture (and Vice-Principal, Macdonald College) - Dr. H.G. Dion – had been appointed in 1955 from outside the faculty, and that his major goal was the transformation of the Faculty of Agriculture with an “up-to-date” undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and research program. This goal would be accelerated by the hiring of new staff to replace the large number of those retiring after long years of service. Dean Dion saw the need for amalgamating the small department groups in many disciplines and particularly those associated with Animal Production. The problem was that three of the Department Heads were not interested in giving up their independence and autonomy. The stage was set in 1960, following the retirement of Professor W.A. Maw (Poultry Husbandry) in 1959, Professor E.W. Crampton (Nutrition) in 1960, and Professor L.H. Hamilton (Animal Husbandry) also in 1960. An initial step, after the formation of the Department of Animal Science, was the selection of a “chairperson” for the new department: the choice was Dr. Ernest Mercier who was then appointed Professor of Animal Science and Chairman of the Department. Dr. Mercier, a PhD graduate of Cornell, was the Superintendent of the Québec Government Experimental Farm at Lennoxville. He arrived to Macdonald College in June 1960, but it appeared his Macdonald position might only be temporary. In August 1960, two months after accepting the position, Dr. Mercier resigned to become the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Government of Québec, following the election of a new Provincial government (and the start of the “Quiet Revolution”). It has been Part I, Chapter 1

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postulated that Dr. Mercier was part of the strong Québec support in the 1970s for maintaining the Macdonald Agriculture Faculty on the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue campus, contrary to the wishes of the McGill University administration (as discussed in the next chapter). Faced with choosing a new Chairman for Animal Science, three candidates were summoned to a selection meeting on the downtown McGill campus (Professors L.E. Lloyd, M.A. MacDonald, and N. Nikolaiczuk) and, upon their return at the end of the day, we learned that L.E. Lloyd was appointed Chairman, effective October 1960. Another event occurred in 1960 in the Province of Québec, which would affect all aspects of development in the Province, particularly involving the Provincial education system, including McGill University and its Faculty of Agriculture. In a Provincial election, held in July 1960, a new government and new Premier (Jean Lesage) would initiate a period of reform which would be described as the “Quiet Revolution” with “radical” changes in post-secondary educational policies. These changes are discussed in an Appendix at the end of this chapter. Following is a listing of the initial academic staff members in 1960, their prior affiliations, and the changes in Animal Science staff during the decade of the 1960s.


Status after formation of Animal Science

E. W. Crampton (Nutrition)

Post-retirement (June 1960), part-time

D.G. Dale (Animal Pathology)

Assistant Professor

E. Donefer (Nutrition)

Assistant Professor

L.H. Hamilton (Animal Husbandry)

Post-retirement (June 1960), part-time

L.E. Lloyd (Nutrition)

Associate Professor & Departmental Chair (Oct. 1960)

M.A. MacDonald (Animal Husbandry)

Assistant Professor

J.E. Moxley (Animal Husbandry)

Assistant Professor

N. Nikolaiczuk (Poultry Husbandry)

Associate Professor

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Notes Relating to Academic Staff Appointments to the Department of Animal Science 1960-61 L.E. Lloyd: appointed Chair of the new department in October 1960. D.G. Dale: (DVM, Guelph) completed an MSc degree in Nutrition under the direction of Dr. Crampton in 1960, and was appointed Assistant Professor. H.C. Gibbs: held the position at Federal Pathology Laboratory (Macdonald College); appointed Honorary Assistant Professor of Animal Pathology (teaching assignments in Animal Science). E. Mercier: appointed first Chairman of the new department in June 1960; resigned in August 1960 to become Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Government of Québec. R.P. Poirier: Associate Professor of Poultry Husbandry. After the French-language Agriculture Faculty at Oka was closed, Dr. Poirier “transferred” to Macdonald Campus until April 1962, at which time he accepted the position as the first Dean at the newly established (French-language) Faculty of Agriculture at Laval University, Québec City.

1961-6212 H.F. McRae: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in July, 1961. Dr. McRae was a Biochemist (PhD from Chemistry Dept. Macdonald College), who would be responsible for teaching and research in animal food products; [replaced L.H. Hamilton who terminated his post-retirement position]. E. Donefer: completed his PhD degree under the direction of Dr. Crampton in 1961 and was appointed Assistant Professor (previous position was as Lecturer). R.A. Costain: appointed Research Associate in Animal Science; PhD graduate from Nottingham, England; involved in swine nutrition research. 12

After 1961, all academic staff positions were designated as Animal Science, replacing other speciality designations.

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1962-63 R.O. Hawes: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in August 1962 (replacing R.P. Poirier). C.O. Briles: appointed Associate Professor of Animal Science and Genetics in January 1963; Specialist in poultry immunogenetics, to initiate research in this area [salary paid from research account] E. Donefer: 1-year leave, U.S. National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich.

1963-64 D.G. Dale: resigned August 1963 to accept position with pharmaceutical company in Ontario. H.G. Gibbs: appointed (full-time) Associate Professor of Animal Science in September 1963. Dr. Gibbs left his position at the Federal Pathology Laboratory on Macdonald Campus, and replaced D.G. Dale in teaching Department’s Animal Pathology courses and also initiated a research program in animal parasitology. Gibbs was a U. Guelph DVM graduate with a PhD in Parasitology. R.D. Baker: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in December 1964. Dr. Baker was a PhD graduate of the University of Illinois, specializing in reproductive physiology (replacing M.A. MacDonald, who died suddenly in July 1964). B.E. McDonald: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in July 1964. Specializing in non-ruminant nutrition and having obtained his PhD at the University of Wisconsin (replacing staff position of E.W. Crampton).

1965-66 E.W. Crampton: ceased his half-time position in August 1965, at which time he returned to his home state of Connecticut (U.S.A.), after spending a 43-year period on the academic staff of Macdonald College and becoming an internationally recognized nutritionist. Part I, Chapter 1

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P.Y. Hamilton: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in January 1965 to specialize in extension services and Diploma teaching program.

1967-68 L.E. Lloyd: resigned as Department Chairman in August 1967, to join the University of Manitoba as Director of the School of Home Economics (returning to Macdonald College in 1977 as Dean and Vice-Principal of the Faculty of Agriculture, until his retirement in 1982). H. F. MacRae: appointed Chairman of Department of Animal Science, as of September 1967. B.E. McDonald: resigned his position in August 1968 to join the staff at the School of Home Economics at the University of Manitoba.

1969 C.O. Briles: resigned his position in August 1969 to join the staff at Tuskegee University, Alabama. R.W. Furneaux: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in June 1969. A PhD graduate from New South Wales, Australia, with speciality in experimental surgery; (replacing C.O. Briles). G.M. Jones: originally from upstate New York, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in summer 1969, after completing a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, with speciality in ruminant nutrition. J.I. Elliot: appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Science in September 1969, after completing PhD at the University of Guelph. Speciality in swine nutrition; (replacing B.E. McDonald). O.P. Manville: appointed Lecturer in Animal Science in September 1969, after completing MSc at Laval University. Responsible for Department Forage Testing Service (connected to DHAS program), and Diploma teaching.

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Changes in the new Animal Science Department Undergraduate Program The amalgamation of departments resulted in the replacement of 24 previous courses with 12 newer ones, thus eliminating much duplication. In addition, a course in Animal Products was introduced, with a new position created for a biochemist with an animalproducts specialization. Another concept introduced was to stress scientific principles as related to animal production systems, such as genetics, physiology, pathology, and nutrition. This would be facilitated by new faculty appointments of younger individuals with research interests in these specialities. A later addition (1962) would be the concept of familiarizing senior undergraduates in research methodology. This would be achieved by these students attending the departments graduate seminar program and also requiring completion of an undergraduate research project (“thesis”). A prototype for a new method of teaching Animal Production courses was experimented in 1967-68 by Professors Jones and Hamilton. Formal lectures were replaced by a discussion series presented by the students. This was augmented by visits to commercial production facilities and the college farm. It was proposed that these changes would begin in 1970 in all production courses. Changes in numbers of undergraduate students majoring in Animal Science (in years 3 and 4) are indicated by 14-22 in the years 1960-63, growing to 25-30 in the years 196368. Transition to a new 5-year undergraduate program (due to Provincial education reforms) meant that numbers are not available for 1969-70). In the ’60s, the geographic origin of undergraduate students varied greatly with “about half” from the Québec Eastern Townships (south of Montreal to the U.S, border) – an agricultural area which was primarily an English-speaking population, and some recent Dutch and Swiss immigrants who were purchasing dairy farms in the area (the large influx of French-speaking Québec students would not occur until later in the ’70s). The

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second Canadian group at Macdonald were from the Maritime Provinces, and were primarily graduates of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) at Truro, who transferred to Macdonald for a 2-year period to complete a McGill BSc (in later years NSAC would expand its program to provide its own BSc degree). Non-Canadian students were well represented in the Macdonald undergraduate program (an initial surprise for me) due primarily to exchange programs with “overseas” institutions. This situation included students from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad in the Caribbean, which later became the University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad Campus. Caribbean undergraduates were thus able to complete a McGill BSc with their final two years of study at Macdonald (prior to the time that the UWI would offer that degree). The other foreign-student component had completed studies at the Wageningen College of Tropical Agriculture (now part of Wageningen University) in the Netherlands, who could also transfer to a 2-year program at Macdonald to complete a McGill BSc. Following their undergraduate studies, many of the Caribbean and Dutch graduates also obtained Macdonald post-graduate degrees, with several of them becoming Canadian citizens, and holding professional positions throughout Canada.

In addition to the Caribbean students, some of the Dutch students had

backgrounds in tropical agriculture through prior Indonesian residence (a Dutch colony prior to WWII) and/or studies at Wageningen (the rationale for a Tropical Agriculture University in the Netherlands was due to prior Dutch colonization in tropical areas). This also explained the existence of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad, which was established by the British, primarily for training U.K. citizens for overseas posts in the “Colonies”. Although there was a substantial international/tropical background of Macdonald undergraduate and post-graduate students, this was not reflected at that time in the origin and research orientation of the Macdonald staff.13 That would change! 13

A personal observation of this chapter’s author, joining the Macdonald staff from New York, was the variety of English-speaking accents, particularly from different countries of the Caribbean, not to mention from the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

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Department Facilities Annual reports for the 1960s emphasize that teaching and research facilities, available to undergraduate and postgraduate department students, were inadequate and did not match the growth in student numbers. Most of the department staff, teaching facilities, and research labs were located in the Raymond Agriculture Building. An exception was the staff dealing with Poultry, who were located in the nearby (but separate) Poultry Building. The Nutrition section had a separate research building on the Macdonald Farm, but most other farm units (Dairy, Sheep, Swine barns) were operated as commercial prototypes rather than as research units, well suited for student demonstration and the many farm visitors (including buses with “city” school children and families on weekends). At that time, getting to the farm from the Campus required crossing Highway 20 (no traffic light) as well as the train tracks of the two main lines west of Montreal (Canadian National and Canadian Pacific). The trains were moving quite rapidly, and the ones traveling eastward over the Ottawa River were hard to see which resulted in a hazardous crossing. Jim Houston’s, (the then farm manager) father had been killed much earlier in a collision on the tracks. This problem was eliminated in 1968 with the routing of the new Highway 40 through the Macdonald Farm and the provision of an overpass over the Highway 20 and the railway tracks. A positive note in the ’60s was the provision of a new Large Animal Research Unit, located on the Macdonald Farm, providing new and expanded research facilities. These were designed particularly for the studies of Prof. Baker and his associates relating to (1) fertilization of mammalian eggs, and (2) ova transplants in domestic animals. A new physiology laboratory for undergraduate teaching (60-100 students) was also provided in the Agricultural Building. (In the ’70s the Macdonald Embryo Transfer Unit would be established).

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Research New faculty additions, and emphasis on animal science aspects of animal production, resulted in a large increase of research grants, and stimulated increased numbers of postgraduate students and pressure to increase facilities. Prior to 1960, the Nutrition Department and the Poultry Husbandry Department were the only research-orientated animal units offering postgraduate degrees (MSc and PhD). In addition, the Macdonald Campus based Nutrition Department was the only unit at McGill University where a PhD in Nutrition could be offered (the only other institution in Canada also offering a PhD in Nutrition at that time was the University of Toronto).

This explains why many

Macdonald Nutrition PhD students in the 1940s worked on research related to human nutrition based on studies with small laboratory animals, which was well within Dr. Crampton’s concepts of comparative animal nutrition (swine, ruminants, humans). With the new Department of Animal Science now offering studies and research leading to an MSc and PhD, there was a large increase in numbers of postgraduate students in the 1960s, particularly with the newly formed department disciplines of animal breeding/genetics, nutrition, physiology, and pathology. The only other Agricultural Faculty in Canada offering PhD programs in Animal Science at that time was at the University of Alberta, which had introduced a doctorate program in the 1960s. Research grants to Department faculty increased from a total of $78,425 in 1960-61 to more than doubling in the closing years of the decade with an average annual total of $175,000 for 1966-70. While the majority of research grants were from the Federal and Provincial Governments, an increasing number were from private commercial sources. Another increasing aspect of the research program was the active collaboration with outside agencies. Examples included the Jewish General Hospital (Prof. B.E. McDonald), Kiwanis Club (Prof. N. Nikolaicuk), Montreal Aquarium (Prof. H. Gibbs), Newfoundland Government (swine project), Pulp and Paper Institute (Prof. E. Donefer), Royal Victoria Hospital (Prof. R.D. Baker).

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Post-Graduate Students From eight graduate students in 1960, the number increased four-fold with 25 to 33 for the years 1965-1970.

The total number of postgraduate degrees trained by the

department for 1960 -70 period was 69 (8 of which were PhDs). The graduate degrees were awarded in all aspects of department research: nutrition, physiology, genetics, and pathology. A majority of these graduate students were of non-Canadian origin, particularly developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and mostly associated with the British Commonwealth. There was significant financial support for these students from Canadian government and Commonwealth sources. Some postgraduates stayed in Canada, obtaining positions throughout the country, but many, particularly those from African countries, returned to assume important positions in their home nations. Macdonald and McGill thus played an important role in advancing international education and research [later traveling to many countries I met with former graduates who then assisted in facilitating collaboration with McGill in international development and research programs]. As a result of limited graduate research programs in Canada (particularly before 1960) many Canadian BSc graduates went to U.S. universities for post-graduate degrees and many of them stayed (immigrated) to the U.S. where they took up professional positions [attending U.S. meetings of the Animal Science and Dairy Science Associations in the 1960s, I was surprised by the number of U.S. Government and University positions, held by “former� Canadians, many of whom were Macdonald graduates.] Although many of the Macdonald MSc graduates continued on to PhD programs, particularly in the U.S., some returned with their PhD degrees to Canada for staff positions. An early case at Macdonald was the MSc degree received in 1965 by R.B. Buckland. He would go on to the University of Maryland to obtain his PhD and return later to the department, first as Professor, then as Departmental Chairman, and finally as the Macdonald Vice-Principal and Dean of the Faculty.

Other department MSc

graduates, who also returned to the department in academic positions, included Andre Ng Kwai Hang (Departmental Chair from 1995 – 1999) and Leroy Philip. Part I, Chapter 1

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Establishment of the Dairy Herd Analysis Service at Macdonald College14: John Moxley had been a member of the Animal Husbandry Department since 1944, after serving in the Canadian Army during World War II. His specific interest in dairy cattle breeding, led him to become a PhD student in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. There he studied under the direction of Professor C.R. (Chuck) Henderson, who had pioneered the establishment of a dairy herd analysis service for New York State farmers. This N.Y. dairy testing program was developed, with U.S. Federal Government financial support, to establish State Universities with agriculture faculties (Land Grant Act of 1862). This Act mandated the State Universities to provide agricultural education, research, and extension of these results to the agricultural community. John Moxley, while on leave from Macdonald College to conduct his PhD research at Cornell, conceived the idea that such a dairy testing program would provide a much needed service for Québec dairy farmers. He followed through on this idea after his return to the Macdonald Campus, and his position of Assistant Professor in the newly-formed department in 1960, [John and I were co-graduate students at Cornell, and it was from him that I initially learned details about the Agricultural Faculty at Macdonald]. The Québec Dairy Herd Analysis Program (DHAS), under the direction of Professor Moxley, was launched in 1966 and, over the years since then, would become not only an important Animal Science departmental service to Québec farmers, but its application in the field of “population genetics” would become a major research area in the department, involving many faculty, staff members and post-graduate students. Initiation of International-based Projects in the Department of Animal Science15 Although there were many “international” (non-Canadian) undergraduate and graduate students in the Department in the 1960s, no research projects had been directed

14 15

The importance of DHAS-PATLQ-Valacta is presented in Part II, Chapter 2. Details of the Caribbean projects, from their start-up in the 1960s to their completion in the mid 1980s, are presented in Part II, Chapter 1.

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specifically to animal production systems in the developing countries of the sub-tropical and tropical areas. In 1966, Dr. Crampton was invited to present a paper at a Symposium on Forage Evaluation, held in Uruguay and sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and I was sent in his place to represent the department’s forage research group. The symposium presentations and discussions, involving about six participants from several countries, were specifically on the use of laboratory methods for measuring the nutritive value of forages. My own PhD thesis (1961), and continuing research, had been on the use of in vitro rumen fermentation methods for predicting forage intake. The meeting was supplemented by a tour of commercial cattle and sheep production sites throughout the Uruguayan “Pampas” (grasslands).

This meeting initiated a change of direction in my own professional

orientation towards international-based research, specifically related to tropical/subtropical climates. This international agriculture orientation would continue for the remainder of my McGill career, until my retirement in 1995. Leaving Uruguay, I made a stop-over in Trinidad and visited the campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), as suggested by a Caribbean PhD student at Macdonald (Hugh Jeffers). At UWI, I met the Head of the Livestock Science Department, Dr. Holman Williams. Collaboration with UWI, Dr. Williams, and other Caribbean agriculturalists would continue over a 20-year period. Specifically, Caribbean-based research projects on the use of sugarcane and its by-products (“canefeeds”) as livestock feeds would become a major research area of the Macdonald Department of Animal Science covering the period from 1966 to 1985. These projects involved many Macdonald faculty, particularly from the Animal Science and the Agricultural Engineering departments. The projects, took place in St. Kitts, Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica, and the Macdonald participation was primarily funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). This period also involved my own sabbatical leave in 1972-73, at the Cuban Institute of Animal Science (ICA), with a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Part I, Chapter 1

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Appendix to the 1960s16 The Political Situation in Québec in the 1960s in relation to educational policies In addition to the formation of the Department of Animal Science at Macdonald College, another event occurred in Québec in 1960 that was to transform all aspects of life in the Province, and would have a particularly strong effect on the operation of McGill University and all its academic units. Arriving in Québec and Canada in 1957, and completely ignorant of the social and political situation, I quickly learned about the place to which I had immigrated. The Québec Provincial Government had been the domain of the autocratic leader Maurice Duplessis of the ruling Union National party, since 1944. This rule represented an alignment between Duplessis, the Catholic Church, and the largely English-speaking (Anglophone) business community which resulted in legislation which could be characterized as extremely conservative and affected many aspects of everyday life in the Province. For instance, Québec was the only Canadian Province which did not have a non-secular education system. The primary and secondary schools were divided into Catholic (primarily French Language) and Protestant (primary English-speaking). McGill University, although nonsectarian at this time, was part of the Protestant School Board of Higher Education. All those who were not Catholic (Protestant, Jews, Muslims, etc.) were required to attend Protestant Schools. Catholic and Protestant teachers could not be employed in the other primary and secondary school boards, resulting in an interesting situation regarding French–speaking abilities of students attending Protestant schools. Instead of English-speaking students being able to become bilingual after French-classes from grades 1-12, their French-language teachers were from the English-community and thus not fluent native-speakers who specialized more in grammar than conversation [my own


This Appendix, prepared by E. Donefer, was reviewed and amended by Dr. Paul Laguë, a (Francophone) Professor in the Department of Animal Science (January 1st, 1972 – February 1st, 2002).

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children didn’t become French-speaking until after they graduated High-School!]. This created a division between French-speaking Canadians (“Francophones”) and nonFrench speakers which would help fuel the ’69-’70s Westward exodus of “Anglophones” (English-speakers) from Québec, including many young graduates with recent degrees from McGill. In 1959, Québec Premier Duplessis died in office, and in the Provincial Election of 1960, the Union National was defeated by the Liberal Party, led by Jean Lesage. Whereas the Duplessis period of power of 15 years was described as “La Grande Noirceur” / “The Great Darkness,” the period of the 1960s is described as the “La révolution tranquille”/“The Quiet Revolution.” How were McGill University and its faculties changed in the 1960s? Firstly, the Canadian Federal Government had arranged a program of supplemental income for members of the Faculty (designated for summer research), which would help complement staff income.

The problem with the Federal Grant was that the Québec Provincial

Government would not allow McGill staff to receive this stipend, which it regarded as an interference in Provincial rights. The McGill-designated funds were kept in reserve by the Federal Government until the change in the policies of the Québec Government after 1960, and later paid as catch-up salary supplements. Perhaps the most significant Québec “Quiet Revolution” action was the reorganization and expansion of the Provincial system of higher education, which followed the recommendations of the « Commission Parent » created by the Jean Lesage Government in April 1961. In the early ’60s there were two Québec French-Language Universities (University of Montreal and Laval University in Québec City: both operated by Catholic religious orders).

At the same time there were four English-Language Universities

(McGill, Concordia, Loyola, and Bishops). The French post-secondary education system was primarily conducted at the regional Catholic Colleges (Collèges Classiques), which emphasized the training of doctors, Part I, Chapter 1

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lawyers and clergy with minimal support for sciences and engineering. The result was that most jobs involving scientific and engineering background were held by Anglophones, many brought from the U.S. by U.S. companies. In 1962, the Québec Government, on the recommendation of the « Comité d’étude sur l’enseignement agricole et agronomique » (Comité Régis) created « La Faculté d’agriculture » at the Laval University campus in Sainte-Foy, Québec City, closing the two francophone institutions, namely l’Institut agricole d’Oka and l’École supérieure d’Agriculture de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière. The students attending these two institutions were then transferred to the newly created Faculty at Laval. In 1967 the Québec Government established the CEGEP system (literal translation “College of General and Vocational Education”). The CEGEPs are a tuition-free 2-year pre-University institution, which incorporates the last year of High School and the first year of University (Québec is the only Canadian Province using this system). There was also a 3-year option for vocational programs (not pre-University). The CEGEP system originally consisted of 12 institutions, distributed throughout the Province, and has grown to 48, four of which use English-language programs (including the John Abbott CEGEP now located on the Macdonald Campus). An immediate challenge of establishing the CEGEPS was creating physical quarters and staff.

Many of the early CEGEPS

converted existing Religious College facilities for their use. In the case of the John Abbott CEGEP, it was initially located on rented West Island buildings before moving to the Macdonald Campus. In locating on the Macdonald Campus it helped secure the continuation of the Faculty of Agriculture – also on Campus - since McGill University budget constraints led to the institutions position that the Macdonald Campus could not be sustained solely for the Agriculture Faculty (particularly after the Faculty of Education facilities were moved from Macdonald to the Montreal Campus). Since a CEGEP diploma was required for all Québec students for Québec University entrance, McGill established a temporary program of adding a year of CEGEP studies to the then existing 4-year program thus becoming a 5-year BSc program. After the CEGEPs Part I, Chapter 1

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became operational, McGill dropped the 5th year and also the 1st year, for Québec students who entered with a 2-year CEGEP diploma. The large number of CEGEP graduates created the need for expanding the Universities to accept students wishing to continue studies at Québec Universities. This led to the creation, in 1968, of the University of Québec with its main campus in Montreal (UQAM), but including a network of campuses throughout the Province. Today, the University of Québec is the largest Canadian network of universities, with a total of 6000 Professors and 87,000 students at nine locations in the Province, and with a specialization in the sciences. What a wonderful situation for the educational, social, and economic growth of the Province. Macdonald College in the 1960s (and continuing perhaps for 20-years) was lacking a French-Canadian presence, both in terms of staff and students. This was a contrast to its location – the largely French-Canadian historic town of St.-Anne-de-Bellevue. In 1959 there were only two French-Canadian Faculty members, Professors Jean David (Horticulture) and Réal Pelletier (Plant Pathology).

The French-Canadian faculty

component would increase dramatically over the years, adding to the institution’s contributions to Québec Society. In 1972, Paul Laguë, a Laval University graduate, having completing a PhD at Cornell University was the first French-Canadian academic appointment in the Department of Animal Science. Even more dramatic was the marked increase in French-Canadian undergraduate students, as few were present in the Faculty in the late ’50s. It has been suggested that the increases in French-Canadian and post-graduate students at Macdonald were a result of a student strike at Laval University in 1976 which closed that University for a year. Many Laval agriculture students, particularly from the Montreal area, discovered that they could register as students and graduate at McGill’s Macdonald Campus. Without having actual statistics, it seems to be well recognized that by the late ’70s ’80s, the majority of students on the Macdonald Campus were French-Canadian. Helping this, was the Québec policy that English or French could be used for admission Part I, Chapter 1

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to any University, but it presented as challenge to French-speaking students who were not proficient in English. I well remember teaching a 1st year introductory Animal Science course with almost 200 students and the majority French-speaking. A helpful teaching innovation consisted of handing out copies of overhead transparencies before the lecture so students could familiarize themselves with the subject terminology. As students could answer exam questions in either language, we used the skills of our French-Canadian graduate students to mark answers which were often a mixture of both languages! It also became necessary to prepare translation lists of English technical terminology so that French-speaking students could connect to the proper Frenchusage, particularly after they graduated. These bilingual McGill graduates were well suited for positions in QuĂŠbec and Canada. Many also went on to obtain graduate degrees at Macdonald and elsewhere, contributing to the professional resource base for Government, research and industry positions.

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The 1970s – Decision Time! By Eugene Donefer and Sherman Touchburn17

The newly constructed Macdonald-Stewart Building: home of the Department of Animal Science from 1978 to date.


Initial section written by E. Donefer prior to the 1973 arrival of S. Touchburn on Campus as new Chairman of the Department of Animal Science

Background: Toward the end of the 1960s, the McGill University Administration made known its intention to move the Faculty of Agriculture and the School of Food Science 18, from the Macdonald Campus to the downtown Montreal Campus. Thus, the decade of the seventies began with uncertainty concerning the future location of the Faculty and the School. Finally, on September 15th, 1970, Principal Robert Bell made the announcement of the potential move official. The McGill rationale in proposing the relocation of the faculty was related to another important event concerning another unit sharing the Macdonald Campus, specifically the School for Teachers. The School was originally established in 1857 as the McGill Normal School (on the downtown campus) and was renamed the School for Teachers and moved to the newly established Macdonald Campus in 1907. The Macdonald Campus was shared by Agriculture, Household Science and the School for Teachers over a 63year period as they all independently evolved. In 1953, the BEd degree program was established, and the Faculty of Education was created, which included units from both Macdonald and the downtown campus (completion of the BEd degree required Macdonald Teacher students to spend their final two years downtown). In 1970, the School for Teachers was moved to the downtown campus and integrated into the Faculty of Education in a new building. There was an obvious logic to the School for Teachers amalgamation into the downtown Faculty of Education which would flourish in its own building. Student numbers for the School had increased at a greater rate and were always larger in number than students in Agriculture and Household Science. Perhaps the most important determinant in the Education move was that the Provincial Government would only approve funding for a new faculty building if it was on the Montreal (downtown) Campus19. 18 19

After 1967 (and up until 1984), the School of Household Science became the School of Food Science. In 1984, it became the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Greater detail on the Education/Agriculture situation is presented by Helen R. Neilson in her book “Macdonald College of McGill University 1907-1988. A Profile of a Campus�. ECP Corona, Montreal. 1989.

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Arriving at Mac in 1957, I


was made aware of the social interactions between faculty

members from Agriculture and the School for Teachers as reflected in their joint membership in the Macdonald Faculty Club, perhaps their strongest connection. Also, George Dion’s position as the Vice Principal (Macdonald College) included the School for Teachers. The functions of the School for Teachers was under the administration of its Associate Dean, Myer Horowitz – a Montrealer who had obtained his DipEd at Macdonald, and served as Professor of Education at Macdonald until 1969, when he took a position at the University of Alberta. He later became the well-respected President of the University for two terms (1979 - 89). Another honor achieved by this Mac-educated graduate and faculty member, was receiving the Order of Canada in 1990. After the move of the School of Teachers and their Faculty and students to the downtown campus in 1970, the McGill Administration’s proposal to also move the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science “downtown” was, perhaps, not illogical: their position was that it was no longer financially feasible to accommodate their activities at the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Campus, with them as the sole occupants. The McGill proposal stipulated that the Macdonald Farm would remain operative to serve teaching and research needs of the proposed downtown Agriculture Faculty. The reaction of the Agriculture Faculty to the proposed move was mixed although a substantial number of staff opposed the move, particularly the Departments which had a close relationship to facilities located on the farm: Animal Science, Agricultural Engineering, Plant Science, and Soil Science.

Other departments like Chemistry,

Physics, and Microbiology would be amalgamated into existing Montreal Campus departments, no longer acting as teaching departments for agriculture students. For Animal Science the question of separation from the Macdonald Farm would be critical, as the distance and time between the farm and downtown would require much travel and restricted access (no longer the short walk/drive “over the tracks”). In


Eugene Donefer

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retrospect what the McGill administrative was proposing was occurring for possibly all U.S. and Canadian Universities with Agricultural Faculties. In the U.S. the origin of State Universities in the last part of the 19th century, was tied to Federal Government financial support (“land-grant act”) for Agricultural education and research. But as these Universities expanded – over a period of 100 years - these State and Canadian Provincial institutions expanded their Faculties to include Arts and Science, Engineering, and in many cases Medicine, requiring new buildings and entailing the original nearby farm facilities to move farther and farther from the main campus (which had become urbanized). The major opposition to the Macdonald Faculty move came from the Dean, George Dion, who received strong support from many Macdonald faculty. Dion, a man of varying moods, “took on” the McGill Board of Governors - particularly Principal Bell - and actually refused to attend meetings of the Board (of which he was a member). To resolve this untenable situation, a “deal” was made between McGill and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) whereby McGill would continue to pay Dion’s salary and Dion would become CIDA’s full-time Agricultural Advisor starting in 1971 21. Dion was replaced as Dean by Dr. C. Blackwood, former Chair of the Macdonald Microbiology Department. In the Department’s Annual Report of 1970-71, Department Chair Herb MacRae reported the unanimous approval by McGill Senate of the Yates Committee Report, which opposed the suggested move of the Agriculture Faculty to the downtown Montreal Campus. This, in addition to the enthusiastic proposal for the development of new programs within the Agriculture Faculty, generated a new surge of optimism among staff during the summer of 1970.


It is worth noting that it was in his CIDA capacity that, in the 1970s, Dr. Dion facilitated the CIDAfinanced Sugarcane Feeds Centre in Trinidad, with McGill/Macdonald/Animal Science as the Canadian Executing Agency.

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This enthusiasm was shattered by the surprise public announcement by the McGill Task Force (September 15th, 1970) to move the Faculty to the Montreal Campus. In particular, the proposal failed to address any concrete details as to how the Faculty might survive in the new urban environment. Dr. MacRae wrote that he was reminded of the oftquoted statement: “No democratic institution is ever defeated from without unless it is first defeated from within!” How was this major controversial problem resolved - since the Faculty is, to this day, still located on the Macdonald Campus in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue?


Gerard Millette,

Professor of Plant Science, and Chairman of the Macdonald College Planning Committee, raised the serious legal question that the Macdonald College Campus had not been deeded to McGill University by its Founder, Sir William Macdonald. At this point, David Stewart, President of the Macdonald-Stewart Foundation, championed the Faculty remaining at the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue campus. Lawyers were engaged and confirmed that no such deed existed. This presented the McGill Board of Governors with a problem because they had planned to sell the Macdonald lands to provide funds for the construction of a new building for Agriculture on the Montreal Campus (among other things). David Stewart then helped to broker a solution to the problem by offering to provide a major portion of the funding for a new building for the Faculty of Agriculture and the School of Food Science to be built on the Macdonald Campus. Together with an agreement that the newly created John Abbott College CEGEP share the Macdonald


A personal reflection by Sherman Touchburn: “In 1972, Dr. Roger Buckland had spoken to me of a position opening at Macdonald College and encouraged me to apply. I had enjoyed a brief visit to the Macdonald Campus in 1953, while employed as a Summer Research Assistant at the Experimental Farm of Agriculture Canada in Ottawa. The idyllic setting and pleasant harmony of the buildings, grounds and the lakeshore had impressed me. When I interviewed for the position of Chair of the Department in the winter of 1973, I informed Dean Blackwood that if I accepted the position, I would support my colleagues in Animal Science in opposing a move to the Montreal Campus. He agreed that this was to be expected and would be appropriate. Our family moved from Ohio to a house on the Macdonald Campus in May, 1973, and I took up my position as Chair of the Department on June 1. In 1974, on a visit to my office, another VicePrincipal of McGill University, asked me why I had accepted the position as Chair of the Department in light of the impending administrative decision to relocate the Faculty to the Montreal Campus. My answer: I was convinced that it was completely impractical and that it would never happen.”

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Campus, this would alleviate McGill’s costs of supporting a smaller student population on a large campus. David Stewart’s proposal found acceptance by the McGill Board of Governors and a campaign chaired by a Mac graduate - Mr. Murray McEwan - was launched to raise additional funding for the new building, its furnishings and equipment. Graduates, undergraduates, staff and friends of the College contributed generously, and the target was reached with a major contribution by the Macdonald-Stewart Foundation23. In 1978, much time was taken up by the Department of Animal Science’s move into the new Macdonald-Stewart Building. Previously, Departmental offices and laboratories were divided between the Raymond and Poultry Buildings, and despite many start-up problems, the move to new facilities was an exciting experience for future department developments.

Academic Staff: The ’70s were years of major staff- and faculty-member changes in the department, both in terms of resignations and new appointments. There were several reasons which would account for this change, some of the factors being: a) uncertainty over the Québec political situation - with the new emphasis on the use of French as the “official” language of the Province (although this did not affect the operation of the English-language Universities such as McGill and Concordia, it would affect general living conditions of Anglophone Québec residents); b) uncertainty over the proposed move of the Macdonald Campus (not to be resolved until the mid ’70s); c) resignations by many faculty members who were U.S. citizens, returning home to accept promising new appointments; and d) departures by others for advancement in new appointments elsewhere in Canada. 23

The Stewart family were the main inheritors of Sir William Macdonald’s estate which included the Macdonald Tobacco Company.

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These faculty changes are individually described in the following pages. It is of interest to note that out of ten appointments to the department faculty in the ’70s, seven (R. Buckland, P. Laguë, S. Touchburn, B. Downey, E. Chavez, J. Hayes, and A. Ng) would remain in the department until their retirement, which was also the case for the other two faculty (J. Moxley, E. Donefer) who were part of the department from its 1960 origin. This indicates that the “negative” early ’70s situation (both the Québec political situation and future of the Macdonald Faculty of Agriculture) was not disruptive to the department’s long-term operation). 1970-71 R.O. Hawes resigned July, 1971, and joined the Department of Animal and Veterinary Services of the University of Maine. R.W. Furneaux resigned June, 1971, and joined the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. 1971-72 H.C. Gibbs resigned in September, 1971, to accept a position at the University of Maine. H. MacRae resigned in September, 1972, to become Principal, Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, NS (his home Province). Professor P. Hamilton was named Acting Chair. Roger Buckland, Geneticist-Physiologist from the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Agassiz, British Columbia, joined the Department in 1971 to replace Dr. Hawes, and became Director of the Poultry Unit. Paul Laguë, a graduate of l’Université de Montréal and l’Université Laval with a PhD in poultry physiology from Cornell University, was hired to replace Dr. R. W. Furneaux.

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1972-73 E. Donefer, on sabbatic leave 1972-73, as a Canadian International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) Research Fellow at the Cuban Institute of Animal Science, Havana. J.I. Elliot resigned on November 30th, 1972, to take up a research position in Nutrition at the Canadian Department of Agriculture’s Animal Research Institute in Ottawa. Later (1989) Dr. Elliot would become the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Manitoba. 1973-74 S.P. Touchburn, Poultry Nutritionist from Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Centre, was hired in May, 1973, as the new Chairman of the Department. P.Y. Hamilton resigned September, 1973, to join the faculty of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro. G.M. Jones resigned December, 1973 to take up a position in Dairy Nutrition and Extension at Virginia Polytechnic University in Blacksburg. B.R. Downey, appointed in July, 1974, had a DVM degree from the University of Guelph, and was an employee of Ayerst Research Laboratories in Chazy, New York, to work on the Embryo Transfer project, and to provide veterinary services to the Macdonald Farm (replacing H. Gibbs). R. Harper, a PhD graduate of Cornell, joined the Department as Dairy Nutritionist and his short-term appointment ended in 1977. Dr. Réjean Bouchard of the Federal Agricultural Research Station, Lennoxville, Québec, was employed as a Sessional Lecturer to teach the course “Dairy Production”. T. Hartsock, a specialist in swine nutrition from Pennsylvania State University, joined the Department in 1973, replacing J. I. Elliot. 1974-75 P.A. Martin, DVM, PhD from the University of Illinois was hired in early 1974 to provide support to the Embryo Transfer Unit.

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1975-76 B.W. Kennedy, who had been full-time with DHAS/PATLQ was given a cross teaching appointment in the Department. 1976-77 R. Baker, resigned in late 1976 to pursue work in the private embryo transfer industry in the U.S. J. Mahone, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in reproductive physiology at Purdue University, Indiana, with a PhD in Reproductive Physiology, Michigan State University, joined the department to replace R. Baker. He left in 1980 for a position in the Alberta Department of Agriculture. 1977-78 P.A. Martin resigned in December, 1977 to take a position at Iowa State University. B. Laarveld, a dairy nutritionist from the University of Saskatchewan was appointed in 1977 to the position vacated by Dr. R. Harper, and resigned in 1980 for a position at the University of Saskatchewan. 1978-79 T. Hartsock, resigned to take a position at the University of Maryland. E.R. Chavez, a native of Chile with a PhD in swine nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and Assistant Professor of Nutrition, University of Guelph was hired to replace Dr. Hartsock. 1979-80 S.P. Touchburn, resigned as Department Chair, retaining his academic position in the department. He was replaced by R. Buckland, a Department member. B.W. Kennedy, resigned to take a position at the University of California, Davis and later joined the Faculty at the University of Guelph. J. F. Hayes, a native of Ireland with a PhD degree in population genetics from North Carolina State University and a recent Post Doctorial Fellow at the

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Genetics Research Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, was appointed half-time in the department and half-time in DHAS. Andre Ng, an MSc and Biochemistry PhD graduate from Macdonald College, was appointed half-time in the department and half-time in DHAS, where he established a milk quality laboratory. Other changes in the late 1970s C. Macfarland joined the department as a Demonstrator in Sept. 1979, where she was responsible for teaching the undergraduate animal physiology course. L. Latrille, employed as a Research Associate in 1975, with CIDA-Sugarcane Feeds Centre (SFC) project funds, resigned to take a position at l’Université Laval, Québec, and was replaced by L. Philip, appointed as an Auxiliary Professor (the CIDA funded project was to end in 1981). Since E. Donefer’s department salary, as the Sugarcane Feeds Centre’s full-time Project Director, was paid by CIDA to the department, these funds had been used to appoint his department staff replacement - B. Delorme - during the project period. He left, after his 3-year appointment, to join the staff at the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire (Université de Montréal), at St. Hyacinthe. Animal Pathology- Veterinary Services After Dr. Harold Gibbs resigned from the Department in 1971, Dr. Bryan Proctor of Bioresearch Laboratories, Pointe Claire, was hired as a part-time Sessional Lecturer to fill some of Dr. Gibb’s teaching responsibilities. As well, Dr. Len Martin from the Animal Pathology Lab on the Macdonald Campus was given permission by the Canada Department of Agriculture to carry out some teaching and to provide veterinary services to the Macdonald Farm on a part-time basis. The loss of Professor Gibbs forced suspension of the department program in animal pathology. The urgent need for a veterinarian became apparent when Dr. Len Martin resigned in late 1973. Moreover, the establishment of the Embryo Transfer Unit - Dr. Baker’s new

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commercial/research project on bovine embryo transfer - required such a person to be licensed in Québec. Dr. Bruce Downey (DVM, Guelph) was hired in 1974, to work at the Unit. In late 1975, Dr. Paul Martin, University of Illinois, was hired to bolster the veterinary expertise at the Macdonald Embryo Unit and he was also cross appointed in the department. After two years in the Department, he left for a research position at Iowa State University.

Teaching and Research In 1971-72, responding to the Science Council of Canada’s request, the Department identified its areas of teaching and research as: 

Human and animal nutrition

Animal physiology – growth, production, reproduction and lactation

Animal genetics and breeding

The animal species: dairy, beef, swine and poultry.

The traditional four courses in Animal Production adopted a highly successful new format which included student presentations, seminars, discussions, projects and field trips. In 1973 (with financial support from Dean Blackwood) the Macdonald Embryo Transfer Unit was established in the renovated sheep barn on the Macdonald College Farm. Its goals were: 1. Multiplication of embryos of exotic beef cattle and the transfer of embryos to grade heifers as surrogate mothers; 2. Training of students in embryo transfer techniques; and 3. Conducting research to improve embryo transfer techniques and efficiencies. The administrative team comprised Dr. R.D. Baker (Director), Dr. B.R. Downey, Veterinarian/Surgeon, and Mr. M. Green, Business Management Office of Industrial

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Research, McGill. A more detailed description of the Macdonald Embryo Unit is presented in Part II, Chapter 3. In 1975, the Province of Québec assumed the funding of a two-year Diploma in Agriculture Program. With Animal Science content being over 20% of contact hours, the Department took the opportunity to update its teaching program. In addition to course changes, two summers of experience on selected farms in the province were added to the Program, as was practical training on the Macdonald College farm during the academic session. Undergraduate Students: In 1977, student enrolment in the Animal Science Major reached 80, a number increasing at the rate of 5 percent per year. Another interesting statistic was that 80% of students had no farm experience and over 40% of the students were francophone. Professor Hartsock upgraded the first-year course “Principals of Animal Science”, increasing its hours and credits from 2 to 3, and adding a 2-hour lab. The course continued its division into sections with department members presenting each section: nutrition, genetics, reproductive physiology, pathology. This course was a pre-requisite for the four Animal Production courses (dairy, beef, swine, and poultry) and for the course Animal Nutrition.

In recognition of the

burgeoning enrollment of Francophone students, the Year 1 required credits were reduced to 12, leaving room for the 3-credit course, “Scientific English, Second Language”. Faculty of Agriculture Courses: The “internationalization” of the Macdonald Faculty was the result of new activities in several departments, particularly Animal Science [involvement in the Caribbean Sugarcane-derived feedstuffs (1967-1984), and the Department of Agricultural Engineering studies in irrigation and soil drainage (in many tropical climates)].

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In the 1970s several courses were introduced which involved Animal Science and other Macdonald staff, which were designated for Macdonald Campus students. In 1975, a new faculty undergraduate course, entitled “International Agriculture,” was presented by faculty members from the perspective of their own international experiences in different disciplines.

The course dealt with all aspects of world agriculture with

particular emphasis on regions with sub-tropical and tropical climates, this being a significant departure from the traditional Macdonald temperate climate concentration. Faculty members involved in this course, and other international-related activities during this period included: R. Broughton (Agricultural Engineering), E. Donefer (Animal Science), H. Steppler (Plant Science), M. van Lierop (Extension). B. Warkenton (Soils) and A. MacKenzie (Soils). A second course was initiated in 1983, for undergraduate students who had completed the International Agriculture course – a one-week tropical agriculture field trip to Cuba. This visit included airfare (paid by student participants), accommodation, and bus trips to different agricultural sites with Cuban agricultural specialists, and was coordinated through the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education. The course was well received by Macdonald students and the initial four field trips (1983 - 1986) involved 54 students. Starting in the late 1970s, the initial staff, involved in teaching and research related to international agriculture, were joined by many other internationally-orientated faculty, some of whom completed postgraduate degrees in the Faculty, and many of whom originally came from other countries24. In the Department of Animal Science, these included E. Chavez (Chile), L. Phillip (St. Kitts) and H. Monardes (Chile) during the ’70s and ’80s. Joining the Department of Agricultural Engineering (later re-named Bioresource Engineering) were V. Raghavan (India) and C. Madramootoo (British Guyana). 24

Forty years from their initial introduction, programs and courses, related to international development have been greatly expanded as part of the Macdonald curriculum. The School of Human Nutrition now offers a major in Global Nutrition, and the McGill Institute of Global Food Security – located on the Macdonald Campus – was established in 2010. It hosts the annual international Conference on Global Food Security.

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The Dairy Herd Analysis Service: The Dairy Herd Analysis Service (DHAS) continued its phenomenal growth and success with the help of its Administrative and Research Staff: Dr. J. E. Moxley, Dr. P.Y. Hamilton Dr. H.F. MacRae Mr. O. Mainville Mr. N. Campbell

Director of Program Development and Data Processing Field Program Milk Laboratory Studies Nutrition Studies Operations Manager

Provincial milk composition and feed data were more complete and extensive than for any other population of cattle in North America and, in 1972-73, the Québec Ministry of Agriculture initiated a new program - The Official Testing Program - which provided onfarm supervision of performance measurements. Dr. Brian Kennedy was hired as Research Scientist on this Program. The expansion of the program required an increase of Field Supervisors from 25 to 35 that year as participation increased rapidly. Three goals of the new program were:   

Enhanced sale of breeding stock; Greatly improved performance records for sire evaluation at the A.I. Centre in St. Hyacinthe; and Increased rates of genetic improvement for the Québec and Maritime cattle populations.

In 1973-74, Dr. Moxley was on Sabbatic leave, traveling in Europe, and Dr. Brian Kennedy was named Acting Director of DHAS and Assistant Professor in Animal Science. DHAS (Québec and The Maritimes) now served 3,000 herds numbering 100,000 cows, and representing a rate increase of 300 herds per year since 1970! That year, the field staff also increased from 35 to 44 members. In 1975-76 Professor Kennedy traveled in Europe, presenting research papers. He visited the Foss Electric Company in Hillerod, Denmark, to observe their unique automatic milk analysis instrument, the Fossomatic, for possible application in the DHAS milk analysis laboratory at Macdonald College. This state-ofthe-art instrument was installed and operating the following year - the first of its kind in North America! Part I, Chapter 2

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leukocytes) which increase in concentration in the milk in the presence of inflammation/infection of the mammary gland Research expanded in genetics, dairy cattle management, ruminant nutrition, milk yield estimation procedures, sire-evaluation methods on a national basis, and provision of somatic cell counts for evaluation of mammary gland health – a new dimension! The Dairy Laboratory performed 1.7 million milk-fat and 0.6 million milk-protein analyses. In addition, a quarter of a million samples were analyzed for somatic cell count. With an annual budget of $2.64 million, the service was moved to a more appropriate setting in the Poultry Building on campus, with the Laboratory, the Computing Centre, and Administrative Services occupying a renovated part in, as well an addition to, the west wing of the building. Under Kennedy’s direction, DHAS provided a unique direct contact with the industry as an excellent base for staff and student research into population genetics, ruminant nutrition, animal health, dairy cattle management. Research on milk yield estimating procedures, and sire-evaluation methods developed there were ultimately accepted as standard procedures on a national basis. In 1978-79, renovations to the East Wing of the former Poultry Building provided facilities for a Milk Composition Research Laboratory for Dr. Andre Ng.

Dr. Ng’s

appointment, being supported equally by Animal Science and DHAS, raised the Animal Science Department complement to ten. Mr. John Brohan, and a staff of four, developed computer programs for manipulation of the data. Dr. John Flannan Hayes was named Research Director of the DHAS Program, replacing Dr. Brian Kennedy, who left to take up a position at the University of California. Mr. Robert Moore, MSc, was a Research Assistant in Animal Genetics, with responsibility for the DHAS data and Library of Programs. Part I, Chapter 2

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Appendix to the 1970s 25 The Political Situation in Québec in the ’70s with respect to individuals and institutions The 1960s was a decade of profound change in Québec. The Quiet revolution occurred in the Period between 1960 and 1966, and was marked by reforms that modernized Québec Society. (Described in the Appendix to the 1960s). The 1970s in Québec was also characterized by two dynamic political events which resulted in profound and lasting changes reflected in present-day life in the Province of Québec. 1. The October Crisis (October 1970). Le Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) was a national liberation movement founded in 1963. Its goal was to achieve Québec independence by resorting to terrorism, if necessary. After several bombing attempts in 1968 and 1969, the FLQ orchestrated the abduction of British diplomat, James Richard Cross, on October 5, 1970, and of provincial minister, Pierre Laporte later on October 10. The Québec government requested Federal support to assist the Montreal police in their efforts. The Federal government proclaimed the War Measures Act and Canadian Armed Forces occupied several Québec cities. The crisis finally came to an end in December. James Richard Cross was released in exchange for a safe-conduct to Cuba for Marc Carbonneau and the other abductors. On December 28, Paul Rose and two accomplices were arrested for the murder of Pierre Laporte. It became clear afterwards that the FLQ represented a very small segment of the Québec population, with a vast majority opposed to the use of violence in achieving political goals.


This appendix is based on extracts from a variety of on-line sources, particularly Wikipedia and Historica Canada (Canadian Encyclopedia), and summarized by one of the authors (Donefer) who as a result of 58-years of living in Canada of which 39 were in Québec, has learned much of the FrenchCanadian contribution to the historic development of North America.

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The Parti Québécois, formed in 1968 as an amalgamation of “separatist” groups, denounced the use of violence, and would become a major force in Québec politics. Although it supported the separation of Québec from Canada, this process would depend on a referendum. 2. In the Québec general election of 1976, the Parti Québécois was elected with a majority government. It was one of the most significant elections in Québec history, rivalled only by the 1960 general election, and caused major repercussions in the rest of Canada. The Parti Québécois' (PQ) campaign focused on providing "good government", with a stated goal of achieving independence from Canada portrayed only as secondary. However, the election of a “separatist” government in Québec caused great upset in the rest of Canada, and led to extensive discussions about reforming the Canadian Confederation and finding ways of accommodating Québec. The Parti Québécois used its term in office to introduce numerous bills to implement its agenda. The first bill introduced in the new session of the National Assembly was legislation to confirm French as the sole official language of Québec, and to implement measures to make this a social reality - "Bill 101"/ la Loi 101 also known as the Charter of the French Language, which remains in effect today, and has shaped modern Québec Society in far-reaching ways. The initial Parti Québecois 1976 victory provided cause for celebration among many French-speaking Québecers, while it resulted in an increased migration of the Province's Anglophone population. This was also reflected in Anglophone institutions (i.e. McGill University, Concordia University), where many staff were to leave their positions and move to other Provinces or back to the United States. Many Anglophone students graduated and also left the Province for employment elsewhere.

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These departures were offset to some extent by Francophone students, graduating in all fields, due to the existence of the expanded (French language) Québec University system, particularly the many University of Québec campuses operating throughout the Province (as a result of the education reforms of the 1960s). 26 On a positive note, these changes were reflected in the increased number of Francophone students attending English language institutions, such as the Macdonald Campus, and becoming bilingual professionals, able to conduct their careers both within and outside of the Province of Québec.


Province-wide referendums regarding separation of Québec from Canada were held in 1980 and 1995. In 1995, 50.6% voted against separation and 49.4% for separation – a very narrow margin, indicating deep divides within Québec, and problems with the relationship between Québec and the rest of Canada.

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The 1980s – Gains and Losses By Bruce Downey

The Macdonald Campus Farm.

Overview: The decade of the eighty’s began in the midst of double-digit interest rates and related high-inflation rates. The days of cost of living adjustments (COLA) in McGill salary cheques, introduced in the early seventies, had disappeared, and funds to award outstanding staff performance or to hire additional faculty were difficult to find. The finances of the University were under stress and the term “budgetary restraint” was commonly heard. Professor Roger Buckland was Chairman of the Department and tenure-track faculty positions numbered 11 including four Full Professors (Buckland, Donefer, Moxley, & Touchburn), one Associate Professor (Laguë), five Assistant Professors (Block, Chavez, Hayes, Ng Kwai Hang & Sanford) and one University Lecturer (Downey). Three Auxiliary Professors (DeLorme, Laarveld and Phillip), three Faculty Lecturers (Garino, Moore and Naish) and two Demonstrators (Chan and McFarlane) also participated in research and teaching with much of their support coming from the departmental budget. In addition, there were five clerical and 10 technical (full or part-time) staff. Increasingly, research funds were used to meet the costs of maintaining traditional office and technical staff requirements. Despite these financial constraints, the decade was highlighted by new initiatives that resulted in a most productive Department. Three such initiatives were: 1) the first move within the Faculty into the new “biotech” sphere with the establishment of an NSERC Research Chair in Avian Biotechnology; 2) the awarding of a Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Science (MESS) Grant in Dairy Science that provided funds for several professional positions, three of which had the potential to become permanent; and 3) approval in principle of plans for the redevelopment of the livestock and poultry facilities by the Senate Development Committee. One or more of these may have grown out of the University response (positive or negative) to our self-review document in the Department’s Cyclical Review undertaken in 1982-83. In this document, we had asked for a few new staff positions to enhance the work of Part I, Chapter 3

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the Department. The response from the University was that “the Department should not plan on any new academic positions for the immediate future”. A major change in the teaching of Nutrition came about with the founding in 1984 of the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition (SDHN). reorganization of the previous School of Food Science.

This was essentially a Dr. Harriet Kühnlein was

appointed as its first Director and in the 1980s, nine new faculty members joined the School. As a result of its new orientation, undergraduate teaching relating to nutrition became the responsibility of their new staff, which included nutrition courses previously offered by Department of Animal Science faculty. Regarding post-graduate programs, prior to 1984 all graduate courses and research in both animal and human nutrition were carried out through the Department of Animal Science. With the creation of the SDHN, graduate students studying in areas directly related to human nutrition registered in the School as opposed to Animal Science. This change resulted in a reduction of Animal Science-registered graduate students, and also significantly reduced the previous responsibilities of the Nutritionists, in the Animal Science Department, relating to teaching and graduate-student supervision in human nutrition (see Part II, Chapter 5). 1985 was to become a banner year for Department of Animal Science faculty advancement with several changes described below: Appointment of Roger Buckland as Dean of the Faculty: In January, 1985, Professor Buckland, Chair of the Department, left on a one-year sabbatical leave with Professor Downey appointed as Acting Chair for that period. Meanwhile, Professor Lloyd had resigned as Dean of the Faculty, and a search was underway to replace him. It came as a surprise to some (but also a source of pride to many) when, in May, it was announced that Dr. Roger Buckland was to become the new Dean of the Faculty and Vice Principal for the Macdonald Campus. Needless to say, Downey was left “between a rock and a hard place”. In due course, he was appointed the new Chair of the Department.

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An interesting side plot in the early ’80s was a push by Chair Buckland to bring administration of the farm under control of the Department (as opposed to the Dean where it lay at the time). The move was opposed vigorously by Rudi Dallenbach, Farm Director, and Rudi subsequently won out27. Hence, it became an amusing anecdote that Roger had managed, finally, to become Rudi’s boss by rising to the position of Dean. For Rudi’s retirement party in 1987, Chair Downey composed a poem that recorded some of Rudi’s ups and downs and relationship with Roger. An excerpt from that poem follows: Laarveld was hired to work with cows, His memos raised some ire, And when Mahone made his demands, Said Rudi, let’s retire.

The battle raged for several months, And most were at a loss, To tell, if Buckland would win out, And become Rudi’s new boss.

He didn’t do it at that time, Perhaps he wished he had, For a poultryman named Roger Became Department head, poor lad.

It’s interesting to note, by now, For Rudi’d made such a case That Roger came to be the Dean, In order to save face.

The College Dean had changed as well As this new age was dawning, With Lloyd and Buckland at the helm, There’d be no time for yawning. NSERC Research Chair in Poultry Biotechnology: In 1984, the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council awarded an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Avian Biotechnology to the Department. It represented the first major initiative by the Faculty into the burgeoning new field of molecular biology, and the search commenced for an appropriate person to fill the position. By coincidence, the Faculty was searching for a Director for the newly established School of Dietetics & Human Nutrition at this time and was seriously interested in hiring Dr. Harriet Kühnlein for the position. It turned out that her husband, Dr. Urs Kühnlein, was a molecular biologist working for Atomic Energy of Canada. After much negotiation, both Kühnleins were hired and arrived in early 1985. With the encouragement and 27

At the October 2013 Remembrance Gathering on the Macdonald Campus, Rudi’s contributions as Director of the Macdonald Farm were praised, especially with regard to their impact on the departments of Animal Science and Plant Science.

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support of the Department and Mr. Don Shaver of Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms Ltd. (the industrial partner), Professor Urs Kühnlein became the holder of the NSERC Chair. He proceeded with the development of a molecular biology laboratory and research program which focused initially on genetic markers of disease resistance in poultry. Multidisciplinary Research Program in Dairy Science: In July, 1986, the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Science (MESS) announced that a group grant from the department (Block, Cue, Downey, Hayes, Kühnlein and Ng Kwai Hang) had been awarded $864,000 over five years for a multidisciplinary research program in dairy science. Professor Ng Kwai Hang was selected as the team coordinator. With expertise in the broad areas of nutrition, genetics, reproduction and molecular biology, the group was successful in acquiring funding for three “attaché de recherche” positions, which were filled by Dr. Humberto Monardes (quantitative genetics), Dr. Gilles Robitaille (protein biochemistry) and Dr. Jagdeep Buch (molecular biology). Funds also provided for the salaries of three postdoctoral fellows and some technical staff although it was incumbent upon individual professors to raise research dollars and find space (office & laboratory) for them to carry out their work. The three post-doctoral fellows employed under this grant were A. Srikandakumar, M. Bedford and V. Chauhan. A major significance of this program was the fact that salaries for the three positions would be folded into the department budget at the end of the program provided that all milestones were met successfully. During the second year of the grant, Dr. Buch resigned and was replaced by Dr. David Zadworny. In 1989, the program was reviewed by MESS and renewed for another three year term. Coincidently, the Department managed to secure renovated office and laboratory space to facilitate the growing numbers of people in this program. Redevelopment of the Macdonald Farm: It was a “red letter day” in 1982 when the Senate Development Committee approved, in principal, plans for the redevelopment of the Macdonald livestock and poultry facilities. The old buildings were outdated with the original stone dairy barn having Part I, Chapter 3

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been built shortly after the founding of the College by Sir William Macdonald. A new cattle complex was selected as the principal objective for Phase 1 of the project and an agricultural project planning committee set out to develop a detailed design for a modern Dairy and Beef Research & Teaching Facility. Funding for Phase 1 was secured through the McGill Advancement Campaign, grants from the Government of QuĂŠbec and the generous leadership gift of Mr. R. Howard Webster, financier, philanthropist and McGill alumnus. On July 18, 1985, Mr Webster unveiled the cornerstone of the new building and construction commenced.

The first cow was moved into the newly

completed building in November, 1986, by Gordon Beaulieu, Dairy Herdsman, and the official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on February 6, 1987, in association with the annual Macdonald College Royal. In his lead article in the Macdonald Journal (Vol. 48, pp. 5-7) of February, 1987, Rudi Dallenbach, Farm Director, coined the term “Not Just Another Barn� which described the facility in a nutshell. Designed to conform to the latest standards for animal research, it also attempted to provide easy access to students for daily farm practice, lectures and laboratory work and to demonstrate to farmers the latest in animal handling and housing technology. Although under one roof, several separate entities were built including a research lab, a metabolism room with eight individual crates large enough to hold a cow, a maternity area, a heifer barn, a beef barn with 16 identical pens of four animals each, a central animal handling area and an 88-stall dairy barn together with the milk handling area. Attached to the main building, a Feed Centre was designed to process feed for all potential animal units (i.e., swine and poultry), in addition to beef and dairy. For manure handling, several different systems were incorporated into the facility for comparative purposes, with the aim of maximizing the value of manure and reducing soil, water and air pollution. These included continuous gravity flow, scrapers with and without slatted floors, a flush system into an inside holding tank and the conventional chain gutter cleaner. All liquid manure was pumped into an outside tank for further distribution to appropriate fields and the small amount of solid manure was to be Part I, Chapter 3

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handled in the conventional fashion. All of these facilities provided a first class appliedresearch environment for the 40 graduate students in Animal Science at the time and a great hands-on learning opportunity for the host of undergrad and diploma students taking animal science courses. Students and staff on the campus continue to have the privilege of access to a working farm within walking distance of the lecture halls. In recognition of the major financial support made by the Webster Foundation for farm redevelopment, the new facility was named the R. Howard Webster Centre for Teaching and Research in Animal and Poultry Science.


An Annex to the Large Animal Research Unit, designed to house Dr. Sanford’s research sheep, was also included as part of this Phase 1 of the Redevelopment of the Farm. Phases 2 and 3 of the farm redevelopment program would subsequently become components of this Centre.29 Dairy Herd Analysis Service  Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec:30 In the early eighties, the Dairy Herd Analysis Service (DHAS) or PATLQ (as it was officially renamed) continued to grow under the leadership of Professor John Moxley. During this period, the three units (i.e., milk analysis laboratory, data processing centre and the field service) operated from facilities on campus. As a joint program of the Ministère d’Agriculture du Québec and Macdonald College, this initiative provided the analysis and recording, on a monthly basis, of the milk of over 280,000 cows from one-third (7,615) of all Québec dairy herds. A staff of 112 technicians provided the field services. In addition, 590 herds from the Atlantic Provinces were being analysed, as were 142 goat herds from across Canada. In May, 1981, 350 herds from Saskatchewan were added to data analysis and reporting and, by December 1989, DHAS/PATLQ was serving 8,863 28 29


See Part II, Chapter 7 for additional details. Additional articles published in the February issue of the Macdonald Journal, 1987, notably those by B.R. Downey (Vol. 48, p.9) and by E. Block and L.E. Phillip (Vol. 48, pp 10-11), address the significance of this new facility for teaching and research on the campus. See Part II, Chapter 2 for additional details

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dairy herds (59.9% of the total) and processing data on 329,812 cows in Québec. At this time, 67% of the official herds had average yields of 7,000 kg or greater compared to only 7.4% of herds on test 10 years earlier. As the decade came to an end, an agreement was reached among MAPAQ (Ministère de l’agriculture, des pêcheries et de l’alimentation du Québec), the Federation of Milk Producers of Québec and McGill on the establishment of a new corporation to which all DHAS/PATLQ activities would eventually be transferred. Ultimately, the Federation of Milk Producers of Québec became the major shareholder (52%) in this corporation. Teaching and Research: In the eighty’s, the Department continued to offer courses to students at the diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels. Although the Diploma in Agriculture program was administered separately by a Director and management team (including some instructors), departmental staff contributed to the teaching of several courses related to animal science. At the undergraduate level, our principal responsibility was the Animal Science Major, although responsibility for the General Agriculture Major was shared with the Department of Plant Science and many animal science courses were taken by its students. For the first time in 1987-88, the Animal Science Department had responsibility for Biochemistry II, a faculty course, and Professor Jeff Turner’s presentation of it was very well received. Courses given at the graduate level were dedicated to the training of our own students and those of other disciplines within the Faculty. Most such courses were related to the research specialties and/or expertise of departmental staff. As noted earlier, several changes in the teaching of nutrition took place subsequent to 1985 when the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition was established. It should be noted that exchange visits with the Département de Zootechnie, Université Laval, were initiated during this period in an effort to acquire first-hand knowledge of each department’s programs and to stimulate new ideas for the teaching of Animal Science in a changing world. Part I, Chapter 3

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During this decade, several significant “highs� were reached in student numbers. In 1981-82, there were 108 undergraduate students in the Animal Science Major and 96 students in the General Agriculture Major (see Table 1). Unfortunately, these numbers could not be sustained and decreased, gradually, throughout the eighties. A principal reason for this decline stemmed from the fact that BSc degree granting status was established by the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1981. This proved to have a negative effect on our student numbers.31

Department of Animal Science Annual Report (1981-82) In 1982-83, graduate student enrolment reached 40 for the first time. Coincidently, the steady rise in foreign student fees at McGill began one year earlier which would subsequently change the international character of our graduate student population. In 1985-86, research dollars within the Department exceeded $1 million for the first time making us the first Department in the Faculty with research income greater than our University funded budget. By 1988-89, research funding had reached a high of $1.43 million dollars.


Prior to this time, NSAC students took their first 2-years in Nova Scotia, and were subsequently obliged to take the final two years of their undergraduate degree at another institution, with Macdonald being the typical destination for most of these students.

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The Department of Animal Science Research Reports (edited by Henry Garino) were initiated in 1980 and published annually for many years thereafter. Each volume comprised popular articles representative of ongoing research in the Department.

Interactions with other University Units: In 1980, Dr. Eduardo Chavez was appointed Director of the Crampton Nutrition Laboratory, located in the Department of Animal Science. Although the lab had been in operation for several years, he made many of the analyses performed in the lab available to the rest of the University and, in some instances, to units outside the University. Not only did this provide a valuable service, but it became a source of income for maintenance of the laboratory.

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In 1981, the McGill Centre for the Study of Reproduction was established and involved researchers within the University whose focus was on reproduction (in any species). In addition to an Annual Research Day, which involved guest speakers and both oral and poster research presentations, the Centre fostered collaboration among members in their research efforts and, notably, in graduate student training. Funds were raised for which graduate students could compete. Professor Sanford was a regular Founding Member of the Centre, and Professor Downey was an Affiliate Member. The McGill Nutrition & Food Science Centre (M.N.F.S.C.) was established in the ’80s and located in the Faculty of Medicine. Animal Science nutritionists and School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition staff were M.N.F.S.C. members, and were also appointed in the Faculty of Medicine (see Part II, Chapter 6).

Academic Staff Summary: During the eighties, several significant academic staff changes took place. As previously mentioned, a major change involved the transition of Roger Buckland from Chair of the Animal Science Department to Dean of the Faculty (following the retirement of Lewis Lloyd). These and other changes are presented as follows:

1980-81 Two new assistant professors were hired: Elliot Block, a recent PhD graduate of Pennsylvania State University, became our specialist in dairy cattle nutrition replacing Dr. Bernard Laarveld who had resigned to take up a post at the University of Saskatchewan. Lee Sanford, an Assistant Professor in reproductive physiology at the University of Manitoba, joined the Department in the position previously held by Dr. Jim Mahone. Jim had resigned to join the Alberta Department of Agriculture.

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Bruce Downey completed his PhD resulting in an appointment change from University Lecturer to Associate Professor and enabling him to supervise graduate students. 1984 John Moxley relinquished his academic departmental responsibilities to become full-time Director of the Dairy Herd Analysis Service/Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec (see Part II, Chapter 2). Roger Cue, formerly a Research Associate in the Department, was appointed Assistant Professor (Special Category) to take over Dr. Moxley’s departmental responsibilities. In addition, Professors Flannan Hayes and André Ng Kwai Hang, who previously had 50% appointments with DHAS/PATLQ, became full-time members of the Department. 1985 Urs Kühnlein was hired into the NSERC Research Chair in Avian Biotechnology. Eugene Donefer was appointed full-time Director of McGill International, a unit of the McGill Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, He thus re-located to the downtown campus. McGill International, with 6-staff members, was responsible for coordinating the University’s international development projects, funded primarily from Canadian Government sources: Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 1987 Jeffrey Turner, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois, was hired into the position vacated by Dr. Buckland when he was appointed Dean. Leroy Phillip, previously an Auxiliary Professor in the Department, was appointed Assistant Professor to replace Dr Eugene Donefer (see above).32


It is interesting to note that Donefer had been Phillip’s undergraduate advisor and MSc supervisor!

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Humberto Monardes, Gilles Robitaille and Jagdeep Buch filled new positions (under the terms of the MESS Grant), with had the potential to become full-time academic staff. 1987-88 Connie Zarkadas (Agriculture Canada, based on the Macdonald Campus) and Roger Prichard (Institute of Parasitology), were cross-appointed in the Department of Animal Science (with limited department responsibilities) John Moxley retired in August, 1987, after being Director of DHAS/PATLQ since its founding in 1966. Dr. Moxley had been initially appointed in 1947 to the Department of Animal Husbandry, thus completing a 40-year period on the Macdonald Faculty). He was replaced as DHAS Director by Mr. Jacques Jalbert, an MSc graduate in Animal Science. Rudi Dallenbach, Director of the Macdonald Farm for 22 years, retired in 1987 and was replaced by Mr. Wendell Joyce, a graduate of our undergraduate Animal Science program. Roger Prichard (cross-appointed between the Institute of Parasitology and the Department of Animal Science) was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and Vice-Principal (Research), effective 1990. Department staff: Clerical included Sharon Connolly, Administrative Secretary, and Secretaries Betty Booker, Mercy Mackie and Betty Gill. This was to change with retirements after long service to the Department by Booker (‘82), Mackie (’85) and Gill (’88). Connolly resigned in 1984 and was replaced by Joanne Ten Eyck as Administrative Secretary. Thelma Drury was hired as Clerk in 1982 and was replaced by Sharon O’Toole when Thelma retired in 1990. Secretaries Joyce Read (’85), Marie Kubecki (’88), and Lisa Gloutney (’89) replaced those who had retired. Technical staff included Jan Pika, Superintendent, Lab Animal Facility. Pietr Puzio, Denise Gaulin, Dale Murray, Grant Rogers, and Linda Murray worked on research projects

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and assisted with teaching when required. At the Poultry Unit, J-P Roy was Foreman, with technicians Ian MacArthur, Bob McEwen and Brian Mitchell working under his direction. Special mention should be made of Richard (Dick) M. Channon who retired in 1980 after 32 years as Department Clerk. His title was somewhat misleading, however, as Dick was a “jack-of-all-trades” – always there to help out with everything from animal handling to meat quality determination to student transportation to courier service. He even spent a short period in Trinidad, establishing meat (beef) quality studies at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre project. Highlights from the decade: Several short courses, and scientific and information conferences were organized (in whole or in part) by departmental staff. 

The E.W. Crampton Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition, presented annually by the Faculty to a deserving individual from around the world, was won in 1982 by our own Professor Eugene Donefer.

In 1984, Professor Paul Laguë was elected president of l’Ordre des agronomes du Québec (OAQ). This is the professional association for all practising agrologists in the Province.

In April, 1984, the Department of Animal Science hosted the Québec Nutrition Day in conjunction with the Québec Branch of the Canadian Feed Industry Association (CFIA). Top quality speakers helped to attract a large audience.

In 1985, a three-day short course, entitled “Bovine Nutrition for the Practicing Veterinarian” was organized by Professor Block, Mr. Garino and staff; it was a well-received “first” for the Department.

In June 1986, Mr. Henry Garino was appointed Director of Extension for the Faculty, having been a major organizer for extension activities within the Department. This new duty included interaction with the farm press and the initiation of the writing of popular articles as well as the many activities associated with the annual Macdonald College Royal.

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In conjunction with the 1987 Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Professor John Moxley was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

In 1987, an International Mastitis Conference was held on campus, and attracted experts from around the world. Professor Downey was on the organizing committee.

In 1987-88, Dr. Clare MacFarlane, a Faculty Lecturer in the Department, won the Annual Award for Teaching Excellence within the Faculty. It is a most prestigious and coveted award. The following year, Professor Elliot Block received the same Award, further emphasizing the efforts put in by Animal Science staff to provide quality teaching.

In July, 1989, the Department participated in hosting the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science as part of the AIC Conference held in Montreal.

International Activities:33 The Department of Animal Science’s involvement in international projects was initiated in 1966 with its participation in Caribbean projects involving the use of livestock feeds derived from by-products of the sugarcane plant (“canefeeds”). These projects, in St. Kitts, Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica, covered a 17-year period, and were supported by grants from the Canadian International Development Agency, are described in detail in Part II, Chapter 1. The CIDA funded, McGill project in Trinidad ended in 1981. Between 1983 and 1985, Dr. Donefer, along with Dr. Block and Mr. Garino, studied the use of rations for cattle and sheep based on sugarcane pith and molasses, at the Bodles Research Station of the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica (CIDA grant).


More details of these and other projects can be read in an article entitled “Mac International-Animal Science Goes Abroad” by Professor Bruce Downey in The Macdonald Journal 49(2), May 1988. As well, descriptions of projects in China can be seen in “Macdonald College Programs in China” by Professor Eugene Donefer in The Macdonald Journal 45(2), May 1984, and in “A Look at Animal Production in Northeast China” by Professor Bruce Downey in The Macdonald Journal 45(2), May 1984.

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Professor Eduardo Chavez led a project on native swine production systems in El Salvador starting in 1985. He subsequently worked on the development of swine production in family farm-system units in Peru. It involved a comprehensive look into management, feeding and health-care programs, as well as the introduction of artificial insemination and genetic improvement methods. Dr. Juan Kalinowski, (PhD ’85 McGill), a member of the Animal Science staff at La Molina, Peru, became the Peruvian [local] director of the CIDA-supported project. As part of the larger Canada-Egypt-McGill Agricultural Response Program (CEMARP CIDA), Professors Bruce Downey and Flann Hayes assisted the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture in addressing what the locals identified as “bottlenecks” to better productivity in both cattle and water buffalo, both of which are used for meat and milk production. Improved artificial insemination (AI) and genetic improvement programs were the principal focus of their work. As part of this project, several Egyptians received training in Canada in various aspects of AI, embryo transfer, and computerized herdmanagement systems. Dean Buckland, acted as Coordinator for the CEMARP project. In the late 1980s, Professors Block and Monardes receiving a CIDA grant, initiated a three-year project to upgrade the teaching, research and extension facilities at the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil, through the improvement of a dairy management system shared by the University, the Cattle Breeders Association, and the Dairy Cooperatives of the State of Paraná. The project included staff exchanges and involved experts from DHAS/PATLQ as well as other Animal Science personnel. For a 3-year period (1982-’84), Department staff members (E. Donefer, J. Moxley, and later B. Downey) were selected as part of a Canadian team to consult with agencies of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on livestock production in the NorthEast Provinces (including Inner Mongolia). This participation involved travel to China over periods of several weeks each year. This project, funded from United Nations sources, and the International Fund for International Development (IFID), was the first Chinese program involving foreign consultants. Part I, Chapter 3

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The decade came to an end in 1989-90 with much to make members of the Department proud. Upon looking forward, a second Cyclical Review had just been completed resulting in a focus on revision of courses and the animal science curriculum in general; Engineers had just been hired for the design and building of the new Swine Facility (Redevelopment of the Farm – Phase 2); and a proactive initiative for attracting more graduate students (including the development of brochures) was instigated.

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The 1990s – New Directions By Bruce Downey

Canada’s First Cloned Goats: Arnold, Clint and Danny represent just the fourth mammal to be cloned anywhere – a result of Jeff Turner’s spin-off Company Nexia Biotechnologies.

Overview: After the successes of the Eighties, this new decade began with considerable optimism, although the financial pinch in which the University continued to find itself had reverberations in the Department. For example, Faculty Lecturers became vulnerable to budget cuts since holders of these positions had no job security (such as tenure). As a consequence, the positions of two valuable contributors to the Department, Dr. Clare McFarlane and Mr. Henry Garino, had to be terminated in 1991 and 1993, respectively. As the decade began, Professor Bruce Downey was Chairman of the Department and tenure-track faculty numbered 15 including two Full Professors (Downey & Touchburn), seven Associate Professors (Block, Chavez, Hayes, Kühnlein, Laguë, Ng Kwai Hang & Sanford), and six Assistant Professors (Cue, Monardes, Phillip, Robitaille, Turner & Zadworny). Buckland (Dean of the Faculty), Donefer (Director, McGill International) and Prichard (jointly appointed with the Institute of Parasitology) were also members of the Department but with financial support from elsewhere. Due to their full-time positions they had no department responsibilities. There was one Faculty Lecturer, C.W. Chan, who participated in research and teaching. In addition, there were five clerical staff and 17 technical (full or part-time) staff. Most of the technical staff members were paid from research grants. Highlights of the 1990s included 1) approval of the final report of the Programme de recherche pluridisciplinaire en science laitière/ Multi-discipline Dairy Science Research Program (MESS Grant) which included the integration of three professorial positions (Monardes, Robitaille, and Zadworny) into the Department, with the funds to cover their salaries; 2) approval by NSERC of matching funding with SEMEX Canada for a faculty position in Information Systems under NSERC’s New Faculty Support Program; 3) the development of plans and construction of a new Swine Facility on the farm which had its official opening in November 1993; 4) the presentation of four new undergraduate courses and the introduction of a new Animal Biology major; and 5) development of

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plans for a new Poultry Facility which began in the late nineties, and represented Redevelopment of the Macdonald Farm – Phase 3. Academic and Support Staff: In early 1991, NSERC approved matching funding with Semex Canada Inc., under NSERC’s New Faculty Support Program, for a new position in Information Systems in Dairy Cattle Breeding and Milk Recording. Dr. Kevin Wade (BAgrSc, MAgrSc, Dublin; PhD, Cornell), a post-doctoral fellow from the University of Guelph, was hired to fill the position. The dairy genetics industry recognized the current strength of the department in animal genetics and breeding, and wished to bolster this with a position that could take advantage of newly emerging technologies in the information-systems domains, that would facilitate on-farm software in the areas of cow selection and management. Upon approval of the Final Report on the Programme de recherche pluridisciplinaire en science laitière (Multidisciplinary Research Program in Dairy Science), three tenure track positions supported by MESS (Québec Ministry of Higher Education and Science) were integrated into the Department at the Assistant Professor level as of January 1, 1992. Drs. Monardes and Zadworny filled two of the positions while the third became vacant when Dr. Robitaille resigned to take up a position at l’Université de Montréal. Following an international search, Dr. Xin Zhao (BSc, MSc, Nanjing, China; PhD, Cornell) was hired to fill the third position, coming from a post-doctoral position at the University of Guelph. After 12 years of service to the Department, Professor Lee Sanford resigned as of December, 1992. Her position was not refilled. Professor Jeff Turner, a most active and successful faculty member since arriving at Macdonald in 1987, resigned in September, 1994, to commit more of his time to his spinoff company Agri-Cultures (later to be named Nexia, Inc.). He had founded the company one year earlier, with the support of venture capital, and initiated a research program designed to produce proteins of pharmaceutical interest in milk through the Part I, Chapter 4

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production of transgenic offspring carrying the appropriate gene(s). Initially, the research was conducted in the Large Animal Research Unit on campus and later was transferred to off-campus facilities owned (or rented) by his company - Nexia. Professor Eugene Donefer, Director of McGill International for the previous 10 years, and following many years of dedicated service to the Department since his arrival at Macdonald in 1957, retired from the University in December 1994. In May 1995, Professor Downey completed the second of his two five-year appointments as Chair of the Department. After much lively debate within the Faculty and the Department, Professor Ng Kwai Hang was chosen as the new departmental Chair. Prof. Ng later resigned from the chairmanship in 1999 and was replaced by Professor Xin Zhao in June of that year. Professor Sherman Touchburn, recruited as Departmental Chair in 1973, opted for an early retirement package offered by the University and retired from the Department in 1996. His position was not refilled. In 1999, Professor Elliot Block resigned, after 19 years in the Department, and returned to the States to take up a position in the Animal Nutrition Unit of Church and Dwight. A search for his replacement resulted in the appointment of Dr. Arif Mustafa (BSc, MSc, Khartoum; PhD, Saskatchewan). A major change in administrative support staff took place starting in 1994 when Joanne Ten Eyck, a Department stalwart, resigned to take up a similar position in the newly created Department of Natural Resource Sciences. We were fortunate to be able to acquire Barbara Stewart from the McGill Nutrition & Food Science Centre to replace Joanne as administrative assistant. Furthermore, Joyce Read took the University early retirement package in 1996 and her secretarial position was not refilled. Our other secretary, Lisa Gloutney, resigned in 1997 for other employment and Lise Menard was hired as the only secretary in the Department. Sadly, Sharon O’Toole, our clerk since Part I, Chapter 4

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early 1990, succumbed to her battle with leukemia during 1998-99 and she was eventually replaced by Sandra Nagy. Redevelopment of the Macdonald Farm – Phase 2: Planning for the Swine facility was hastened when, in June 1991, the 80-year old farrowing barn on the Macdonald Farm was destroyed by fire with the loss of 40 animals. Sows and piglets were temporarily housed in the Annex of the Large Animal Research Unit until the new building, funded by the provincial government and the R. Howard Webster Foundation, could be completed. The new complex was designed to be flexible, and to facilitate teaching and research from the technical training aspects of the Farm Management & Technology Program through to the intensive research carried out by graduate students at the MSc and PhD levels. The facility was not meant to have the capacity of most commercial swine operations. On November 2nd, 1993, the 1500 square metre 50-sow farrow-to-finish operation was opened officially with 200 people in attendance. Outside dignitaries attending included Mr. Russell Williams, MNA (Nelligan), Mr Nick Discepola, MP (Vaudreuil), and M. Jean Genest, Ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries at de l’Alimentation du Québec. Also participating in the program were David Johnson (Principal and Vice Chancellor, McGill), Roger Buckland (Dean and Vice-Principal, Macdonald Campus) and Bruce Downey (Chair, Department of Animal Science). Wendell Joyce (Farm Director) and Dennis Hatcher, (Swine Herdsman) led tours of the new facility. The operation was populated with genetically improved Landrace/Yorkshire hybrid gilts, which were kindly donated to the University by Hay Bay Genetics (including replacements for five years). The building was designed to be labour efficient as well as animal friendly. For example, all animals in a room could be fed simultaneously at the push of a button, and the liquid waste system minimized the need for handling manure. On hot summer days, automatic sprinklers could be programmed to provide cooling for sows. A computerized climate control system kept the air and the

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temperature within desirable limits in each room except for one naturally ventilated growing area where studies could be carried out using a natural environment. Swine research at the time had considerable emphasis on manure treatment with a focus on odour control and separation of liquids and solids. Other studies included such areas as trace mineral nutrition in pig production, metabolism in first litter gilts, effect of body condition on reproductive performance, nutritive evaluations, embryo transfer, and other new reproductive technologies. Laboratories included those for waste management, metabolic studies, and semen handling and storage. Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec (PATLQ): With the dawn of the nineties, use of PATLQ services had exceeded 60% of all dairy producers in Québec, with over 325,000 dairy cows on test, making it the largest milk recording service in Canada.

Since the ownership of PATLQ had devolved into a

partnership of McGill, la Société québécoise d’initiatives agro-alimentaire (SOQUIA) and la Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec (FPLQ), its administration had undergone some changes including the transfer of all field employees from McGill to PATLQ Inc. Approximately 30 of the head office employees remained with McGill and were subcontracted by the new corporation. In 1993, Mr. Bertrand Farmer, an MSc graduate of the Department of Animal Science, became the Director of PATLQ, replacing Mr. Michel Barré who had resigned. Perhaps the most significant event at PATLQ during this time was the move from the campus to newly renovated facilities adjoining College property at 555 rue St-Pierre, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue on November 1st, 1993. Shortly thereafter, the building was named the “John E. Moxley Building” in honour of its founder.34


See Part II, Chapter 2 for additional details

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Teaching & Research: Partially as a result of the second cyclical review undertaken by the Department in 198990, several new initiatives with regard to teaching were being worked on in the early part of this decade. The first of these was the development of a new major called Animal Biology. This program was designed to be more flexible with fewer required credits and, consequently, to have broader general appeal to the constituency of potential students than did the Animal Science major. The latter had little time or space for electives given the comprehensive requirements of the provincial professional licensing body, l’Ordre des agronomes du Québec (OAQ). With decreasing numbers of potential students having an agricultural background, it was felt that the Animal Science major had become a less attractive option for many. Four new courses specifically addressed to the new major were designed and approved. Animal Biology was offered for the first time in September 1993. Secondly, an agri-business internship or “stage” was in development which would provide applied summer experience (and jobs) for students in Animal Science as well as encourage greater industry participation. Thirdly, an MSc Applied degree program received faculty approval and the first students registered for the program in September 1992. Applied graduate programs did not normally require the writing of a thesis. It should be noted that the Farm Management & Technology Program (FMT), which was formerly called the Diploma in Agriculture Program (DIP), introduced a new revised curriculum in 1993 that included increased animal science content. Although several departmental instructors continued to teach in this program, Mr. Christian Molgat was hired by the FMT Program to coordinate the animal science component and to help with the teaching. In Graduate Studies & Research, the numbers of graduate students continued to grow gradually through the 1990s, particularly at the PhD level (see table below). Subsequently, 16 MSc and PhD students from the Department received their degrees at spring convocation in each of 1995 and 1997. This was encouraging except that approximately 50% of registered students were international and due to the requirement Part I, Chapter 4

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that a student must have demonstrable financial support prior to acceptance into his/her program, it seemed unlikely that as many international students would be accepted in future. Partial support from the student supervisor’s research funds was becoming more difficult due to the higher cost of supporting international students. Post graduates






# MSc registered






# PhD registered






# MSc graduated






# PhD graduated






Post graduates contd.





# MSc registered





# PhD registered





# MSc graduated





# PhD graduated



*includes 2 M.S. Applied



*includes 2 MSc Applied †includes

4 MSc Applied


1 MSc Applied

Departmental staff experienced continued success in acquiring research funding with the departmental total reaching almost $4 million in 1991-92. This brought the mean research dollar income to a record annual high of $265,086 per professor. Numbers of publications per faculty member also maintained a respectable average of over two annually.

Publications (refereed articles, patents, book chapters) 1988/89











Per Capita






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The superior funding was due, in part, to two industrial research projects acquired through Martinex Science Inc., by Professor Turner and by Professors Chavez and Touchburn. Dr. Turner’s was entitled “Development of recombinant DNA constructs for the expression of heterologous proteins in transgenic animals”. This research provided some of the data upon which the formation of Dr. Turner’s previously mentioned Spinoff Company was based. The project awarded to Professors Chavez and Touchburn was entitled “Transformation of organic kitchen waste into a recyclable resource as animal feed”. This involved renovations to the Nutrition barn on the farm converting it to an industrial prototype Pilot plant. As well, Professor Urs Kühnlein’s NSERC-Shaver Chair in Avian Biotechnology was renewed from 7 through 10 years, reflecting superior performance on behalf of him and his laboratory. Research funding 1988/89 Total Per Capita **


1,427,934** 1,302,649 95,196


1990/91 1,246,446 77,903


3,976,284*** 265,086

1992/93 3,278,668*** 218,578

This was the last year to include funds from the *actions structurantes* grant from MESS

*** Includes Martinex funds

A personal example of a productive collaborative research effort, as seen throughout the Department, was my (Downey) long-standing interaction with Dr. Ben Tsang, University of Ottawa, and Dr. Louis Ainsworth, Animal Research Centre, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa and others. Using a hormone-treated pre-pubertal gilt (young female pig) as a model for the reliable induction of ovulation, which was developed by Professor Robert Baker in the late ’60s and early ’70s, our group demonstrated that a single injection of indomethacin, a prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor, effectively prevented ovulation in this model. Hence, this new experimental model facilitated extensive

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studies on follicular development and ovulation in pigs. Over some 15 years, subsequent research resulted in an improved understanding of female reproduction, many publications, numerous students trained, and included the development of a spontaneously established cell line from porcine granulosa cells. This, in turn, facilitated in vitro studies of the same system, thereby precluding the need to derive primary cells from live pigs for every experiment. The majority of this work was carried out in the Large Animal Research Unit on the Macdonald Farm. Interactions with other University Units: Professor Leroy Phillip was appointed Associate Director of the McGill Nutrition & Food Science Centre in 1999. This continued the involvement of our Department with this inter-faculty base for studies in nutrition (see Part II, Chapter 5). An MSc Applied Biotechnology program for the Faculty was developed, with the participation of several departments, and was offered for the first time in 1995-96. Several members of the Animal Science Department became involved in the presentation of some of the courses. Reorganization of the administration of the Macdonald Campus Farm was undertaken in the mid ’90s that entailed the appointment of Academic Directors of each of the farm units. Professors Block and Downey became Directors of the Cattle Complex and the Swine Facility, respectively. At this point in time, the Poultry Unit was still a unit under the Department (not part of the Farm) and Professor Roger Buckland replaced Professor Paul Laguë as its Director in 1998-99. Highlights from the decade: Several Animal Science Staff played important roles as the 23 rd International Dairy Congress was held at the Palais des congrès in Montreal from October 8th to 12th in 1990. The meeting was traditionally held once every four years and this was the first time it

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was held in North America and involved over 2000 participants. Tours of the Macdonald Campus were included.35 

In 1990-91, Professor Jeff Turner won the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence which marked the third time in the six years of the award’s existence that a member of the Department of Animal Science was the recipient.

In 1991-92, Professors Elliot Block and André Ng Kwai Hang were promoted to the rank of Full Professor and Professors Roger Cue, Leroy Phillip and Jeffrey Turner were promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

Professor Urs Kühnlein was appointed to the rank of Full Professor in 1992-93, as were Professors Eduardo Chavez and Flann Hayes in 1993-94.

In 1994-95, Professor David Zadworny achieved the rank of Associate Professor and, in 1997-98, Professor Kevin Wade also was promoted to Associate Professor.

Professor Ng Kwai Hang received the Canadian Association of Animal Breeders Award for Excellence in Genetics & Physiology for 1995-96.

The Department was well represented at the Journée de recherché en Zootechnie held in Sainte Foy in May 1996.

Professor Roger Cue presented a 4-day short course on statistical interpretation for agronomes in the summer of 1996.

Continuing interaction with CEGEP students saw several students from Marianopolis spending time in various departmental research laboratories which turned into a learning experience for staff and students alike.

In July 1997, the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science was held at Hotel du Parc in Montreal and the Department played the role of unofficial host for the event. One of the main social events – a BBQ - took place on the Macdonald Campus.

The XXI World Poultry Congress was held in Montreal in August 2000, and Professors Touchburn (even though retired) and Zadworny were major players in its organization.


A summary of the Congress authored by Gloria Sola was published in the Macdonald Journal (Vol. 51, No 4, 1990).

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Thanks to Professor Kevin Wade and others, the department’s new website went online in the late 1990s, opening up a new era of communication and providing a remarkable means of dissemination of information to the public. It was noted in the annual report that the website was already receiving many “hits”. International: Several of the international projects described in the Chapter on the Eighties continued into the Nineties with much of the funding acquired through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). These included: the “Establishment of dairy recording and management systems” in Brazil by Professors Block and Monardes; work on native swine production systems in El Salvador; and the development of swine production in family farm units in Peru, both by Professor Chavez.

Work on the Canada-Egypt McGill

Agricultural Response Program (CMARP) also continued in Egypt, led by Professors Downey and Hayes. Professor Downey and others participated in a project in Jordan entitled “The Application of Biotechnology to the Development of Agriculture in Jordan” which was directed by Professor Musa Kamal of the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill. Focused on the transfer of artificial insemination and embryo transfer technology at the University of Jordan, the animal portion of the project included several workshops given to agrologists, veterinarians and other field staff in Jordan as well as training sessions carried out in Canada. Other examples of the Department’s outreach around the globe included a one week visit to Cuba by Professor Chavez’s graduate class in Advanced Animal Production Systems, where they visited research institutions, sugarcane and tropical fruit plantations as well as dairy production and processing units. In addition, and apart from the regular venues in Canada and the USA, scientific presentations were given by staff to audiences in various countries including Argentina, Brazil, France, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Peru. The decade ended with Professor Xin Zhao as Chair and an impending large turnover in academic staff loomed as a significant number of professors were approaching retirement age.

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The 2000s – To infinity and beyond… By Kevin Wade

Drawing by Pat Owen [BSc(Agr)’97; MSc’00], commissioned for departmental recruitment to depict “The Best of Both Worlds".

We all woke up on January 1st, 2000 to find that computers still worked, and that the dreaded Y2K debacle had not set us back 100 years! It may seem strange, looking back now, to imagine the trepidation and the preparation that was involved at all levels in anticipation of that last stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Life went on (even though “dating” would never be the same again)! The department, under the recent leadership of Professor Xin Zhao, also entered a new era of rejuvenation and novel directions. The departmental facilities received a muchneeded boost with the award of two major infrastructure projects at the beginning of the decade. The first was the joint CFI initiative with l’Université de Montréal’s Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire for the development of the Montreal Centre for Poultry Research.

Under the direction of Profs. Buckland and Kühnlein, the grant for the

development of Microbe-Free/Disease Resistant Poultry not only provided for a new building at the Université de Montréal’s St. Hyacinthe Campus, but also laid the groundwork for the badly-needed funding to create our own on-Campus Poultry facility, provide infrastructure for our research and teaching, and maintain our prominent position for poultry research in Canada. The recent retirement of Prof. Paul Laguë – a significant loss to our department and teaching resources – compelled us to push for a hire in the area of poultry science. In this sense, the timing was fortuitous since CFI funding, at that time, provided for no human resources – only infrastructure – and the hiring of Professor Ciro Ruiz-Feria in 2002 came just prior to the completion of construction to the Donald McQueen Shaver Poultry Complex in 2004.

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Official Opening of the Donald McQueen Shaver Poultry Complex in 2005. L to R: Xin Zhao (Chair); Deborah Buszard (Dean); Urs KĂźhnlein (PI); Donald McQueen Shaver (Donor); Jacques Hurtubise (Vice-Principal, Research); and Roger Buckland (PI).

The other major infrastructure for the




renovation in 2001 of much of the first floor of the Barton Building to house




Systems Laboratory.

The facility

not only provided much-needed space for the research group, but also housed the then state-of-theart Sun Server that was responsible for much of the computing and development of software by the

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When purchased (at a value of almost

$800,000), it was among the most powerful computing systems, dedicated to research, anywhere at McGill. 36 The facility strengthened the links between Animal Science






Development team at Valacta, resulting in many fruitful projects, decision-support tools, and reports of invention throughout the decade.


Interesting to note that, with the advances in computing, this system has essentially been replaced today with personal workstations, as well as cheaper (and more accessible) computing platforms.

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The arrival of Prof. Arif Mustafa in 2000, filled a serious gap in ruminant nutrition, and the offering of such key courses as Fundamentals of Nutrition, Animal Nutrition, and Biology of Lactation, as well as advanced graduate offerings in carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals and vitamins. The hiring of Professor Vilceu Bordignon in 2001 (fresh from his exciting participation in the project to clone Starbuck at l’Université de Montréal) brought a continuation to Downey’s work37, restored our strength in reproductive biotechnology (weakened somewhat by the departure of Jeffrey Turner to form his own biotechnology company), and opened the door to new methodologies in somatic-cell nuclear transfer techniques. This area was also of great interest to our undergraduates, and led to the development of a new 3-credit course – ANSC 420 (Animal Biotechnology). Interest in this area, as well as a wish to combine the knowledge from the (relatively) few experts at that time, ushered in a new era of video-conference teaching that allowed students to share classes (and experts) among Macdonald, St. Hyacinthe, and Guelph. In 2007, the then Building Director of the Large Animal Research Unit (LARU) – Professor Leroy Phillip – spearheaded its renovations and passed the unit and its direction to Bordignon. As detailed later in Part II, Chapter 3, this was where Canada’s first pigs would be cloned in 2007 by Bordignon and his team – to national acclaim – with a view to producing exact genetic copies for medical-research needs. It was somewhat unfortunate that the decade which saw many attempts to expand the department in new areas and initiatives, also corresponded with an era of belttightening by the University. Five more professors would retire over the coming years: Roger Buckland (former Department Chair and Dean of the Faculty), Eduardo Chavez, and Bruce Downey (former Department Chair) all took their leave during the 2004-05 academic year.

This was an enormous loss in terms of institutional memory and

administrative expertise. In addition, Professor Urs Kühnlein retired, with his wife


Bordignon’s hire in 2001 was bridged to the future retirement of Downey in 2004

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Harriet, to Washington State in 2007, and Professor Kwet Fane (André) Ng-Kwai-Hang (another former Department Chair) retired in December 2009.38 The beginning of these retirements in 2005 coincided with the appointment of Professor Chandra Madramootoo as Dean of the Faculty, and the here-to-fore practice of replacing departures in the same unit, was no longer a given. While the practice of replacing professorial slots in areas of the highest need across the Faculty made a certain amount of logic – especially in a time when new hiring licences from Central Administration were rare – it brought a new challenge to the task of strategic planning within a department, and created several complications for required teaching expertise among departments across the Faculty. Of those five post-2004 departures, only 1½ were filled: Professor Sarah Kimmins was hired in 2005 in the area of Nutritional Genomics, straight from her post-doctoral position in Epigenetics at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Université de Strasbourg, France.

The Department also

advertised to fill a position that same year in Applied Animal Welfare / Animal Behaviour. After an initial failed search, the position was rescinded in favour of the Faculty’s desire to create a position in Food Safety. In 2008, Professor Martin Chénier was hired in this area as a joint appointment between our department and the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. This was our first experience with such an administrative arrangement, and was argued as “bridging the gap” between the technical and microbiological aspects of food science and the industrial needs of livestock production. Another initiative to hire an expert in Animal Health and Biotechnology (Kühnlein’s “slot”) was authorized but later given to the Department of Natural Resource Scientists to fill a recent vacancy in Microbiology (quoting teaching needs). The only other new academic hire in the decade was Professor Raj Duggavathi, who filled a position in Swine and Poultry, following Professor Ciro Ruiz-Feria’s pretenure departure to Texas A&M University; there was no denying that recruitment 38

It is with great sadness that I report that André passed away on July 25, 2015 at the age of 72, following a valiant battle with brain cancer. His all-too-short six years of retirement allowed him to concentrate on his passion for travel, gardening, photography, and family get-togethers where he spoiled his guests with his signature dishes of “vindaye” and “shaomai” as well as his famous longnoodle dish for every birthday celebration!

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license! As stated previously, the “God-given right” attitude to fill an academic vacancy may have been flawed. However, this decade saw a lack of clarity in the procedures for keeping a stable cohort of academic staff, and put enormous pressure on teaching duties, while stifling those units who were genuinely attempting to replace retirees with new and evolving areas of research. There was a feeling among many in Animal Science that our successful initiatives to gain externally supported academic (five by that stage), had not been rewarded and, in fact, were used to the benefit of other units who had, perhaps, not been as proactive. The result was that the department did not increase over this period, and actually decreased from its former size.39 Unfortunately, the personnel losses were not restricted to academic staff: Mr. Jan Pika took his well-deserved retirement in 2005, and his essential role in the unit as a laboratory instructor became all too clear when the department was not allowed to replace him. After many lengthy discussions, Ms. Denyse Laurin was allowed to be recategorized as a Course Coordinator, and stepped into the void. However, this also meant less time for her prior contributions in many of the biotechnology labs. In addition, Ms. Sandra Nagy retired as the departmental secretary in 2004, and was finally replaced - one year later – by Ms. Cinthya Horvath. The other major event of the 2000s was the reorganization of the undergraduate programs under the BSc (AgrEnv) degree.

In 2005, there was a push, by central

administration, to minimize low-enrolment programs across the University. For better or for worse, our Faculty took this initiative to heart, and began a consultative process among academic staff to look into reorganizing our majors. At the time, there were two Majors that came under the direct control of the department: Animal Science and Animal Biology. The former was our original program that provided students with a strong basis of livestock production in terms of nutrition, reproductive physiology, and animal breeding. It gave our students eligibility to apply for membership in the Ordre 39

A comparison of the professorial complement at the beginning of the ’90s (fifteen plus the Dean, the Director of McGill International and a cross appointment with Parasitology) to the thirteen tenuretrack staff during the 2000s, is striking, especially given the fact that five of those positions were created and funded through external departmental initiatives.

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des agronomes du Québec – the body certified to provide agricultural advice in the Province of Québec. The Major in Animal Biology had been introduced in the early 1990s to provide a more technology-based degree, based on large-animal models. These graduates were extremely well prepared to work in laboratories and biotech companies that were flourishing at the time. The respective numbers of students in Animal Science and Animal Biology were 27 and 34 (September 2006). In addition, the department provided significant courses and direction to the Major in Agricultural Sciences (37 students in September 2006).

Under the proposed reorganisation, the Majors that fell under the degree of BSc (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) were regrouped into fewer clusters, and Specializations (mainly equivalent to Minors) were generated to reflect some of the former areas of academic interest. Thus, the new majors (42 credits) were: 

Agricultural Economics;

Environmental Biology;

Agro-Environmental Sciences;

Global Food Security; and


Life Sciences.

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The “animal-science” offerings became 24-credit Specializations of Animal Production (within the Major of Agro-Environmental Sciences), while both Animal Biology and Animal Health and Disease fell under the Major of Life Sciences. The disadvantages to this approach seemed obvious from a departmental point of view: we downsized our structured offerings from 42 to 24 credits, thereby losing some integral aspects of the “animal offerings”; we also lost direct control of the content being offered at the upper level of the program (i.e., the Major); and, most importantly of all, we lost visibility in the recruitment process that continued to enroll at the level of the Major (rather than that of the Specialization). Given that many students professed to having no real idea as to what either Agro-Environmental Sciences or Life Sciences actually entailed, this was seen as a severe handicap to efforts to grow our programs. The process coincided with a scheduled University review of both of our (outgoing) majors in 2006-07 wherein one of the recommendations of the external reviewer – Professor Leeson from the University of Guelph – was to keep our Majors as were. Unfortunately, this opinion did not prevail among administration, and we reluctantly came on board in 2007-08. Despite our misgivings, we took a leadership role in developing the threes subsequent specializations to provide the best pedagogic content possible for our prospective students. While there were lingering students from our original programs, the Fall of 2009 marked the first time when no new students were admitted to either Major in Animal Science or Animal Biology.

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It took a certain time for the new offerings to stabilize – some would say we still suffer in terms of visibility to the outside pool of potential students – but as we began to advertise, based on Specialization rather than Major, some of the numbers in Animal Biology and Animal Health & Disease started to rebound. Animal Production continued to have its issues.

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Perhaps it was the changes at the undergraduate level, but the 2000s seemed to usher in a period of greater cross-disciplinary collaboration among units. This is not to say that there were not joint projects and research initiatives among different departments before. However, new requirements by granting agencies, and position papers by the central administration, seemed to encourage an environment of less silos and more collaboration. The resulting hires across the university (few as they were) tended to be part of cluster hires with predetermined areas of research, rather than the former method of filling slots according to discipline and teaching needs. One should, however, remember that in order to have strong cross-disciplinary research, one must first maintain strong independent disciplines themselves! The decade ended with a change in the department’s leadership. Professor Xin Zhao had been Chair since 1999, and applied for a sabbatical leave in September 2007. With the department’s best interests in mind, he stepped down early as Chair so as to allow his successor time to become familiar with the position before his 1-year departure. Dean Madramootoo struck an international-Search Committee to fill the position permanently, and Professor Kevin Wade agreed to serve as Interim Chair, starting in February 2007. To make a long story short, Wade was appointed fulltime Chair in June 2008, and is still here as we write this history (although hopefully not for too much longer ). With the proliferation of social media and technologies for recording events, the ongoing history of the department in the 21st century should be relatively easy to document. With that in mind, 2010 seemed as good a place as any to halt the tale of this department – 50 years after its formation…

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Part II – Major Animal Science Activities, Initiatives, and Spinoffs

International Projects in the Caribbean Sugarcane-derived feedstuffs (“Canefeeds”) By Eugene Donefer

Entrance sign at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre (SFC) site – identifying the funding agency (1976-1981).

Introduction With the formation of the Animal Science Department in 1960, there were many international students (both undergraduate and graduate), but no department research programs conducted outside of Canada. As described in this Chapter, this changed by the end of the decade with the initiation of projects in the Caribbean, involving the potential use of livestock feeds derived from the sugarcane plant (“Canefeeds”) – the predominant agriculture crop of the region. St. Kitts: The department and my own international project involvement was initiated by a call in 1966 from a Montreal-based company – Canadian Cane Commodities (CCC), who were developing equipment for processing sugarcane into raw sugar. Their “Comfith” process involved a radical departure from conventional sugar factories, with particular emphasis on obtaining a high quality building material from the fibrous cane stalk which is a byproduct of the sugar extraction process. The CCC research and development program was located on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, where it was randomly observed that a high-fibre sugarcane by-product still containing the cane sugar was well accepted when fed to sheep. I was asked to visit St. Kitts and design a feeding trial to test the products nutritive value. I had also received a letter from a recent graduate of the University of the West Indies (Trinidad Campus) inquiring about doing a MSc. Degree in Animal Science.

The two-incidents resulted in Lionel James’s (from St. Lucia)

acceptance at Macdonald and the planning of feeding trials to be conducted in St. Kitts as his thesis research project. So started the Animal Science Department’s direct involvement in international and tropical agriculture. James’s thesis project in 1968 in St. Kitts, involved the building of feeding pens for 12 cattle (Holstein steers and 6 Senepol steers- a Caribbean hybrid breed, which had to be brought to St. Kitts by boat from nearby Nevis). A 77-day feeding period resulted in average daily gains of 0.5 kg – a reasonable amount under Caribbean conditions. Lionel Part II, Chapter 1

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James’s MSc thesis was accepted in 1969, and it was concluded that the promising results for regionally-produced sugarcane feed required comprehensive data collection over extended periods.

Cattle feeding pens in St. Kitts (built for the project). As the necessary facilities were not available in St. Kitts, a visit was made to Barbados, where the Government Animal Nutrition Unit was directed by a former Macdonald Animal Science BSc graduate, Robbie Quintyne (later obtaining an MSc in Animal Science, under my direction). It was agreed that the Barbados unit could be expanded to include a major cattle feeding building, and that a project proposal would be submitted to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); the project to be in partnership between Canada and the Government of Barbados. The proposal cowritten by Keith Laurie (a Barbadian sugar-technologist working for CCC), and myself (representing the department), was submitted directly to the President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a recently created Canadian government agency. A question was raised about the adequacy of Veterinary services in Barbados, Part II, Chapter 1

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both to service the project and with the possibility of expanding animal production. Our department’s animal pathologist, Dr. H.G. Gibbs (DVM)40, went to Barbados to conduct a survey of Veterinary facilities and reported that the two local Veterinarians were not adequate for the projected livestock project. As a result, the project budget was increased to include a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory as well as the services of a Canadian Veterinarian during the 3.5-year project period (1970-74). Barbados: Funding of $2 million for the expanded “Barbados Comfith Project” was approved by CIDA. The approval process was facilitated by Dr. George Dion, former Dean of the Macdonald Faculty (1955 – 1971). Upon leaving the Macdonald Campus, Dr. Dion became

Cattle feeding pen built for project at Pine Nutrition Unit (Barbados Ministry of Agriculture). 40

Dr. Gibbs was originally from Barbados, before immigrating to Canada and completing his DVM degree at Guelph

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CIDA’s Agricultural Adviser and played a key role in the CIDA ongoing evaluation and support of the Barbados project and in the later one in Trinidad. CIDA contracted Canadian Cane Consultants – CCC (a sub-company of Canadian Cane Equipment – CCE, the developers of the sugarcane processing equipment, as the executing agency of the Barbados project with the condition that McGill’s Animal Science Department would supply technical services, and I would serve as the Project’s Technical Coordinator.

C.K. Laurie (a Barbadian) was appointed Project Director.

Lionel James, just completing his Macdonald MSc, based on the St. Kitts pilot trials, was employed as the Project Nutritionist. The project was located at the Pine Nutrition Unit of the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture, and the initial stage comprised the building of a penned cattle feeding facility and also a building for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Several Macdonald Animal Science staff were consultants on the project, particularly Prof. H. Gibbs, on veterinary aspects. Ongoing project evaluation was achieved through periodic meetings in Barbados of an Advisory Committee, with Committee Members representing the Barbados Government, CIDA (G. Dion), Agriculture Canada (W. Pigdin), CCC/CCE (R. Miller).

Project-progress Reports were presented at each committee

meeting. The positive project results with feeding trials, involving growing steers and lambs, were evaluated by the Advisory Committee at the project completion in 1974, with CIDA agreeing to fund a further enlarged project to be based on commercial livestock production prototype trials to be conducted in Trinidad (being the site of the Agriculture Faculty of the University of the West Indies). In 1973, CIDA sponsored in Barbados, a Seminar on “Sugar Cane as a Livestock Feed”, with attendees from the Commonwealth Caribbean countries, and at which time papers were presented, based on the Barbados project results. A paper presented at the World Conference on Animal Production in Australia (1973) was the initial external presentation of the Barbados project results (Donefer, E., Part II, Chapter 1

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James, L.A., Laurie, C. K.). In an overview report on the World Conference, Professor E.J. Underwood commented in a 1974 Newsletter of the Australian Society of Animal Production, as follows: “New avenues for intensive production were not lacking. A notable example was presented by Dr. Donefer [and team], of Canada, from his work in Barbados on the use of sugar-cane to provide feed for both ruminants and nonruminants”.

In 1974, I presented a paper describing the Barbados results at the

“Conference on Beef Production in Developing Countries” held at the University of Edinburgh. A paper by Dr. W. Pidgin (Agriculture Canada, and member of the Barbados Advisory Committee) was published in the FAO’s “World Animal Review” (1974) entitled “Derinded Sugar Cane as an Animal Feed – A Major Breakthrough.” Sugarcane Feeds Centre (SFC) –Trinidad: The new extended “canefeed” (sugarcane-derived feed) project was to be conducted in conjunction with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and the Trinidadbased Faculty of Agriculture of the University of the West Indies.


agreements with the T&T Ministry of Agriculture representatives resulted from discussions that were held during several visits to Trinidad by Dr. Dion, representing CIDA, and myself.

These included designation of a T&T financial contribution

(augmenting that of CIDA) and contribution of a project site in central Trinidad. McGill/Macdonald was contracted by CIDA to be the project’s executing agent ($5 million contract over a 5-year period). I was designated as (full-time) Project Director, with my McGill salary to be paid by CIDA, during the 1976-1981 project period (This released Department of Animal Science funds for temporary employment of faculty to cover my department responsibilities).41


A portion of the overhead funds paid by CIDA to McGill for its role as project executing agency was made available to the Faculty of Agriculture and the Department of Animal Science. Part of this contribution was used to purchase the first computer word processing system to be used collectively by the department (a pioneering program at that time).

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To enable pre-project planning prior to the initiation of the SFC in 1976, and related to requirements for large-scale construction of buildings, land reclamation, and other issues, McGill received several pre-project CIDA grants to supply advisory services to CIDA’s Caribbean division relating to the up-coming project start-up. Major activities in this 1974-1976 period were: (1) The establishment at Macdonald/Animal Science of a “Sugarcane Feeds Information Service (SFIS)”, which would survey world-wide information on this topic. The grants provided for the employment of 2-full time staff, Dr. Luis Latrille, originally from Chile, who had completed a PhD in Animal Nutrition at the University of California (Davis), and Sandra Shaar, a Macdonald Animal Science BSc Graduate who had also completed post-graduate studies in Library Science. Latrille and Shaar developed a system of reviewing world-wide sugarcane feeds research, and establishing recording systems and, wherever possible, obtaining original reprints (prior to present-day computer documentation systems the SFIS was a manual process). (2) Hiring of a Canadian Project Manager to be stationed in Trinidad (a Canadian Government requirement). This position was filled by George Muirhead, a previous agricultural extension specialist in British Columbia, who had spent the previous five years managing Livestock Development Projects in Zambia and Mauritius. Due to the large amount of project funds which McGill would administer ($5 million) and the distance between Montreal and Trinidad, McGill contracted the services of a financial and consulting firm to oversee the project financial records.


Canadian company “Coopers & Lybrand” had offices in Montreal and Trinidad, and would directly liaise with the Trinidad project operations. C & L staff also provided a personal training program for George Muirhead, particularly in project planning and management. (3) In early 1975, a 2-week Group visit to Jamaica, Cuba, and Mexico was undertaken to visit tropical livestock projects and see how they might relate to the SFC program.

The Group consisted of myself, Henry Garino (Macdonald Animal

Science), Lionel James (Caribbean Development Bank, Agricultural Advisor, in

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Barbados), Prof. Holman Williams (University of the West Indies, Chair, Livestock Science), and Dr. P. Osuji (University of the West Indies, Livestock Science Dept.). Prior to SFC start-up, several issues developed, which would affect the future SFC operations. 1. Canadian Cane Equipment (CCE), the company responsible for the invention of the Comfith Process, declared bankruptcy. Contributing to this situation was the lack of development of canefeed “separation equipment” which could be used for commercial applications. Separators used in St. Kitts and Barbados were prototype models, with engineering maintenance available on site, and which were not reliable when used in other project sites (in Mauritius, Mexico and under the direction of Dr. T.R. Preston, British former director of the Cuban Institute of Animal Science).

Unfortunately, CCE’s commercial development was not

monitored by Canadian Government Agencies which had partially funded the equipment’s development.

It also became apparent that a primary reason for

the CIDA support in Barbados was in assistance of a Canadian-developed technology, with the overall application of agriculture enhancement in developing countries as secondary. 2. The CCE patents came under Canadian Government control (due to previous funding) and several Canadian companies were licenced to further develop the separation equipment, with unsuccessful results. McGill and CIDA entered into negotiations for the SFC project execution, and two major contract changes requested by McGill were accepted, as follows: a) The major project objective in the CIDA draft contract stated the project objective was the ‘development of “Comfith”’ (the CCE trade-name, based on CCE separation technology) as a livestock feed. On McGill’s insistence, the term Canefeed replaced the term Comfith. Related to the unreliability of the CCE process, this allowed McGill, with its partners in Trinidad, to investigate any potential sugarcane-derived animal feed (“canefeed”).

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b) The second change McGill insisted upon related to the nationality of supervisory staff (stationed in Trinidad), with CIDA policy that 80% of such staff be Canadian. CIDA accepted that McGill would not be bound by any nationality quota. As a result, only 2 staff were of non-Caribbean nationality: George Muirhead (Canadian), who would serve for half of the project period as Manager and then be replaced by a Caribbean Manager. A post-graduate in Macdonald’s Agriculture Dept., J. Naugle, served a 2-year period in Trinidad, acting primarily as a backup for Prof. Bob Broughton (Macdonald) who was responsible for SFC’s major drainage, irrigation, and equipment aspects. All other SFC professional staff had been recent graduates from the University of the West Indies Faculty of Agriculture. The Assistant Director was Floyd Neckles, who replaced Muirhead as Director (until his retirement in 2012), as the SFC Director. Other recent UWI graduates employed by SFC were Gary Garcia (now Professor, UWI), A. Benn, E. King, H. Henry, and K. Charles. The above changes greatly contributed to the success of the 5-year project, and the fact that SFC still exists (2014), as a unit of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (2014 update included at end of chapter). During the pre-project period many Agriculturists in Trinidad served as consultants to the project, most being employees of the Ministry of Agriculture (many Agricultural Engineers with Macdonald degrees) or members of the UWI faculty. As Project Director, I was making 4-5 visits to Trinidad a year, but due to the excellent day-to-day management of SFC activities, I primarily acted as a go-between with two governments (Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago) and two universities (McGill and UWI). I reported to a McGill SFC Committee, chaired by S.P. Touchburn (Animal Science) which included W. Hitschfeld, Vice Principal, Graduate Studies and Research, and a McGill Accounting department representative. A Trinidad SFC Committee included Trinidad and Tobago Government, and University of the West Indies representatives.

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Project activities were initiated in October, 1976, with limited livestock feeding trials started at the UWI Research Farm. At the same time, the Sugarcane Feeds Centre (SFC) was being built on “idle land� in central Trinidad (Longdenville), contributed by the Trinidad Government, where an integrated beef and dairy production unit was established. Cattle supply was based on purchasing calves which were the progeny of Holstein cattle, previously imported by Trinidad from Canada, as part of a program to establish local small-farm dairy farms. A calf-rearing unit, critical to the SFC program, was based on the purchase of young calves from small-scale Trinidad dairy farmers (a Trinidad and Tobago sponsored program). After leaving the calf-rearing unit they would move to the cattle-feeding unit until reaching market weigh. An initial task was rehabilitating land (60 hectares) which was half forest and the rest low-fertility fallow land, unsuitable for crop production, as surveyed by Prof. Ben Warkenton (Macdonald, Soils) and counterpart UWI staff. A land reclamation program was developed based on soil drainage installation and future applications of livestock manure, under the direction of Prof. Bob Broughton (Macdonald, AgEng), who acted as a project consultant during the entire project. Dr. Broughton supervised construction of an earthen dam on a small creek on the project site with the resultant pond supplying water for project operations. A separate lagoon was also developed to hold cattle manure washed from the cattle pens.

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McGill and University of the West Indies (UWI) staff planning land rehabilitation.

As the project progressed, increasing amounts of the lagoon’s cattle manure slurry was applied directly to the sugarcane fields, using an irrigation system designed by Dr. Broughton. The efficacy of this system during the project life resulted in the once idle land producing sugarcane harvests above average Trinidadian commercial yields.

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Bob Broughton and manure-irrigation system used to fertilize sugarcane plants.

Construction of livestock and office buildings was designed by Prof. John Ogilvie (Macdonald, AgEng) in conjunction with Trinidadian Agricultural Engineers (Macdonald MSc Graduates). The general plan utilized concrete floored pens, slopped so that upon daily washing manure would drain into the lagoon.

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Partially constructed SFC site. Pond at right. Livestock pens center. Sugarcane plots top and bottom. Office buildings (bottom) not yet constructed.

Regarding the processing of sugarcane, use of the original Canadian Cane Equipment separator was abandoned due to difficulties in operation and maintenance, as experienced at the SFC. SFC imported small stationary choppers from Brazil (with assistance of Henry Garino), to chop cane stalks and cane tops. As cattle numbers increased these were replaced by larger Brazilian choppers. Again needing to increase output with expanding cattle population, Bob Broughton proposed and put into place a stationary corn chopper (imported from the U.S.). Further in the project, a field corn harvester was used with the chopped sugarcane blown into wagons. Concrete trench silos were also built and research commenced on the use of ensiled chopped cane (particularly of importance during the Trinidad rainy season when field operations were difficult).

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Filed chopper used to harvest and chop sugarcane.

Several Macdonald staff aided in the conduct of the SFC. Particularly to be noted was the 1-month period spent in Trinidad by Dick Channon, Animal Science Technician, to evaluate the meat quality of the SFC-produced beef. Professor Elliot Block helped establish the SFC Dairy cattle program and particularly the evaluation of project results.

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Lean beef produced at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre.

Annual Workshops of Commonwealth Caribbean agricultural officers (14-countries represented) were held at SFC to periodically present project results (travel expenses supported by CIDA). McGill Faculty attendees at these meetings included Dean W. Hitchcock (Graduate Faculty), and Drs. R. Buckland and S.P. Touchburn. Part II, Chapter 1

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A summary of the 5-year project results was presented at the Fifth World Conference on Animal Production in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan. The results indicated that satisfactory cattle weigh gains and resultant high meat quality could be obtained with a ration consisting of a large portion of locally produced canefeed. Note: As protein and other nutrient supplements to the canefeed rations were based on imported materials (particularly soybean meal) later trials were initiated at SFC to develop locally–produced protein sources (particularly based on the leucina plant). Projected economic feasibility of the canefeed system varied according to cost of imported or locally produced meat products and feed supplements. After completion of the Canadian involvement (CIDA/McGill) the project was handed over in 1981 to the Trinidad & Tobago government which has continued to maintain and expand the Centre’s operation.42


Bringing things up-to-date, in 2010, supported by McGill’s Department of Animal Science, I presented a historical review of the three canefeed projects at the III Congress on Tropical Animal Production sponsored by the Cuban Institute of Animal Science, held in Havana and attended by participants from all the LatinAmerican countries. At this meeting, different Latin American institutions also presented results of recent studies relating to the use of sugarcane derived livestock feeds. A motive of the Havana paper was to describe the Macdonald Animal Science initiated Caribbean projects (1968-1981) as a pioneering demonstration of the technical feasibility of using sugarcane as the primary feed ingredient in ruminant rations.

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In Trinidad, the SFC also had demonstrated use of a complete agricultural system, integrating cattle (beef/milk) production with soil fertility and crop production, as illustrated in the following diagram:

At this time, much research and application of the concept of using sugarcane-derived animal feeds appears throughout the tropical world. This is particularly important because of a marked reduction in sugar production for human consumption, occurring in many sub-tropical and sub-tropical countries.

This is due, in part, because of

increasing production of “High Fructose Corn Syrups� in temperate-climate countries, which vastly decreased need for imported sugar. Alternative use of the perennial sugarcane plant is becoming critical as the crop has a high yielding potential source of high-energy animal feeds, in tropical and subtropical countries (the crop is used in countries like Brazil to produce alcohol-based fuel). In many areas, where high yielding sugarcane growing has been suspended, alternative plants are lower yielding and less acclimated to tropical environments.

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Present-day use of sugarcane-derived livestock feeds – an update: A brief historical perspective of the introduction of sugarcane to the Caribbean (and many other world tropical areas) is a precursor to understanding the current status of the crop and it use. Introduced to newly established European colonial expansion in the Caribbean (from the 17th century), sugar was the main export crop to the “home” countries: Holland, Britain, France, Spain, and was also the major driving force in the establishment of the African slave trade as a source of cheap labor. Skipping to 3 centuries later, the post-World War II era was witness to the Commonwealth (former British) Caribbean countries gaining independence, and also resulted in losing their British-favored market when the U.K. joined the European Economic Community. Ownership of the existing sugar producing factories was transferred to local sources (either government, as Trinidad and Tobago, or private- Barbados, St. Kitts). As sugar was the major cash export crop (particularly to the U.S. and Canada) there was some local opposition to the concept of using the sugarcane plant as a feed material for livestock. The contrary situation was that these Caribbean countries depended primarily on the costly import of foods for local consumption (and the tourist trade), particularly those derived from animal sources (from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). Unfortunately, the export of sugar began to suffer from a reduced demand by North American and other markets: a particularly high world-sugar price in the 1970s resulted in the U.S. development of an alternative sugar source “High Fructose Corn Syrup”, derived from processing domestic corn grain and used primarily in processed food products. Due to the low nutritional value of sugar in the human diet (“empty calories”) there has also been widespread recommendations that sugar consumption be reduced. Thus in recent years, due to a variety of causes (lower demand, lost markets, and high cost of production), Caribbean production and export of sugar has “crashed.” Sugar factories in Barbados and Trinidad have closed, although Jamaica still maintains some level of sugar export. Of note, in the largest sugar producing Caribbean country, Cuba,

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half of the over 100 factories have closed, with sugar exports to China representing their major market. These events were reflected in the present Caribbean situation which I would witness in a recent Trinidad trip (June, 2013), and where I had the opportunity of visiting the Sugarcane Feeds Centre (my previous visit had been 25-years earlier). The visit gave me the opportunity of meeting many former associates from the period of the McGill-SFC involvement, and a visit to the Longdenville SFC projects site, where a meeting was arranged with former and present SFC staff. Among those at the meeting were Dr. Holman Williams, retired Professor, University of the West Indies, Floyd Neckles, recently retired SFC Director, and Dr. Gary Garcia, Professor, University of the West Indies, Trinidad Campus.

2013 SFC “reunion�: G. Garcia, H. Williams, K. Archibald, F. Neckles, E. Donefer, and C. Lalo.

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Still functioning as a unit of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, much has evolved in the SFC’s mandate as reflected in the projects currently being undertaken. In fact, the use of canefeeds are now only a minor part of the SFC’s present mandate, which is now defined as the production of foods of local origin for local consumption. [A more appropriate renaming of the present-day SFC might be “Sustainable Foods Centre.”] The following statements from the Ministry of Food Production of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago) reflect the current SFC mandate. A vision statement (2013) affirmed SFC “to be at the forefront in integrated agricultural livestock research and development, providing up to date, relevant technical information in the development of sustainable, adaptable production systems for the benefit of the national and regional farming community.” A 2010 outline of SFC activities (excerpts), operating as a semi-autonomous entity of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, follows: 

“… it has evolved into a full-fledged integrated farm-type operation engaged in training, demonstration and outreach/extension programmes with farmers and their representative organizations.”

SFC is fully equipped with a library which serves to facilitate the Extension/Education programme. Information can be obtained on the Centre’s work and on items relevant to integrated farming and more sustainable agriculture.

At the Centre, over 40 hectares are under cultivation for use as livestock feed. It has the capacity to house 60 animals for dairying

Calves are reared artificially in individual crates. They are weaned at an early age and transferred to the Cattle Growth Unit.

Water Buffalo/ Buffalypso are reared and kept for meat production.

Tropically–adapted sheep breeds kept are Barbados Black belly, West African, Wiltshire Horn and the Katahdin.

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There are also production units for pigs, rabbits and broilers such as “common fowl”, turkeys and cocrico [large wild bird].

Aquaculture is also practiced at SFC. Red and silver tilapia and the indigenous cascadura are reared in 13 earthen ponds at the two hectare unit.

Other features at SFC are compost production used for potting plants and the use of manure from recycled nutrients.

They use a 50 cubic metre “Chinese–type Fixed Dome” Biogas Digester. The gas is used as a source of energy and the digested slurry is used as fertilizer.

The Centre has received visits in big numbers with approximately 25,000 persons passing through the Centre annually and aims to sensitize young people to the value of agriculture, trying to attract youth via our outreach programmes with schools and universities.

Extension work is conducted through appointments, advisory farm visits and participation in exhibitions, workshops and seminars both locally and abroad.

SFC recently launched four livestock production courses aimed at all stakeholders in the agricultural field. Courses include farm waste management, livestock pre and postnatal management, swine artificial insemination and a deep litter rabbit production system. A final statement from the Ministry of Food Production as to its national mandate: to remain “dedicated to reducing the food import bill and making Trinidad and Tobago a food secure nation.” Impact of SFC on Trinidad and Tobago Food Production Working with CIDA staff, who have witnessed and supported projects over a period of many years, I have often heard that once Canadian funding has been completed there is a good probability that CIDA-supported projects will not be continued, based on lack of local funding. This has certainly not been the experience of the McGill and Canadian Government involvement in the Trinidad and Tobago’s Sugarcane Feeds Centre. Although the nature of the original mandate may have changed, its expanding projects Part II, Chapter 1

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demonstrate SFC’s continuing contribution to support local food security. Canada and McGill can be proud of its early involvement (1976-81) in the SFC project partnership with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Selected publications relating to report results from SFC projects: Donefer, E., James. L.A., and Laurie, C. K. 1973. Use of a Sugarcane-derived Feedstuff for Livestock. Proceedings of III World Conference on Animal Production, Melbourne, Australia, Sydney University Press, 1975, pg. 563-566. Donefer, E. 1983. Integrated Sugarcane/Livestock Production Systems. Fifth World Conference on Animal Production, Tokyo, Japan. Proceeding of the V WCAP 1:294-299. Donefer, E., Brunton, P.D. and Neckles, F.A. 1983. Symposium Paper: Intensive Beef Production System Using Sugarcane-Based Rations. Fifth World Conference on Animal Production, Tokyo, Japan. Proceeding of the V WCAP 2:845-846. Neckles, F.A. 1986. Experiences with whole sugarcane Trinidad and Tobago. Proceedings of an FAO Expert Consultation held in Santo Domingo. FAO Production and Health Paper 72:83-92. Garcia, G.W., F.A. Neckles, F.A. and C.H.O. Lallo. 1990. Sugar cane based diets for beef production. Cuban J. Agric. Sci. 24:15.

Canefeed – Jamaican pith project. Department of Animal Science staff (E. Donefer. E. Block, H. Garino) become involved in 1983-85 in a further CIDA supported livestock canefeed project conducted in conjunction with the Jamaican Sugar Industry Research Institute.

This project

investigated the use of sugarcane pith (low nutritive quality / high fibre product with sugar removed).

The project evaluated the use of chemical treatment (NaOH) to

increase the cane pith’s feeding value, based on early research at Macdonald. The treated or untreated pit constituted 47% of the ration’s dry matter composition, complimented by molasses (31%), corn grain (10%), and soybean meal (8%). Cattle fed the treated pith ration had slightly greater daily gains compared to a conventional ration, 0.89 vs. 0.81 kg, but the difference was not statistically significant. The results were probably confounded by the high nutritive value of the non-pith feed ingredients, but further trials were not conducted to determine the effect of different pith ration levels.

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Dairy Herd Improvement DHAS  PATLQ  Valacta By Kevin Wade

Valacta (Dairy Production Centre of Expertise in Québec and the Atlantic provinces) moved to its current home at 555 boul. des Anciens-Combattants in 1993 in a building named by McGill for the organization’s Founder – John E. Moxley.

Summary In June of 1963, a proposal by Professor John Moxley to initiate a milk-recording program was approved by the Comité de Zootechnie du Québec, and in 1965, the Québec Ministry of Agriculture authorized the initiation of a “farmer-financed milk recording service”. The records show that the University approved the rental of a computer to develop and provide this service on the condition that it be done at no cost to the University! In November of that same year, an IBM computer was purchased and installed in the basement of what is now the Raymond Building on the Macdonald Campus. The service was promoted at the 1966 Salon d’agriculture with resounding success; so much so that the exhibit was used as the backdrop for official ceremonies at the Salon for the next three years. Field service for producers commenced in May 1966, and with that, the Québec Dairy Herd Analysis Service (DHAS) was born. From its humble beginnings with 115 local herds, the program spread to cover all of Québec as well as the Maritime Provinces. It became a joint offering between Macdonald College and the Québec Ministry of Agriculture and, by 1984, was processing almost 8,500 dairy herds and more

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than 320,000 individual cow records. Today, Valacta – on the point of celebrating 50 years of existence – is responsible for the computer processing of all milk-recording cows in Canada, has one of the largest analytical laboratories in North America, and is the recipient of numerous annual delegations from all over the world, many of which have entered into agreements to have a similar system developed for the dairy industry in their respective countries. The early years: Three years after the DHAS




Annual Report (196768) documented that DHAS involved 750 dairy cattle herds and 25,000 dairy cows in Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. In Québec this early program related to 4% of the milk produced in the Province and $12 million of farm income. In this year, 11 fulltime DHAS staff were associated with Animal Science and another 4 with the Computer Centre which provided state-of-the-art large scale computers to process the DHAS reports as well provide computer facilities for faculty and graduate student research projects. In the Department’s 1969-70 Annual Report, the phenomenal growth of DHAS in one year is illustrated by the fact that increased staff of 18 DHAS “Supervisors” (field-men) made 21,000 farm visits and 90 reports were being mailed daily to participating dairy farmers. Dairy Herds, registered in the program, totaled 1,875 (1,675 in Québec and 200 in the Maritime Provinces). This now represented 9% of Québec milk production. Five department staff were listed as being associated with DHAS: Prof. Moxley (Director), Prof. H. MacRae (Milk Testing Laboratory), Prof. P.Y. Hamilton (Extension), O.P. Manville (Nutrition services –feed testing), N.A. Campell (Operations Manager). Part II, Chapter 2

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As 90% of the Québec dairy farmers in the program were French-speaking, a requirement for all DHAS “field-men” was that they be bi-lingual, with the majority having French as their first language. The initial DHAS field-men (supervisors) were primarily recent graduates of the (2-year) Macdonald College Diploma Program. Valacta and McGill: The link between Valacta and staff in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has remained very strong, especially with the Department of Animal Science. In 2001, a submission to NSERCs University-Industry Synergy program was rewarded with the recognition of Valacta’s unique ties to the Department of Animal Science and the Faculty in general. Over the years, this synergy has displayed itself in collaboration among researchers, development of management tools for use by producers and advisors, participation in teaching, and joint participation in foreign missions. Our students have gone on to work there, and, in fact, the current General Manager – Dr. Daniel Lefebvre – is a graduate from our PhD program in ruminant nutrition. When it was obvious that Valacta had expanded well beyond a “research initiative”, and was clearly an essential component to the dairy industry in Québec and Canada, McGill relinquished its controlling share to the dairy producers themselves (les producteurs laitiers du Québec) in 1996. That division of ownerships lasts to this day (52% FPLQ, 24% McGill, and 24% MAPAQ). In 2006, PATLQ (Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec) officially changed its name to Valacta and broadened its mandate to become the Dairy Production Centre of Expertise in Québec and the Atlantic provinces. It has grown to so much more than what started out as the rudimentary analyses of milk samples in the basement of a building: today it provides expert advice on almost every conceivable aspect of dairy production, ranging from component analyses and quota projection to nutritional advice, dry-cow transition, and comfort and welfare. This last aspect is beautifully illustrated by their participation in the 2016 NSERC Novalait - Dairy Farmers of Canada – Valacta Industrial Research Chair in the Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle: the Department of Animal Science’s latest academic position.

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Valacta remains one of the department’s greatest success stories: a success that is inextricably linked to the vision of John Moxley.

What may, to today’s “wired”

generation seem like an obvious application of computers and their technologies, was almost unheard of in the early ’60s. It was Moxley’s vision that saw the potential, and arguably made one of the most significant impacts on an industry which today ranks third in the Canadian agricultural sector and exports more than $100 million in dairy genetics each year. Very little of this could have been achieved so efficiently without the introduction of milk recording.

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Moxley’s work was widely acclaimed and recognized. In 1977 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre du mérite agronomique and received the Certificate of Merit from the Canadian Society of Animal Science; in 1979 he was the first animal scientist to receive the Grindley Award, the highest honour from the Agricultural Institute of Canada, which subsequently made him a Fellow in 1982. He retired from McGill and was promoted to the rank of Emeritus in 1987. He was inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1989. In October 2006, the Macdonald Branch of the McGill Alumni Association honoured him with one of its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards, as part of Macdonald College’s centenary celebrations. When Valacta moved to its new building in 1993, the University was not yet in the habit of naming structures after individuals who were still alive – another first for “Mox” (although he was heard to remark that he was very relieved at not being required to fulfill the previous conditions)! More information on Valacta, its history, and its mission can be found on their website.43



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The Animal Biotechnology Wave By Bruce Downey

In 2007, Vilceu Bordignon, and his team of researchers in the Department of Animal Science, produced the first cloned pigs in Canada.

Professor Robert D. Baker, a reproductive physiologist in the Department, had carried out significant research on the manipulation of mammalian embryos during the late 1960s. In addition to research with rabbit, sheep and pig embryos, the first calf resulting from the transfer of an embryo to a recipient mother at Macdonald was born in February, 1973. This led to a major initiative on Dr. Baker’s part that resulted in the establishment of the Macdonald Embryo Unit through which bovine embryo transfer services were offered to the general public starting in late 1974. At the time, I was employed by Ayerst Research Laboratories in Chazy, N.Y., USA, and had been carrying out some collaborative research (mainly in pigs) with Dr. Baker during the previous two years. Imagine my surprise when he asked me bluntly in a casual telephone call “Well, do you want to come and work with me or not?” Although we had discussed his embryo transfer project on a few occasions, he had never suggested that I might participate. As it turned out, he needed a licensed veterinarian for the surgical and health care aspects of the program involving the animals of paying clients. Hence, I arrived on campus with my family in July, 1974, to begin what would become a fulfilling academic career. Embryo transfer (ET) techniques were still somewhat experimental even though several research groups and private companies were now getting into the “business”, particularly in North America. The International Embryo Transfer Society, based in Colorado, USA, was formed in 1975 and I became a charter member. Initially, commercial embryo transfer was focused on the faddish “exotic” beef cattle market which involved the importation of exotic breeds to North America and then breeding or cross-breeding them to garner high prices for the offspring. As exotic meant “from overseas”, quarantine procedures added considerable expense to the endeavour and, as it turned out, the only quarantine station at the time for cattle entering North America was Canadian and was located at Grosse Ile in the St. Lawrence River, downstream from Québec City. We found ourselves in a prime location at Macdonald as Part II, Chapter 3

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all animals destined for Canada or the USA had to pass through quarantine at Grosse Ile. Moreover, the timely new technique of embryo transfer rendered it possible for a cow to have several offspring in a year instead of the usual one. At the time, ET involved the hormonal stimulation of a cow’s ovaries (so that multiple ovulations might result), insemination of the cow with bull semen, and surgical recovery of the developing embryos a few days later. After establishing its development in vitro, each viable embryo was transferred into the reproductive tract of a synchronized recipient surrogate mother (cow or heifer). While not strictly biotechnology in the contemporary sense, these early efforts in ET evolved, subsequently, into the practices of in vitro fertilization, embryo and sperm manipulation, cloning and the production of transgenic animals. Dr. Baker wrote an early popular article on the subject in 1975 (“Embryo Transfer in Québec”, The Macdonald Journal, April 1975).44 Renovations were made to the sheep barn on the Macdonald Farm to include a modern large animal surgery, a reproduction research laboratory, and animal holding facilities for up to 40 cattle. Provision was made to house recipient females on a nearby farm in Pierrefonds. Initial full time staff at the new Macdonald Embryo Unit included Lynn Forgrave, MSc, (General Manager), Stephanie Trerice (Animal Health Technician), Claude Leblanc (Animal Caretaker) and Collette Asselin (Secretary). Dr. Bob Baker continued to teach and train graduate students and I undertook to teach and to supply veterinary services to the Macdonald farm, in addition to our duties at the Embryo Unit. Paul Martin, DVM, PhD, was hired in 1975 to provide additional veterinary expertise and he also was cross appointed in the Department of Animal Science and did some teaching. Paul came to McGill from a Post-doctoral Fellow position at the University of Illinois. The commercial objectives of the Macdonald Embryo Unit were only partially met. Expectations were very high on the part of the animal owners and, unfortunately, there


Issues of The Macdonald Journal, while not yet digitized, are held in the Macdonald Campus Library, McGill University, and can be accessed through http://www.mcgill.ca/library.

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was still much to be learned and tested with this very new technology. The surgical approach was expensive, and when the beef market suffered a significant downturn in 1975, it was decided to close the commercial component in early 1976. Subsequent history showed that success in the ET industry came primarily with valuable breeding stock of the Holstein breed and with the use of non-surgical embryo recovery and transfer. Although attempts were made to perfect the non-surgical ET technique at Macdonald, it did not come in time to apply it to the existing commercial program. On the positive side, several graduate degrees resulted from research conducted in conjunction with the Macdonald Embryo Unit. On December 16, 1976, the calf nicknamed “Popsicle” was born after being frozen for 98 days as an embryo, thawed and transferred to a recipient mother. The birth was mere days short of being the first such calf to be born in Canada. The calf was a product of Neil Segal’s MSc thesis research. Research in animal reproduction continued at the “Unit” even though Dr. Baker resigned from the Department in 1976 with the aim of continuing his work in the embryo transfer industry. In recognition of the





embryo recovery and transfer was carried out on Macdonald Princess Oleana 3rd (a top producer in the Macdonald herd) in 1979 by Dr. Ken Bedirian, one of Dr. Baker’s former students, using non-surgical procedures. Six calves resulted and I documented the details in an article in The Macdonald Journal entitled “A Litter of Calves” in September, 1980. A further article on developments in the field was published in The Macdonald Journal in February, 1983 (Downey, “Embryo Transfer and Other New Technologies”). Part II, Chapter 3

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In 1984, the Natural Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada awarded the NSERC Research Chair in Avian Biotechnology to the Department. This represented the first major initiative within the Faculty into the burgeoning new field of molecular biology, and the search commenced for an appropriate person to fill the position. By coincidence, the Faculty was searching for a Director for the newly established School of Dietetics & Human Nutrition at this time and was seriously interested in hiring Dr. Harriet Kühnlein for the position. It turned out that her husband, Dr. Urs Kühnlein, was a molecular biologist working for Atomic Energy of Canada. After much negotiation, both Kühnleins were hired and arrived in early 1985. With the encouragement and support of the Department and Mr. Don Shaver of Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms Ltd., the industrial partner, Professor Urs Kühnlein became the holder of the NSERC Chair. He proceeded with the development of a molecular biology laboratory and research program which focused initially on genetic markers of disease resistance in poultry. He recruited several researchers to work in his laboratory including Dr. David Zadworny who is still affiliated with this laboratory at the time of writing. In the early 1990s, Dr. Jeff Turner’s research on the transformation



mammary cells to secrete proteins of pharmaceutical interest in milk led to the founding




company Agri-Cultures Inc. (later the name was changed to Nexia Inc.) With the support of venture capital, this company initiated a research program, designed to produce such proteins in milk through the production of transgenic offspring carrying the appropriate gene(s). Initially, the research was Part II, Chapter 3

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conducted at the Large Animal Research Unit on Campus, and later was transferred to off-campus facilities owned (or rented) by Nexia. Several graduate students from the Department received degrees from McGill for their work within this program. Goats were used as the experimental animal and a major first success was the production, on Campus, of cloned female kids (see photo on Page 73 – the 90s). More details on this event are documented in Keefer et al., 2001 “Generation of dwarf goat (Capra hircus) clones following nuclear transfer with transfected and non-transfected fetal fibroblasts and in vitro-matured oocytes”. Biol. Reprod. 64:849-856. Subsequently, several faculty members in the Department including Professors Bordignon, Duggavathi and Kimmins, among others, routinely use molecular biological techniques in their research work. In fact, Bordignon was part of the group (CIAQ, L'Alliance Boviteq inc., and the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire de l'Université de Montréal) who collaborated to successfully clone the famous CIAQ Holstein Bull – Hanoverhill Starbuck - on September 7, 2000. After his arrival on the Macdonald Campus, Bordignon later replicated this feat when he produced the first cloned pigs in Canada on the Macdonald Campus in 2007 (see page 125). This nationally-acclaimed accomplishment would lead the way for research into human medical issues that can be better understood if the genetic “noise” is removed, given the pig’s similarity with the human body and physiology. To this day, the Department of Animal Science continues its ground-breaking research in areas of vital interest to human populations (fertility, obesity, and gene-editing techniques) that can be studied in animal models.

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Ruminant Nutrition Research on Forage Utilization By Eugene Donefer

From trade journal article on Macdonald Campus Animal Science ruminant research project (1962). “Artificial Rumen� was a popular term for in vitro rumen fermentation experiments conducted in test tubes, using microbial sample being obtained from a rumen-fistulated steer (by PhD Graduate Student E. Donefer).

When Earle Crampton joined the Macdonald staff in 1922, he had completed a B.S. degree at the University of Connecticut (1920), and a M.S. degree (1922) from the University of Iowa. To further his scientific knowledge and research potential relating to animal production, Earle Crampton (while still a Macdonald Faculty member) began research studies leading to a PhD degree under the direction of Dr. L. A. Maynard at Cornell University.

His resulting thesis publication in 1938, co-authored with Dr.

Maynard (with much of the research conducted on the Macdonald Campus) was entitled “The relation of cellulose and lignin to the nutritive value of animal feeds” (J. Nutrition 15:383). This research with its pioneering conclusions, questioned the validity of existing chemical procedures and proposed new methods of analysis for cellulose and lignin. Their publication quickly became one of the most frequently cited papers in the biological sciences (as documented by the “Current Contents” publication).


research was related to the utilization of forages (pasture, hay, silage) by herbivorous animals and particularly by ruminants. Crampton demonstrated that the ligno-cellulose plant complex limited the utilization of cellulose as a microbial energy supply due to restricting cellulose digestibility by the symbiotic bacteria and protozoa inhabiting the rumen portion of the multi-chamber gastric system. This symbiotic system enabled herbivorous/ruminant species to utilize plant cellulose (the largest biological component present on the planet) to produce high-quality protein in animal products such as meat and milk, either as prey for carnivorous animals, or by primitive huntergatherer humans and particularly in the rise of domesticated animal production systems in modern agriculture. The nitrogen necessary for the animal protein synthesis was largely obtained from degraded microbial protein. In a UN-FAO conference paper in 1995, the renowned British nutritionist E. O. Ostrov, ended a review paper with this comment: “I would finally like to pay tribute to the great Canadian scientist, E. W. Crampton… he must surely be considered as one of the giants of ruminant nutrition.” Part II, Chapter 4

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Dr. Crampton and his associates were involved with research on forage utilization by ruminants for at least a 40-year period, initially in the Department of Nutrition, and continuing in the Department of Animal Science. In 1957, Crampton proposed that the level of voluntary intake (when forages were offered ad libitum) was of primary importance in describing the nutritive value of forages supporting ruminant production. Although this concept seems simplistic, up until that time forage evaluation research studies were based on animals receiving restricted fixed-intake diets, measuring plant digestibility but not voluntary intake – in livestock production systems, feed was generally offered free-choice (ad libitum). Dr. Crampton, through his graduate students, emphasized research on the basic concepts which he had introduced. Arriving at Macdonald in 1957, I was thus challenged by Crampton to develop laboratory methods to confirm forage utilization mechanisms. The method of choice was using in vitro systems where rumen fermentation was quantitatively studied in “test-tubes” using bacterial inoculum from rumen-fistulated sheep or cattle - a research method which, by the 1950s, was becoming a world-wide ruminant-nutrition research tool. To become quickly familiar with the successful in vitro system used at the Ohio State University Wooster Campus, Crampton proposed a visit to the Wooster station. So, in 1958, Lew Lloyd and myself (with wives) got into a car to make the trip to Ohio (first stopping in New York City, where I introduced the Lloyds to the pleasures of Coney Island, my boyhood hang-out growing up in Brooklyn). Arriving at Wooster, we received a very courteous welcome by the ruminant nutrition group and spend part of a week personally witnessing the operation of their in vitro system. Back at Macdonald, the challenge was to duplicate the Ohio in vitro system but, as often happens, this also allows for the introduction of modifications, which improved the system’s viability. Using Crampton’s cellulose analysis procedure it was possible to directly determine in vitro, the cellulose digestibility of different forages. This laboratory system, with the important assistance of a lab technician (Bruno Dolgowicz) Part II, Chapter 4

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resulted in studies done over a series of years, which provided the data for continuing research papers, involving many MSc and PhD graduate students (including myself). Results from sheep feeding trials (using forages harvested from test plots by the Department of Plant Science) were correlated with the in vitro lab results. Also to be acknowledged was the contribution of succeeding Department DVMs (D. Dale, H. Gibbs, and B. Downey) in surgically preparing rumen-fistulated steers used for obtaining microbial flora for the in vitro studies.

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A primary conclusion and research break-through, resulting from the test-tube studies, was the establishment of a high correlation between in vitro results at early stages of fermentation and the “voluntary intake” of the same forage, measured in feeding trials with sheep (conducted at that time in the basement of the Agricultural Building). The results demonstrated a critical difference between the nutritive values of different forage species. While leguminous species (alfalfa, clovers, etc.) had similar percent digestibility to grass species (timothy, brome, etc.) the voluntary intake of the legumes greatly exceeded the grasses. This research resulted in our “team” (Crampton, Lloyd, and myself) proposing a new standard for the nutritive evaluation of forages, based on both the quantity consumed and digested - an expression later used was Digestible Energy consumed (calories) per unit of the metabolic size of the animal Weight (kg) X 0.75. In the years following the Crampton team’s introduction of the voluntary intake concept of forage evaluation, it is has become internationally adopted as a research measurement tool relating to livestock production. With the introduction of the DHAS program at Macdonald in the mid ’60s, Dean Dion encouraged (and supported financially from “Stewart Funds” he administered) studies on how our laboratory forage evaluation results were obtained from forage samples, taken by the DHAS Supervisors during their on-farm visits. These results could be then used in the DHAS recommended feeding program to farmers. This forage testing system was based in our lab for several years, but was discontinued since the scale of laboratory forage analysis could not meet the extremely large number of samples from the growing number of farms on the DHAS system. A major shift in Department forages studies took place in the late-1960s, with the initiation of studies to investigate how poorly utilized “low-quality” forages or roughages, such as highly-lignified by-products of cereal straw and wood from prolific wood producers (hybrid Poplar), could be converted to higher-quality ruminant feeds. This led to a period of research on the use of chemical de-lignifying agents (already used in the paper manufacture process from wood), and particularly dilute solutions of Part II, Chapter 4

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NaOH which acted to dissolve lignin, freeing the cellulose for more complete utilization by the rumen micro-flora. As feed grain (corn) prices at that time were relatively low, there was no economic incentive to use produce-treated low-quality forages, particularly in North America, although various treatment systems were adapted in many developing tropical countries. In the current times of fuel energy shortages, commercial de-lignifying processes are being used internationally to treat cheap “biomass sources” such as fibrous crop by-products (like straw and corn stalks) to produce ethanol as a fuel substitute.45


“The above text documents Animal Science/nutrition/forage research from the ’30s and ending to the mid ’80s, at which time my personal participation in department activities ended. After that period to present times, other (newer) department members have been involved in a continuing ruminant-research programs (Block, Phillip, Mustafa, and Burgos).” Eugene Donefer

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The Nutrition Interaction Nutrition Teaching and Research on the Macdonald Campus46

By Eugene Donefer and Linda Starkey



In 2017, McGill’s Board of Governors approved the new name of “The School of Human Nutrition”.

Macdonald College started in 1907 with three different units: a Faculty of Agriculture, a School of Household Science, and a School for Teachers. The first two of these would have a continuing but changing relationship to present times. The Department of Animal Husbandry (later named Animal Science) was responsible for teaching and research relating to all aspects of dairy and beef cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry production, as a Major leading to an undergraduate degree (BSc) in the Faculty of Agriculture. Within the department, one of the areas of study related to animal nutrition. The initiation of teaching, and later research, in animal nutrition began with the arrival of Earle W. Crampton in 1922 as a new faculty member in the Department of Animal Husbandry. Crampton, having completed a BS in Agriculture at the University of Connecticut in 1920 and a MS at Iowa State University in 1922, accepted a position at Macdonald and moved to Canada where he would remain for the next 44-years. His teaching and research in Animal Nutrition started in the 1920s and continued to expand, gaining a lifetime international recognition for his writing, teaching and research. Dr. Crampton’ s role as the Macdonald Campus “nutritionist” was firmly established in 1937, when he completed a PhD at Cornell University, under the direction of Prof. L.A. Maynard, and later became Chair of the newly-formed Department of Nutrition in 1941. The School of Household Science was also evolving in its early years, with the introduction of the BHS (Bachelor of Household Science) degree first awarded in 1923. Initially the BHS program required 2-years of basic courses on the downtown McGill campus with the final 2-years at Macdonald. In 1938, the entire 4-year Bachelor of Household Science program was moved to the Macdonald Campus, and basic science courses (chemistry, physics, and biology) shared with the Agriculture Faculty.


recognition of increased science-based courses, the BHS (H.E.) degree was changed to a BSc (Home Economics) in 1944. A major initial interaction between the Nutrition Department and the School of Household Science related to the first-year course “Fundamentals of Human Nutrition” Part II, Chapter 5

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taught by Dr. Crampton and other Nutrition Department staff, jointly to Agriculture (Animal Husbandry) and Household Science students. This course continued as the major introduction to nutritional science, considered by students a formable challenge to pass, and later the basis of Crampton’s and Lloyds first published text book “Fundamental of Nutrition” (Crampton and Lloyd, 1960, 1978 2nd ed.).

In addition to the teaching

responsibilities in comparative nutrition, Dr. Crampton’s and associate’s pioneering achievements in many aspects of basic and applied nutrition are described elsewhere in this publication so that this section will deal with areas involving human and laboratory animal species. An important indication of the nutrition-related research in the 1930s was the introduction of a MSc. Program with 12 graduate students completing a thesis under Dr. Crampton’s direction while he was still a member of the Animal Husbandry Department. The expansion of research activity in the newly-formed Nutrition Department is reflected in the 62 graduate students completing their theses from the 1940s up to 1960. Of that total, 56 were MSc’s and 6 were PhD’s. The Nutrition Department staff was small, particularly considering their teaching and research outputs. In 1941, the only other staff member was Gordon Ashton (MSc Macdonald 1939). Ashton was a specialist in statistical analysis of research data, and together with Crampton, they were pioneers in this aspect of analyzing research results. Florence A. Farmer (BSc (HE), at Macdonald College), completed her MSc in 1944 and her PhD in 1947, both under the direction of Crampton. She then spent a post-doctoral year in the Nutrition Lab at Cornell University, returning to Macdonald to become the third staff member in the Nutrition Department. Lewis E. Lloyd completed MSc (1950) and PhD (1952) degrees in the Department of Nutrition, also under Crampton’s supervision, and spent a 1-year post-doc. period at Cornell University, returning to Macdonald to the 3 rd position in the Nutrition Part II, Chapter 5

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Department (Gordon Ashton having left the department to pursue a PhD program in the U.S.). The Nutrition Department was augmented in the 1950s by the presence of Dr. Alf F. Schurch, who was on-leave from his staff position at the Swiss Federal Technical Institute (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Schurch returned to Switzerland, and later became “the” Professor of the ETH Animal Nutrition Department.47 I (Eugene Donefer) became the fourth member of the Nutrition Department, having completed BS and MS degrees at Cornell. I arrived at Macdonald in 1957, with the staff title of Demonstrator and Senior Technician. My Demonstrator task was a teaching assignment in a section of the “Fundamentals of Nutrition” course and marking the exam answers for Dr. Crampton’s teaching section. As Senior Technician, I assumed direction of the Nutrition Chemical Analysis Lab and the Laboratory Animal facilities, which included a breeding colony of albino rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits (to be added later). All this under the supervision of Florence Farmer, who took a 5-year leave in 1959 for a volunteer position in India, at which time I replaced her on the Nutrition staff with the academic position of Lecturer. When Dr. Farmer returned to Canada she joined the staff of the Macdonald School of Food Science. Although Dr. Lloyd’s and my research involvements were with farm animals, our exposure to the Fundamentals of Nutrition teaching assignments which was orientated to comparative species nutrition (including humans) and with Household Science undergraduate students, led to increased knowledge regarding aspects of human nutrition. There was a personal aspect of the relationship between Agriculture and Food Science at Mac: since the undergraduate students in Agriculture were primarily male, and the


Personal note: I was to spend a Post-Doc year at the ETH in 1962-63.

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Food Science students were primarily female, this was a strong basis of social interaction on the Campus!

Both Lew Lloyd (Nutrition) and John Moxley (Animal

Husbandry) were married to Mac graduate Dietitians. Another MSc Nutrition graduate, in 1948, was Helen R. Neilson (BSc H.S., Mac), who in 1949 became the seventh Director of the School of Household Science on the Macdonald Campus. Both Neilson and Farmer would later supervise many Graduate students in human nutrition-related research projects. The scope of nutrition research at Macdonald was far-reaching. Crampton and associates continued feeding trials with swine, sheep and cattle, and laboratory animals (mostly rats and rabbits), as described in other chapters of the Animal Husbandry, Nutrition, and Animal Science Department’s history. Perhaps the greatest change in the ’40s and ’50s was research related to human and comparative species nutrition, involving a substantial number of post-graduate degrees under Crampton’s supervision. The leading incentive for this change came from the Canadian government’s support for nutrition information during the WWII period. This research contribution can best be described by referring to two of the many publications from the Nutrition Department. In the Journal of Nutrition 28:541 (1951), a paper entitled “The Apparent Digestibility of Essentially Similar Diets by Rats, Sheep, Swine, and Human Subjects” was published with the following authors: E.W. Crampton, M. I. Irwin, L. E. Lloyd and H. R. Neilson. Nine years later, a publication by E.W. Crampton, F.A. Farmer, H.B. McKirdy, L.E. Lloyd, E. Donefer and D.J. Shad in the J. of Nutrition 72: 177, (1960) was entitled “A statistical study of apparent digestibility of energy yielding coefficients of nutritionally adequate mixed diets consumed by 103 young human adults.” Some description of this later research project is necessary. The 103 subjects were the students in the Fundamentals of Nutrition course. The objective of the research was to test the validity of the Part II, Chapter 5

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“physiological fuel factors” proposed by W.O. Atwater in 1899 (60 years earlier) for the calculation of the caloric content of foods. The Macdonald research was based on baking (on campus) “Green Muffins” which provided a nutritionally complete diet and the only food consumed by the students for the duration of the experiment. The students came daily to collect a ration of muffins and after several days to bring their fecal samples for chemical analysis. The muffins green color was due to the addition of a small quantity of Cr2O3, an indigestible marker used to determine the digestibility of the nutrients consumed (carbohydrates, fats, proteins). The Cr2O3 digestibilitymarker methodology was developed in the early ’50s in the Nutrition Department as described in several publications by Schurch, Lloyd, Crampton, and Irwin.


Macdonald studies confirmed Atwater’s original factors, from 1899, which are still in use today to determine the caloric content of foods and (animal) feeds. This amalgamation of the Nutrition Department into the newly formed Department of Animal Science in 1960, did not see an end to involvement in aspects of Human Nutrition, particularly as the only McGill post-graduate degrees (MSc and PhD) in Nutrition could be offered at McGill in the Animal Science Department (as inherited from the Nutrition Department), based on an much earlier McGill Senate decision. After his retirement in 1960, Dr. Crampton continued in a half-time position, actively involved in several research projects, one in particular with assistance of Dr. Moxley (Animal Science) involving the setting up of a computer system for data collection by the Montreal Diet Dispensary. In 1965 he and his wife returned to their home state of Connecticut. He returned once to the Macdonald Campus in 1973, as a special guest, when the E.W. Crampton Award for Nutrition was established by the Faculty. Important changes were also occurring in the School of Household Science, starting with Helen Neilson’s appointment as Director in 1949. In 1961, Dr. Florence Farmer joined the School staff, after her 5-year leave in India, and established the first research projects within the School. In 1967, the School of Household Science was renamed the Part II, Chapter 5

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School of Food Science in recognition of the emphasis on both food and nutritional sciences. In the mid ’70s, the Department of Agricultural Chemistry became part of the School of Food Science. Helen Nielson comments in her 1989 book (reference in Prologue Chapter) that between Dr. Farmer and herself they “directed the research of 10 students for the degree of Master of Science in Nutrition.” She also states that “these degrees were credited to Animal Science, masking the involvement of the School of Food Science.”

In the

Department of Animal Science’s 1976-77 Annual Report, of 15 graduate students majoring in Nutrition, eight were identified with interest in human nutrition and seven in animal nutrition. There might be some confusion as to the nature of the thesis projects of the graduate students whose primarily interest was related to human nutrition, which could involve experiments using laboratory animals (rats, rabbits), in some cases farm animals, or surveys of diet characteristics of human population groups. I would also recognize the close professional and personal relationships between all the graduate students involved with Nutrition post-graduate degrees with either animal or specific human orientation, particularly as participants in the graduate Nutrition courses offered by Animal Science (Nutrition) staff. Graduate seminars became an excellent opportunity for all to learn of the specifics of the widely diverse area of Nutrition research. The period of the late ’70s was highlighted by a special situation of student social interactions by what might be described as a “Nutrition Club” with Louise Miner (BSc H.E.) being a “leader.” Louise organized parties at her parent’s Laurentian Chateau and their island home near Île Perrot. Participants were nutrition post-grads and also invited were the nutrition-related faculty members. One special event occurred when several of the post-grads traveled to Mexico to surprise Rene Celis [MSc (Nut)] at his wedding. Later Louise and Joe Wojcik (also an MSc post-grad), completed their degrees,

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were married, with both going to Memorial University (Newfoundland) for Medical Degrees and later with medical career specializations in Montreal.48 Animal Science-Nutrition postgraduate students have gone on to careers in teaching and research in many institutions in Canada and the U.S. Following are references to some who have made special contributions relating to human nutrition: A notable early Nutrition postgraduate student was Isabel Irwin (MSc 1950, PhD 1952), completed under Dr. Crampton’s direction, who would join the staff of the Human Nutrition Research Division of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1961 to 1975. Dr. Irwin died in an automobile accident and was posthumously awarded the 1975 E.W. Crampton award for her “contribution to a body of research on nutrient utilization.” Estelle Mongeau, received her PhD under Dr. Crampton’s direction in 1966, his last Macdonald student.

Dr. Mongeau was Professor and Chair of the Department of

Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, from 1966 to 1993. Helene Delisle, obtained her MSc (Nut) from Macdonald in 1967 under the direction of Neilson and Lloyd.

She then completed her PhD at the Université de Montréal,

Department of Nutrition where she became a faculty member, after spending some years working in Africa, with a specialty in International Nutrition. Kaie Ojamaa completed her MSc at Macdonald in 1979 under the direction of Dr. Hartsock and a PhD at the School of Medicine of Pennsylvania State University in 1988. She is now Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine in the Hofstra University School of


“Joe, a family-medicine specialist, was my doctor in the ’90s when I worked on the downtown campus, and Louise delivered my youngest granddaughter in 1995. Louise became the Director of Obstetrics at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.” E. Donefer

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Medicine and Head of the Lab for Molecular Cardiovascular Research at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research, in Manhasset, New York. Marielle Ledoux completed a BSc Diététique degree at Université Laval (1967), an Education physique MSc at Université de Montréal (1971). She received a McGill PhD degree in the Department of Animal Science in 1978, under Dr. Touchburn’s direction. She became a Professor in the Département de Nutrition at the Université de Montréal, specializing in Sports Nutrition, and served as Chair of the Department. Mary L’Abbé completed her Macdonald MSc in 1983 under the direction of Dr. Touchburn and a PhD in 1988, under the direction of Dr. Chavez both in the Animal Science Department. She has been the Director of Nutritional Sciences in the Food Directorate at Health Canada (Federal Government). She then became Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, where she leads a research group on Food and Nutrition Policy for Population Health. She also has a cross appointment with the McGill School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. She was the 2011-2012 Recipient of McGill’s E.W. Crampton Award for distinguished service in Public Health Nutrition. Beth Mansfield’s academic record personifies the Animal Nutrition – Human Nutrition relationship. After completing a BSc in Exercise Physiology at Concordia University in Montreal, Beth arrived on the Macdonald Campus in 1984, working for Dr. Touchburn for one summer and then becoming involved in a swine nutrition research project with Dr. Chavez. She then switched to the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition completing a combined MSc. Nutrition/ BSc Dietetics degree, under the direction of Dr. Koski. Beth then moved to Ottawa in 1995 to establish a business specializing in sports and cardiovascular nutrition49, which included working with Canada’s national teams, applying training principles developed for sports performance. Following an 11-year



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period as a consultant, she completed a McGill PhD degree dealing with weight control in women runners, under the direction of Dr. Koski. Beth currently conducts nutrition research an evaluation for the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Health Canada, and maintains her sports nutrition practice. Linda Jacobs Starkey served an important role as an intermediate between Animal Science and the School of Food Science. She arrived at Macdonald in 1972, after completing a dietetics degree at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia, and serving a dietetic internship at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. At Macdonald, she completed an MSc in Nutrition in 1975 under the direction of Dr. G. Jones, assisted by Dr. E. Donefer (after Dr. Jones relocated to a U.S. university). In 1975-76, she had teaching positions in both Animal Science and Food Science (as mentioned elsewhere). She served for a period in dietetic education at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, before returning to Macdonald in 1978 as University Coordinator for the Dietetics Professional Practice (“Stage”). In 1999 she completed a PhD in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition under the direction of Dr. H. Kühnlein; her research was related to “nutrient intake adequacy among food bank users and correlates of dietary status.” She was then named a Fellow by the Dietitians of Canada. From 2001 until her McGill retirement in 2013 she served as McGill’s Associate Dean of Students, on the Montreal campus, maintaining a part-time teaching status in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.

A new Animal Science Department activity related to the School of Food Science’s undergraduate teaching program was initiated in 1974. A course was introduced entitled “Fundamentals of Human Nutrition”. This course was designed to follow the first-year Fundamentals of Nutrition course and specifically dealing with human-related aspects.

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I (Donefer) was the course instructor50 with the assistance of Linda Jacobs Starkey. A major topic was the use and understanding of nutritional content of food labels, recently required to be used by the food industry (but pioneered for commercial animal feeds). Changes in the School of Food Science in 1977, related to Helen Neilson’s retirement after serving as its Director for 25 years. In 1977, Dr. Shirley Weber was appointed Professor of Nutrition in the School, and in 1978 she became its Director. Dr. Weber had been the Chair of the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Manitoba, and was brought to Macdonald by Dr. Lloyd, who had himself returned to the Macdonald Campus from Manitoba (to become Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture). Before Dr. Weber retired in 1987, she had supervised 5 M.Sc. and 1 PhD student. Dr. Mary Mackey joined the staff in 1984, and supervised 6 M.Sc. students. These graduate students obtained their Nutrition degrees though the arrangement still maintained with the Department of Animal Science. In 1984, The School of Food Science was reorganized, and its name changed to the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition (S.D.H.N.), and in 1985 Dr. Harriet Kühnlein, formally a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, appointed its first Director. This change in name and orientation radically changed the orientation of teaching and research in Human Nutrition at Macdonald. Within 3 years, nine new faculty members joined the staff of the School, all with PhD degrees and all involved in research in many diverse areas related to human nutrition, both community and laboratory orientated. The School, while still collaborating with Nutrition-orientated staff in Animal Science, became fully independent in its teaching and research


“Developing and teaching the course ‘Fundamentals of Human Nutrition’ marked my personal transition to food and nutrition issues, primarily related to humans, and still later relating to international food security (provision of ‘food for all’).” E. Donefer

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operations and received Nutrition postgraduate degree-granting powers from the McGill Senate, to be shared with the Animal Science Department. The accomplishments of the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition strongly demonstrate the marked evolution of advanced human nutrition teaching and research at Macdonald from their pioneering introduction in the 1940s in the Department of Nutrition (one of only two Nutrition Departments in Canada at that time, the other at the University of Toronto), to today’s international recognition of the School’s outstanding teaching and research achievements.

Since it’s conception, the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition continues to make outstanding contributions to nutrition teaching and research, within Canada and internationally. Examples are: (1)

The initiation of international projects. In 1986, Dr. Noel Solomons, the Scientific Director of the Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM), located in Guatemala, came to Montreal to investigate the possibilities of establishing collaborative nutrition research projects with McGill units. A meeting was arranged in the Office of McGill International (MI) of the Graduate Faculty (I had become Director of MI the previous year), attended by Dr. Kühnlein, Dr. K. Tucker (SDHN) and Dr. M. Scott (Parasitology).


administered travel grant enabled the McGill team to visit Guatemala, and a resulting project proposal to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was accepted with a grant of $606,000.

The research collaboration

between the SDHN and CeSSIAM has continued until recent times. (2)

The establishment in 1993 of the Centre for Indigenous People’s Nutrition and Environment (CINE), with the Founding Director, Dr. Harriet V. Kühnlein.

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“CINE was created in response to a need expressed by Aboriginal Peoples for participatory research and education to address their concerns about the integrity of their traditional food systems. Deterioration in the environment has adverse impacts on the health and lifestyles of Indigenous Peoples, in particular nutrition as affected by food and food traditions. “CINE’s host is the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke. Kahnawà:ke is the Aboriginal community nearest to McGill University and CINE” CINE Website (www.mcgill.ca/cine) "We wondered if our food was still safe to eat, and nobody would ever answer that. So, we went further and we used CINE. We used them to our advantage, an organization ...with native organizations on the governing board. We carefully monitor what kind of research is being done for our people." Norma Kassi, Chair (1996-98), CINE Governing Board, Council of Yukon First Nations


The School’s close relationship to the Macdonald Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences helped lead to the 2010 establishment of the McGill Institute for Global Food Security, with its Director, Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, appointed as Associative Professor in the School of (Dietetics and) Human Nutrition. The Research Theme Leaders of the Institute include faculty members from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, including the School of Human Nutrition, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Biofuels, Water, Land and Climate, Nutrition, and Food Safety. This Institute, relevantly focuses on



crisis related



environment, food production, and an adequate supply of nutritious food for rapidly expanding human populations, and has been the sponsor of an annual McGill Conference on Global Food Security.

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The Medical Connection Collaboration between Macdonald and McGill’s Faculty of Medicine

By Eugene Donefer and Sherman Touchburn

Dr. E. Donefer, Dr. E.B. Marliss (Awardee), Dr. H.V. Kühnlein, and Dr. R. Smith at the 2006 Crampton Award.

Collaborative research projects existed in the ’70s between members of the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Animal Science. Specifically, Dr. Weiner at the Jewish General Hospital and Dr. B. E. McDonald conducting studies on arteriosclerosis using rabbits as test animals at the Macdonald Campus laboratory animal facility. There was also collaboration at the Royal Victoria Hospital involving embryo transfer studies with Dr. R. D. Baker. In the early ’70s, a situation developed in the Faculty of Medicine, where Medical Students petitioned the Faculty to provide a course in Nutrition. The Faculty position that nutrition principles were already incorporated in courses of Biochemistry and Physiology was not accepted by the students.

Because of its long-term course

presentation of the “Fundamentals of Nutrition” course on the Macdonald Campus, the Department of Animal Science was approached to teach a version of this course to medical students. Thus, in the Spring term of 1974, a group of Animal Science staff (E. Donefer and T. Hartsock, (later replaced by E. Block), assisted by Linda Jacobs Starkey (who had responsibility for student diet diaries), presented “Fundamentals of Human Nutrition” to a class of 94 first-year medical students. The course was enthusiastically received by the students, with many question interruptions during the presentations – which led to a stimulating atmosphere for all. We later learned that the class contained a large number of students with MSc and PhD degrees, obtained prior to their acceptance in the Medical Faculty. Our weekly train-trips to Montreal continued for several years, at which point the Animal Science Department, which received no enumeration for the teaching services provided, suggested the Medical Faculty provide the course using their own faculty members. Animal Science faculty members continued in the presentation of guest lectures in the Medical Faculty course into the 1990s (E. Donefer – International Perspectives in Food and Nutrition); and E. Block – Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation). A major advancement in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine’s expanded involvement in the nutritional sciences was the establishment in 1980 of the McGill Nutrition and Food Part II, Chapter 6

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Science Centre. This was a collaborative initiative between the two faculties, by Deans R. L. Cruess in Medicine and L. E. Lloyd in Agriculture. The term “food science” was explicitly part of the name, to infer “the science of food”. The Centre, with 7,000 square feet of laboratory space, was based in the Royal Victoria Hospital, with renovations funded by a donation from the Harold Crabtree Foundation. Operating funds were provided from the Max Bell Foundation bequest to McGill and the Faculty of Medicine. Later, a Chair in Nutrition was funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. Membership in the Centre was open to all interested Macdonald Campus and Medicine based faculty. A total of 40 joined, from the Department of Animal Science, the School of (Dietetics and) Human Nutrition, and eight departments in Medicine. Many of the latter obtained cross-appointments at the Macdonald Campus, enabling them to participate in courses and supervise graduate students. Dr. Errol B. Marliss became the founding Director of the Centre in 1982, and in recognition of the partnership with the Macdonald Campus, the Associate Director was always a Macdonald Faculty member. Initially this position was held by Dr. Touchburn (Animal Science), with the following individuals continuing the role: Dr. E. Block (Animal Science), Dr. K Koski (S.D.H.N.), Dr. L. Phillip (Animal Science). An unfortunate situation occurred in 2013, when the Faculty of Medicine discontinued the operations of the Centre (largely due to budget constraints) and also suspended the teaching of nutrition. It is difficult to comprehend the rationale of the Medical Faculty decisions, particularly with the expanding recognition of the often-close relationship between food and nutritional factors and the many health and disease situations. Indeed, in 2016, in a questionnaire to third-year students to evaluate their “new” curriculum, they recognized this paradox. The absence of nutrition was in the top three critiques. At this writing, the Faculty had not yet reintegrated nutrition into its curriculum in a meaningful manner, despite an intensive revision of its content in other areas. A bright note in interfaculty collaboration remains the ongoing participation of

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downtown faculty in teaching at Macdonald, and highly productive research fostered by the Centre during its over-30 year existence. It is perhaps coincidental that the 2016 questionnaire to 3 rd year medical students, questioning the absence of nutrition courses, was similar in recognition to the medical students in the early 1970s who requested the addition of nutrition to the curriculum.

The Earle W. Crampton Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition The annual presentation of the E.W. Crampton Award, originated in the Department of Animal Science and was initiated in 1973.

This award was named to honor the

pioneering teaching and research in the field of Nutrition at McGill by Dr. E.W. Crampton, as described in many places in this publication. The award was initially administered by the Department, with Dr. S.P. Touchburn chairing the Awards Committee, and upon his retirement, by Dr. L.E. Phillip (Animal Science), and later by Dr. L. Wykes (School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition). With the establishment of the McGill Nutrition and Food Science Centre in the Faculty of Medicine in 1982, Administration of the award was transferred from Animal Science to become a function of a committee of the Centre. With the closing of the Centre in 2013, it would be logical that the award would again be administered on the Macdonald Campus, but awards were discontinued after 2013. The first Crampton Award was made on the 8th of November 1973 to Professor Rachel Beaudoin, of the Université de Montréal. That occasion also served as the official dedication and renaming of the Animal Science Department’s Nutritional Laboratory as the “Crampton Nutrition Laboratory”. Dr. and Mrs. Crampton were on hand to participate in the dedication – his last visit to the Macdonald Campus -50 years since his initial arrival. Part II, Chapter 6

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Visit of Dr. Crampton and Mrs. Crampton to Macdonald Campus at 1st award ceremony (1973), with Dr. E. Donefer.

A plaque, inscribed with the ongoing names of Crampton Award winners, is located at the entrance of the Macdonald-Stewart Building (see below).

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Following is the listing of Crampton Award Recipients, and a short article (published in the Macdonald Journal) is included which was presented at the 2006 Award, which also marked the Macdonald College Centennial.

E. W. Crampton Award Recipients: Year of Award


Institution / Organization of Affiliation

Field of Expertise


Dr. Rachel Beaudoin

UniversitĂŠ de MontrĂŠal

Human nutrition


Dr. Zak Sabry

Nutrition Canada Survey

Human nutrition

Dr. Isabel Irwin

United States Department of


Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland


McGill University, Montreal Children`s

Human nutrition


Dr. Charles R. Scriver


Dr. Milton L. Scott


Dr. Eugene Donefer


Dr. T. Keith Murray

Nutrition Bureau of Canada

Human nutrition


Dr. Stanley J. Slinger

University of Guelph

Fish nutrition


Dr. Agnes Higgins

Montreal Diet Dispensary (posthumously)

Human nutrition


Dr. Joyce Beare-Rogers


Dr. Khursheed N. Jeejeebhoy

University of Toronto

Clinical nutrition


Dr. George Beaton

University of Toronto

Human nutrition


Dr. Larry P. Milligan

University of Guelph

Ruminant nutrition

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Cornell University, Department of Poultry Science

McGill University, Department of Animal Science

Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Health & Welfare Canada

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Clinical nutrition

Poultry nutrition

Ruminant nutrition

Human nutrition

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Dr. Stephanie Atkinson

McMaster University

Human nutrition


Dr. G. Harvey Anderson

University of Toronto

Human nutrition


Dr. R. E. Smith


Dr. H. V. Kühnlein


Dr. J. J. Kennelly


Dr. P. B. Pencharz


Dr. C. Bouchard


Dr. E. B. Marliss


Dr. Steve Leeson

University of Guelph

Animal Nutrition

2007- 2008

Dr. T. Clandinin

University of Alberta

Human Nutrition

2008- 2009

Dr. M. Kramer

McGill University

Clinical nutrition


Dr. Ian Munro

Cantox Health Sciences International

Food Toxicology


Dr. Diane T. Finegood

Simon Fraser University

Chronic disease Modeling


Dr. Mary R. L’Abbé

University of Toronto

Public health nutrition


Dr. Ronald O. Ball

University of Alberta


Dr. Fraser W. Scott

University of Ottawa

Part II, Chapter 6

Former Senior Vice President,


Foods Inc.

McGill University, Director of the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition

University of Alberta

University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

Food Science/ Animal nutrition

Human nutrition

Animal nutrition

Clinical nutrition

Louisiana State University & Laval

Interaction of human


nutrition & genetics

McGill University, Director of McGill Nutrition and Food Science Centre

The Medical Connection

Clinical Nutrition

Swine nutrition protein metabolism Immunology Diabetes

Page 156

MACDONALD COLLEGE CENTENARY TRIBUTE TO E.W. CRAMPTON by Eugene Donefer (November, 2006) It is an honor and a privilege to be able to present this tribute to E.W. Crampton. To many of you here today, the name, Crampton, may be familiar because of the dedication on “story board’ at the main entrance to the Macdonald Stewart Building and the brief biography which is displayed. A few “old timers’ may remember details of some of Dr. Crampton’s contributions to the field of nutrition– but our numbers are dwindling. It is also very appropriate to talk about Dr. Crampton during Centenary Celebrations of Macdonald College, because he arrived on this campus a mere 16 years after it was established, and stayed for a period of 51-years –half of the period of existence of the College! Earle Crampton was 27 years old when he arrived on this campus and during his stay at Macdonald, he became a pioneer and world leader in the development of the science of nutrition. The reason for the establishment of the E.W. Crampton Award is to commemorate his teaching and research accomplishments. Two brief biographies of Crampton have been published: the first written by his collaborator, L.E. Lloyd in 1985 (in the Journal of Nutrition), and the second by me, in 1997 (in the Journal of Animal Science. My time is limited but I will concentrate today on the evolution of Earle Crampton as a world leader in nutrition. As background - my own first 16-years at Macdonald coincided with Earle Crampton’s latter years on Macdonald Campus. He left Macdonald and Canada in 1973, and returned to Connecticut, the place of his birth. As I prepared for this presentation this past week, I found connections in his career of which I was not previously aware (thanks to Google and the internet); here are some highlights: Earle Crampton was the third in an inter-related trio of pioneering nutrition scientists who greatly helped in the establishment of nutrition research and teaching in North America – all three had connections to the state of Connecticut. Let me present this trio: (1) W.O Atwater, born in 1844, obtained his PhD in agricultural chemistry in 1869 at Yale, spent 2-years in Germany as a post-doc building on the knowledge of the early German nutritionists; he joined the staff of Wesleyan College in Connecticut, a position held his entire life. In Part II, Chapter 6

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conjunction with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, he helped establish, in the early 190 0s, the USDA Cooperative Programs of Nutritional Studies. His major contribution at Wesleyan was the development of a human calorimeter and the measurement of the energy contribution of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. His “Physiological Fuel Values” are still used to calculate the caloric content of foods – as they appear on today’s nutrition labels. (2) L.A. Maynard, born in 1887, developed a strong interest in nutrition while an undergraduate at Wesleyan, where he was inspired by a course given by A.O. Atwater. Dr. Maynard did his PhD at Cornell University, became a professor in animal husbandry in 1915, and stayed at Cornell his entire professional life. He went on to establish Cornell’s Department of Biochemistry and the Graduate School of Nutrition. [E .D.: I had the privilege of taking Dr. Maynard’s Nutrition course while a Graduate Student at Cornell] (3) E.W. Crampton, born in 1895 in Connecticut and pursued a major in Agriculture at the University of Connecticut. After spending 2-years in the U.S. Cavalry in WW I, he completed the B.S. degree in 1920. He then spent 2 years pursuing an M.S. degree at Iowa State University. Why Iowa State University? It was there that the principles of statistical analysis were being developed. In 1922 Earle Crampton joined the department of Animal Husbandry at Macdonald College. In 1936, 14 years after arriving at Macdonald, Earle Crampton completed his PhD at Cornell University under the direction of L A. Maynard. The actual research work for Crampton’s thesis was conducted on the Macdonald Campus. His thesis research was an investigation of “the relation of cellulose and lignin to the nutritive value of animal feeds.” In a UN-FAO conference paper in 1995, the renowned British nutritionist, E.O. Ostrov, ended a review paper with this comment: “I would finally like to pay tribute to the great Canadian scientist, E.W. Crampton… he must surely be considered as one of the giants of ruminant nutrition.” But Dr. Crampton did not consider himself a “hyphenated” nutritionist. His 44 years of research at Mac was based on the concept of comparative species nutrition; one classic study was entitled: “the apparent digestibility of essentially similar diets by rats, guinea pigs, sheep, swine, and by human subjects.” Perhaps the “grandest” human nutrition study by Crampton et al., was published in the Journal of Nutrition in 1960; it is entitled: “a statistical study of apparent digestibility coefficients of the energy-yielding components of nutritionally adequate mixed diet consumed by 103 young Part II, Chapter 6

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human adults.” This research was a confirmation of the results of W.O. Atwater from the 1890s, and the 103 subjects who participated in the study (over a 2-year period) were students in the Macdonald course, Fundamentals of Nutrition. Other classic “Crampton studies” at Macdonald were based on laboratory animals: a vitamin C bioassay using guinea pigs; a study (funded by the Dept. of Defense), using adult rats, of the effects of exercise and diet on nitrogenous constituents. Other studies dealt with the nutrition of “farmed” animals- swine, horses, sheep, rabbits, and mink. He undertook his last postretirement project (he spent 13-years at Mac as an Emeritus Professor) with the Montreal Diet Dispensary, studying the relationship between birth weight of human infants and 18 maternal traits measured during pregnancy; this was a collaborative project with Professor John Moxley of the Animal Science Department at Macdonald. Earle Crampton was a nutritionist “for all seasons.” The Department of Nutrition, which he established at Macdonald in 1941, and which he chaired for 19 years until his retirement in 1960, gained world-wide recognition. After I joined the academic staff of Macdonald College in 1961, and traveled to meetings in the U.S. and elsewhere, when asked about Macdonald College, I would have to describe it as “the place where E.W. Crampton worked”! Mac’s Department of Nutrition was small (2-3 academic staff, many technicians, many graduate students, and rudimentary equipment), and this often astonished visitors to know that this is the place where world-class research originated. Coming to Macdonald from Cornell (from a very big to a small place), I quickly learned the “Cramptonian” principle, which was to develop concepts and basic techniques and stimulate others /elsewhere to elaborate and modify them. In conclusion: Earle Wilcox Crampton was one of the outstanding nutrition scientists of the 20th century; Macdonald Campus of McGill University was his only professional address.

Notes: E.W. Crampton ceased his half-time position in August 1965, at which time he returned to his home state of Connecticut (U.S.A.), after spending a 43-year period on the academic staff of Macdonald College. Eugene (Gene) Donefer was a McGill staff member for a 37-year period from 1957 – 1994. He completed his PhD degree in 1961, under the direction of E.W. Crampton. He was a Faculty member until 1985, and from 1985 to 1994 he served as Director (full-time) of the office of McGill International in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. He was a recipient of the E.W. Crampton Award in 1982.

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The R. Howard Webster Centre (Redevelopment of the Macdonald Campus Farm)

By Bruce Downey and Kevin Wade

It was a “red letter day” in 1982 when the Senate Development Committee approved, in principal, plans for the redevelopment of the Macdonald livestock and poultry facilities. The old buildings were outdated with the original stone dairy barn having been built shortly after the founding of the College by Sir William Macdonald. A new cattle complex was selected as the principal objective for Phase 1 of the project and an agricultural project planning committee set out to develop a detailed design for a modern Dairy and Beef Research & Teaching Facility. Funding for Phase 1 was secured through the McGill Advancement Campaign, grants from the Government of Québec and the generous leadership gift of Mr. R. Howard Webster, financier, philanthropist and McGill alumnus. On July 18, 1985, Mr Webster unveiled the cornerstone of the new building and construction commenced. The first cow was moved into the newly completed building in November, 1986, by Gordon Beaulieu, Dairy Herdsman, and the official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on February 6, 1987, in association with the annual Macdonald College Royal. In his lead article in the Macdonald Journal (Vol. 48, pp. 5-7) of February, 1987, Rudi Dallenbach, Farm Director, coined the term “Not Just Another Barn” which described the facility in a nutshell. Designed to conform to the latest standards for animal research, it also attempted to provide easy access to students for daily farm practice, lectures and laboratory work, and to demonstrate to farmers the latest in animal handling and housing technology. Although under one roof, several separate entities were built including a research lab, a metabolism room with eight individual crates large enough to hold a cow, a maternity area, a heifer barn, a beef barn with 16 identical pens of four animals each, a central animal handling area and an 88-stall dairy barn together with the milk handling area. Attached to the main building, a Feed Centre was designed to process feed for all potential animal units (i.e., swine and poultry, in addition to beef and dairy). For manure handling, several different systems were incorporated into the facility for comparative purposes with the aim of maximizing the value of manure and reducing Part II, Chapter 7

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soil, water and air pollution. These included continuous gravity flow, scrapers with and without slatted floors, a flush system into an inside holding tank and the conventional chain gutter cleaner. All liquid manure was pumped into an outside tank for further distribution to appropriate fields and the small amount of solid manure was to be handled in the conventional fashion. All of the facilities described above provided a first class applied research environment for the 40 graduate students in Animal Science at the time and a great hands-on learning opportunity for the host of undergrad and diploma students taking animal science courses. Students and staff on the campus continue to have the privilege of access to a working farm within walking distance of the campus. In recognition of the major financial support made by the Webster Foundation for farm redevelopment, the new facility was named the R. Howard Webster Centre for Teaching and Research in Animal and Poultry Science. Phases 2 and 3 of the farm redevelopment program would subsequently become components of this Centre. Additional articles published in the February issue of the Macdonald Journal, 1987, notably those by B.R. Downey (Vol. 48, p.9) and by E. Block and L.E. Phillip (Vol. 48, pp 10-11), address the significance of this new facility for teaching and research on the campus. It should be noted that an Annex to the Large Animal Research Unit, designed to house Dr. Sanford’s research sheep, was built as part of Phase 1 of the Redevelopment of the Farm Program. Planning for the Swine facility (Phase 2) was hastened when, in June 1991, the 80-year old farrowing barn on the Macdonald Farm was destroyed by fire with the loss of 40 animals. Sows and piglets were then housed temporarily in the Annex of the Large Animal Research Unit until the new building, funded by the provincial government and the R. Howard Webster Foundation, could be completed. The new complex was designed Part II, Chapter 7

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to be flexible and to facilitate teaching and research from the technical training aspects of the Farm Management & Technology Program through to the intensive research carried out by graduate students at the MSc and PhD levels. The facility was not meant to have the capacity of most commercial swine operations. On November 2nd, 1993, the 1,500 square metre 50-sow farrow-to-finish operation was opened officially with 200 people in attendance. External dignitaries attending included Mr. Russell Williams, MNA (Nelligan), Mr Nick Discepola, MP (Vaudreuil), and M. Jean Genest, Ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries at de l’Alimentation du Québec. Also participating in the program were Professor David Johnson, Principal and ViceChancellor, McGill, Professor Roger Buckland, Vice-Principal, Macdonald Campus and Professor Bruce Downey, Chair, Department of Animal Science. Leading tours of the new facility were Wendell Joyce, Farm Director and Dennis Hatcher, Swine Herdsman. The operation was populated with genetically improved Landrace/Yorkshire hybrid gilts which were kindly donated to the University by Hay Bay Genetics (including replacements for five years). The building was designed to be labour efficient as well as animal friendly. For example, all animals in a room can be fed simultaneously at the push of a button, and the liquid waste system minimizes the need for handling manure. On hot summer days, automatic sprinklers can be programmed to provide cooling for sows. A computerized climate control system keeps the air and the temperature within desirable limits in each room except for one naturally ventilated growing area where studies can be carried out using a natural environment. Swine research at the time had considerable emphasis on manure treatment with a focus on odour control and separation of liquids and solids. Other studies included such areas as trace mineral nutrition in pig production, metabolism in first litter gilts, effects of body condition on reproductive performance, nutritive evaluations, embryo transfer and other new reproductive technologies.

Laboratories included those for waste

management, metabolic studies, and semen handling and storage.

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Despite some excellent research projects, and serving as an excellent teaching resource for undergraduate and farm management and technology students, the unit was eventually decommissioned in 2009. The reason given was continued financial losses due to the high grain prices and low prices for market hogs, despite the fact that Denis Hatcher had achieved top production and herd health performance. This was a serious blow to many in the Department of Animal Science who made the argument that the primary mission of research and teaching should take precedence (within reason) over profits.

The decision, however, had the backing of Dean Madramootoo, and was

implemented. To be fair, the Swine Unit remained open, but with a minimal number of pigs (for demo and teaching purposes), and as a facility that could be used for research trials (purchasing pigs from a reliable source with a good herd health record on a needs basis). Phase 3 – The 2004 installation of the Donald McQueen Shaver Poultry Complex has already been discussed in Part 1 (The 2000s), and represented the next major addition and modernization of the Farm’s livestock and poultry facilities. Its dual (but separate) operation for layers and broilers, opened up more practical experience for our students, as well as an attraction for new researchers and contracts. The provision of biosecure facilities and labs for immunology, dissection and post-mortem activities benefits the Faculty to this day.

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sufficient technical and labour resources



constraints) and tragedies like the 2013 fire in the dairy barn, the R. Howard Webster Centre continues evolve.




The old show ring

(shown on the title page of this chapter) had its roof renovated




allowing it to continue to host

Firefighters battle the blaze that destroyed the feed storage facility at Macdonald Campus Farm (October 2013). / Photo: Neale McDevitt. Courtesy of the McGill Reporter. http://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/2013/10/tragedy-averted-inmac-farm-blaze/

judging events with students from all over Canada. It was purposely chosen as the venue for the launch of the 2016 NSERC Novalait - Dairy Farmers of Canada – Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle, emphasizing the fact that the highest level of peerreviewed research can be represented in the day-to-day operations of a facility that teaches the next generation about the importance of producing quality food in a sustainable and humane fashion. As I write this chapter in 2017, it is gratifying to note that this vision continues, as we plan for the Macdonald Farm Community Engagement Centre on the site of the original stone dairy barn. This project – made possible by the generous donation of J. William "Bill" Ritchie (Class of 51) – will continue the mission of Macdonald College in demonstrating to young minds where our food comes from, and to remind them of the links to nature and the environment. As the world moves to a majority of its almost-eight billion inhabitants living in urban versus rural settings, this duty is more sacred than ever.

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Acknowledgements The following provided invaluable contributions to the undertaking of this project.

 Bob Broughton  Cindy Horvath  Paul Laguë  Errol Marliss  Claire McFarlane  Linda Starkey  Barb Stewart


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Appendix: Listing of Staff (2017) Bordignon, Vilceu, Associate Professor Reproductive biology, animal biotechnology, embryo development, nuclear transfer, cell reprogramming, genome editing. Burgos, Sergio A., Assistant Professor Molecular regulation of mammary nutrient metabolism and milk synthesis; role of dairy products in metabolic and musculoskeletal health in humans; environmental impact of dairy production. Cue, Roger, Associate Professor Quantitative genetics of dairy cattle, beef cattle a swine. Estimation of genetic parameters from large-scale recording data for production and reproduction traits. Duggavathi, Raj, Associate Professor Study of molecular mechanisms controlling ovarian functions toward female reproductive health and sustainable dairy production

Hayes, J. Flannan, Professor Quantitative and population genetics. Estimation of genetic parameters and associations of production traits with DNA and protein polymorphisms. Kimmins, Sarah, Associate Professor Canada Research Chair in Epigenetics, Reproduction and Development Investigating how paternal diet affects the development and health of offspring; transmission of environmental effects via the epigenome. Monardes, Humberto, Associate Professor Dairy cattle population genetics. Identification of genetic markers for resistance to mastitis. Social impacts of animal source foods in less developed countries.


Listing of Staff (2017)

Mustafa, Arif, Associate Professor Dairy cattle nutrition. Nutritional evaluation of new forages for dairy cows. Optimizing the feeding value of agricultural by-products for ruminant and monogastric animals. Ronholm, Jennifer, Assistant Professor (joint appointment – Dept. of Food Science) Study of the microbiome of food-producing animals; correlations among intestinal microbial populations and various health outcomes; generation of healthier cattle herds. Vasseur, Elsa, Assistant Professor NSERC/Novalait/Dairy Farmers of Canada/Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle Cow comfort and management; Cow longevity; Environment and Society Wade, Kevin, Associate Professor; Chair Information systems in dairy cattle breeding and milk recording. Artificial intelligence in the development of on-farm decision-support systems. Xia, Jianguo (Jeff), Assistant Professor (joint appointment – Institute of Parasitology). Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics and Big Data Analytics Bioinformatics and statistics for highthroughput omics data; host-parasite-gut microbiome interactions; big data analytics and systems biology. Zadworny, David, Associate Professor DNA markers associated with milk production traits in dairy cattle. Prolactinmediated regulation of polyamine metabolism. Molecular cloning and expression of avian and bovine genes associated with reproduction and production traits. Zhao, Xin, James McGill Professor Dairy cattle biochemistry and physiology. Mastitis. Vaccine development. Alternatives to antibiotics as growth promoters, Antibiotic resistance.

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Adjunct Professors

Emeritus Professors

Baurhoo, Bushansingh (Shyam)

Buckland, Roger B.

Director, Research & Development, Bélisle Solution

Chavez, Eduardo R.

Nutrition Inc.

Donefer, Eugene Downey, Bruce R.

Ibeagha-Awemu, Eveline Research Scientist - Animal Genomics, Dairy and Swine

Kühnlein, Urs

Research & Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-

Touchburn, Sherman P.

Food Canada

Research Associates and Assistants

Lacasse, Pierre

Ashraf, Shoaib

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Lefebvre, Daniel agr. General Manager, and Director Research & Development,

Research Associate (Zhao Lab)

Lafleur, Christine Isabelle Research Assistant (Kimmins Lab)


Murphy, Bruce

Liu, Wucheng

Professor of Reproductive Physiology, Département de

Research Assistant (Mustafa Lab)

biomédecine vétérinaire, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal

Lambrot, Romain Research Associate (Kimmins Lab)

Santschi, Débora Nutrition and Management Expert, Research and Development, Valacta


Teaching Staff Laurin, Denyse (Course Coordinator/Lab Tech) Martin, Deborah (Lab Coordinator) Meldrum, Paul (Manager, Macdonald Campus Farm)

Lacroix, René ing. Analyste - Valorisation des données, Recherche et développement, Valacta Baldassarre, Hernan

Administrative Staff (shared with NRS) Gossage, Ann (Administrative Assistant) Subhan, Abida (Departmental Coordinator)

Strategic Partnerships in Animal Research Research Associate (Bordignon Lab)


Listing of Staff (2017)

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Profile for Kevin Wade

Animal Science at McGill: 50 years and counting...  

A brief history of McGill University's Department of Animal Science

Animal Science at McGill: 50 years and counting...  

A brief history of McGill University's Department of Animal Science