Page 1




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FROM THE COVER Graduate Alejandra Regand, M.Sc.


Originally from Mexico, she is now completing a PhD in Guelph's Depart-

ment of Food Science. Wedding couple Kate Millie, BA '04, and her new husband, Terry. They were married june 12;

he wori<S in Guelph and she is completing a master's program in education. Sitting couple Tamima Ashraf,

an international student from Bangladesh, is an undergraduate student in molecular biology and genetics and hopes to pursue a career in cancer research. Shawn Murphy of London, Ont., is enrolled in Guelph's drama program and works on campus as an information technology assistant. He plans to become a teacher. Ball player Rory Barnes, a fourth-year student in hospitality and tourism management, is from Kingston, Ont., and plans to work in human resources consulting. Alumni visitor Dudley Gibbs, M.Sc. '90, wori<S on campus as concert and special events co-ordinator for the College of Arts; he completed his degree in rural extension studies as a mature student. Running child Audrey Palmer is the seven-year-old daughter of Guelph photographer Dean Palmer. Wrapped Editor Mary Dickieson. Photo by Dean Palmer/The Scenario

E ARE TURNING THE PAGEOnanewerain the life of the University of Guelph alumni magazine. After 36 years of publication as the Guelph Alumnus, the magazine will now be called The Portico. It will continue to be produced by the University three times a year and mailed to you at no charge. Our goal is to keep you informed about what's happening at your alma mater and to share stories about the lives and accomplishments of Guelph graduates. As the University celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, we took a close look at our current alumni base and re-evaluated how we want to represent U of G through the magazine. More than 3,300 degrees and diplomas were awarded in 2004. That's almost double the entire student population when the University was incorporated in 1964, and it's indicative of how quickly our alumni family is growing. The magazine is now reaching out to almost 78,000 readers; 47 per cent of them earned degrees within the last 15 years. As a reflection of today's student population, more than half of our readers are women. We've chosen a new name that reflects our campus history, but is gender neutral and has meaning for grad-


uates of all disciplines. Recent surveys and focus groups identified the portico as a positive symbol of tradition and an entryway to the University community. In fact, the portico is the only piece of architecture to endure since the inception of the campus. The first students walked through these limestone columns to begin classes in 1874. For every generation of living Guelph alumni, the portico has been a sentinel on Johnston Green. Today's students may pass the structure with little notice of its history, but they rest and study and play in its shadow. Tens of thousands of family photo albums have pictures of the portico used as a backdrop for a group of Guelph friends, new graduates with their proud parents, wedding parties, alumni reunions and family outings. The portico belongs to everyone who has sought learning at the University of Guelph. Its enduring presence is symbolic of our great strength as an educational institution, the traditions we cling to and the welcoming campus environment we want to maintain. This historical entryway is now represented on the cover of your University of Guelph magazine. We hope you will respond to The Portico as an invitation to come inside, read about your alma mater and stay in touch.

Emily and Rob know they can't pred ict their future. But they know how to prot ect it. Emily and Rob know there are no guarantees in life. They make the best financial decisions they can for their future and accept that some things are out of their control. The future security of their family isn't one of those things. That's why Emily and Rob invested in their Alumni Insurance Plans - the ones that support their alma mater. They benefit from the low rates and the security of knowing that help will be there, just in case it's ever needed. After all, the future is too important to be left to chance. Term Life Insurance

Major Accident Insurance

Income Protection Insurance

To find out more about these Alumni Insurance Plans that support University of Guelph, visit the Web site designed exclusively for University of Guelph alumni at: ... Or call Manulife Financial toll-free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, at:

1 888 913-6333 ... Or e-mail any time. Recommended by:

Underwritten by:

rJ1J Manulife Financial The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company


FALL 2004

CONTENTS [ 3 - president's page ] • [ 8 - letters ] • [ grad news - 34 ] • [ alu mni benefits - 41 ]




ANY of the University's most loyal alumni were honoured at a campus ceremony this summer. Afterwards, they told great stories about removing all the hot water taps in Macdonald Hall, eating jellied tongue in the Creelman dining hal l and painting the old campus water tower under cover of darkness.


oF G is crowing about a faculty member named to the Royal Society of Canada and another who received a 3M Teaching Fell owship. Two 2004 graduates received Commonwealth Scholarships, and an undergraduate student was chosen as a ro le model for aborig inal youth.

[ the changing face of rural communities ] True to its 130-year-old roots, the University of Guelph maintains a special responsibility for nurturing rural communities, but the routes to prosperity are heading in new directions and farm neighbourhoods are converting cow pastures into greener pastures for urban commuters. In this series of stories, we look at both sides of the farmyard fence to see what's happening to the people, the land and the economies of rural communities in Canada and beyond.

on the cover Three Guelph grads, three current students and a prospect for the class of 2019 help us launch a new name for the U of G magazine that keeps alumni

11 -

rura l econo mi es • farmers -


24 - land preservation • glob al comm unities - 26

in touch with the campus . Photo by Dean Palmer


The Scenario

Fall 2004


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Editor Mary Dickieson


Director Charles Cunningham

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Art Direction Peter Enneson Design Inc. Contributors Jennifer Brett Fraser Barbara Chance, BA '74 Rachelle Cooper Stacey Curry Gunn Lori Bona Hunt SPARK Program Writers Andrew Vowles, B.Sc. '84

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6 months no interest and no payments OAC on installations

Advertising Inquiries Scott Anderson 519-827-9169 519-654-6122 Direct all other correspondence to:

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Communications and Public Affairs


University of Guelph


Guelph, Ontario N1G 2Wl Fax 519-824-7962 E-mail

The Portico magazine is published three times a year by Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Guelph. Its mission is to enhance the relationship between the University and its alumni and

Science@ Guelph Experience (S®GE Camp) For entire Grade 7 & 8 classes • 3 day on-campus residential

• Interactive and stimu lating academic and recreational modules

• 11 Camp cho ices from May to mid-June

• Topics augment Ontario Science Curricu lum

• Special rates for teachers and chaperones

• Faculty developed, taught by graduate students

friends and promote pride and commitment within the University community. All material is copyright 2004. Ideas and opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of the University or the editors. Canada Post Agreement# 40064673 Printed in Ca nada by Contact Creative Services. ISSN 1207-7801

• Save with ea rl y bird registration To update your alumni record, contact: Alumni Affairs and Development

Visit our on-line registration page at or for more information call (519) 824-4120 (ext. 53133) or ema il


· -




-Your Laoming ConnKtion-

Phone 519-824-4120, Ext. 56550 Fax 519-822-2670 E-mail



ONVOCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY ofGuelph is always a moving experience, but it was particularly so this year. Not only did we graduate the largest class in Guelph's history, but we held a special ceremony to acknowledge those who graduated from the founding colleges before the campus gained university status in 1964. The sea of faces at the honorary companion ceremony were certainly more mature, but no less enthusiastic than the 2004 graduates. Most of our honorary companions came to the colleges at Guelph from family farms and small rural towns. Some returned to the farm, but more have enjoyed careers analogous to the University's development. From its agricultural base, Guelph has grown into a comprehensive institution where academic endeavors embrace the whole of the human experience. In kilometres, the University of Guelph is a long way from the small village where I grew up in Britain. They are not so far apart in fundamental values and aspirations. Many Guelph alumni will agree that we have derived great value- individually and collectively- from the life experiences of growing up in a rural environment. Guelph's agricultural heritage remains a defining feature of this institution, both in physical appearance and campus atmosphere, which still has many characteristics of the close-knit rural community we once were. Our history as educator for the sons and daughters of Ontario farmers is also evident in the University's ongoing commitment to providing a practical, integrated education. One of Guelph's greatest strengths is the understanding that involving students in the process of discovery can ignite classroom learning. We believe our collaborative approach stimulates critical thinking, leads to new ideas and, yes, begins the process of change within our society. Changing rural communities is the theme addressed throughout this publication. In the stories to follow, you'll hear from alumni who represent the backbone of rural Canada, the farming communities that are facing tremendous economic challenges. Guelph faculty evaluate the way rural communities here and abroad are adapting to social change, new technologies and global competition. The University of Guelph maintains a special relationship with rural Ontario and a responsibility to help strengthen rural communities. U of G scholarship and research contribute to the social network within rural communities and to the work of innovators in industry who are adding value to the raw products of agri-


culture. Perhaps most importantly, the University's rural responsibilities include taking a leadership role in the stewardship of our natural resources. Because of this University's considerable strengths in agriculture and related sciences, we must take the lead in debates and in actions on a number of critical issues, including developing and sustaining environments and the life sciences agenda that will impact everything from human health to food production, water quality and the development of bio-products to reduce our dependence on petroleum-based resources. We're promoting an integrated approach to research initiatives in the life sciences and drawing on expertise from every discipline on campus. Guelph's new science facilities will contribute to this focus by providing improved equipment and new opportunities for collaboration. These are important steps in the University's continued development as an educational institution and its role in helping to achieve a sustainable environment. Society needs our rural point of view. It also needs our graduates- people who are arn1ed with knowledge and experience, people who are willing to be openminded, level-headed and concerned about the world. It is my fervent belief that the University of Guelph has a vital role to play in the health and welfare of our society and in the care of our natural world. ALASTAIR SUMMERLEE PRESIDENT









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Fall 2004 3






Royal Society Inductee UELPH CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR jacek Lipkowski will be inducted


into the Royal Society of Canada in November. It's the country's highest honour for academic scholarship and research. He's being recognized as "a pioneer in the area of electrochemical surface science," a field he started studying


more than three decades ago. Most recently, his research has focused on biophysical chemistry. AU of G professor since 1983, Lipkowski has earned numerous accolades for his research, but he prefers to talk about the 20 graduate students he has supervised. "All of them enjoy successful prow fessional careers in the private sector, ':] government laboratories and acade~ :r: mia," he says. "Four of them are prou Vl fessors at Canadian universities. This ::;: is my proudest accomplishment as a ~ professor." >~ Lipkowski received his master's ~ degree and PhD in chemistry from the :r: "- University of Warsaw. He was a visit-



ing professor at the Fritz- Haber Institute in Berlin from 1989 to 1990 and a Humboldt Fellow in electrochemistry at Germany's University of Ulm in 1996. That same year, the International Society of Electrochemistry awarded him its Prix jacques Tacussel Award for developing a new electrochemical technique. Lipkowski edited the journal of Elec-

people learn French. The Clef French grammar program is used by 200 institutions in Canada, including the federal government. In 2001, she and two colleagues released a CD-ROM called La chaise benrante (The Rocking Chair), which is used by secondary schools and postsecondary institutions across the coun-

troanalytical Chemistry and Interfacial Chemistry from 1996 to 2003. His contributions to electrochemistry have been recognized with the Canadian Society for Chemistry's Alcan Award and a gold medal from the Canadian section of the Electrochemical Society. In 2001, he was named one of Guelph's first Canada Research Chairs, receiving a seven-year $1.4-million award to develop sensors and biosensors and new electrodes for fuel cells. His research lab was the focus of a 2002 feature in U of G's alumni magazine. View it at news/alumnus/backissues/Winter02.

3M Award Winner ROF. DANA PARAMSKAS,Languages and Literatures, has received a prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship for outstanding leadership in teaching, education and academic program development. She has taught French as a second language at U of G for more than 30 years and is considered a leading expert in technology-enhanced learning. In the 1970s, Paramskas developed a concept for a computer program that is still widely used today in helping


try. The program is based on the short animated film Crac, the story of a rocking chair built in Quebec in the late 1800s that observes the art and culture around it for more than I 00 years. "A very, very beginning person with no French at all can build up a solid vocabulary just from the visuals in this film," Paramskas says. She also developed the award-winning distance education course "Basic French: Listening Comprehension" through U of G's Office of Open Learning. The course was honoured by the American Distance Learning Association in 2002. In 2003, she created an online course that introduces the techniques of translation from French to English. Paramskas is a graduate of Georgetown University and Universite Laval, but her 35-year career rests with U of G, where she has also earned teaching awards from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the U of G Faculty Association.

UNIVERSITY 'W ALKIN ' THE FLOOR OVER YOU ' esearchers at the Ontario


Veterinary College are strapping pedometers on to the legs of

dairy cows to find out when they're ready to breed. lfs well-known - in agricultural and veterinary circles, at least - that cows step up their activity when they're in heat. Population medicine professor Stephen LeBlanc, graduate student Rob Walsh and recent U of G graduate Melanie Quist are tracking this evolutionary behaviour to determine a cow's optimal breeding time relative to the peak walking activity.

MEN WITH STICKS There's no need to go to Japan or to watch The Last Samurai or Kill Bill to see some of the world's leaders in samurai training. Every spring for the past 14 years, swordsmen from Japan, the United States and across Canada have come to U of G to participate in jodo and iaido

training seminars. Led by the world's highest-ranked swordsmen, the workshops encourage people to keep practising more traditional schools of Japanese swording, says organizer Kim Taylor, who founded U of G's Sei Do Kai martial arts club. He holds Canada's highest

ranking in jodo and a sixth dan in iaido. laido is a solo martial art that focuses on drawing a Japanese sword from its sheath and cutting it



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LEADING NATIVE YOUTH NY I RON MENTAL biology PhD student Cara (Chamberlain) Wehkamp was chosen this summer to be one of Canada's 12 national aboriginal role models. The National Aboriginal


Health Organization invited her to join their "Lead Your Way!" program to share her success with other aboriginal youth. Her photo will appear on posters and trading cards, and she will attend community celebrations and visit schools to talk about her experiences.

A 26-year-old from Hanmer, Ont., Wehkamp is of Algonquin heritage. She completed a B.Sc. in plant biology at U of Gin 2001 and a master's degree in environmental science in January before beginning her PhD. She is also the founder of U of G's Aboriginal Student Association.

Fall2004 5




U of G researchers have discovered that a simple way to eliminate the danger of Salmonella in poultry products is to feed egg yolks to the chickens. Prof. Yoshinori Mine and PhD candidate Zeina Ghattaskassaify of the Department of Food Science found that non-immunized egg yolk powder added to regular poultry feed for one week eliminated food-borne bacteri al pathogens (disease-causing agents) such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli 0157:H7, which are often present in the gut and can be transmitted to humans who consume contaminated poultry products. The secret ingredient, says Mine, is something called granule proteins, a major component of egg yolks. As egg yolk powder is digested, granule proteins are reduced to a smaller protein component known as a peptide. It's this peptide that boosts the animal's immune system and excludes bacteria from the chicken gut by attaching to these pathogens and making them vulnerable to natural disintegration inside the animal.

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When you're trying to select the best cruise ship package, think like a livestock farmer. Just like pigs and cattle, people are happier when they have comfortable living quarters and ample space to move around. That's the finding of Prof. Joe Barth of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Reg Swain, a 2002 graduate of the school's MBA program. They studied various cruise ship guides and found that each guide's rating system is different and can confuse readers considering a vacation cruise. Rather than look for a four-star rating, your best bet is to look for newer ships in your price range (they're better designed and have



more amenities) with large space-to-passenger ratios, Barth says.

GUELPH GRADS TRAVEL FAR There's no telling where the future will lead new graduates Kate Morgan, B.Sc.(Eng.) '04, and Jan Wagg, B.Sc. '04, but this fall, they're off to Scotland and Ghana as Commonwealth Scholars. Originally from Toronto, Morgan is studying wrist prosthetics at the University of

Strathclyde and laying the groundwork for a career in medicine. While at U of G, she gained research experience by analyzing the dynamic properties of horses' hooves in a project designed to help people build better racetracks that will put less stress on the horses. Wagg, who earned his Guelph degree in biomedical science, is beginning a master's program in public health at the University of Ghana. His African studies are also supported by a Bombardier Internationalist scholarship. He was involved in campus life in a number of ways, including working as a peer he Iper for the library's supported learning groups to help younger undergraduates with particularly d iffi cui t courses.

NewVP named

joanne Shoveller joined U of G in August as vice-president (alumni affairs and devel路 opment). She was previously director of the MBA program office at the Richard lvey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Shoveller held several senior positions at lvey, including director of alumni and cor路 porate development, manager of the lvey campaign and director of Asian develop路 ment. She holds a bachelor's degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MBA from Western. At Guelph, she heads a team of 45 staff in Alumni Affairs and Development, who are responsible for U of G's institutional advancement, including all fundraising activities and alumni relations.

Educating the police Police officers in Ontario can now complete a university degree part time through an innovative new program at the University of Guelph-Humber. "Increasingly, police officers are called on to have advanced knowledge of criminology, social policy, management, research methods and the legal system," says Prof. Ron Stansfield, coordinator of the University of GuelphHumber's justice studies program and a former police officer. "This program makes it possible for experienced offi-

cers to complete a university degree while continuing to work full time." The program gives police officers credit for their on-the-job experience and education and combines distance learning with intensive weekend classes held at the Guelph-Humber facility in Toronto. The first students began the program this fall. On graduation, they will receive an honours bachelor of applied science degree in justice studies from the University of Guelph.



HEN HISTORY professor Graeme Morton joined the U ofG faculty in August, it marked a milestone in the University's 20-year relationship with the Torontobased Scottish Studies Foundation. That organization led the parade of private donations that created a $2-million endowment to fund Morton's academic position at Guelph. He holds the first academic chair in North America dedicated to the study of Scottish and Scottish-Canadian culture and heritage. Morton was previously a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Edinburgh, where he specialized in Scottish national identity and nationalism.

BESE MALES areatahuge risk for type-2 diabetes, but human biology professor Terry Graham has found they can change their insulin sensitivity with only moderate exercise and a small reduction in daily calories. A study by Graham and graduate student Heather Petrie found that obese males who began walking for about an hour every other day and eating the equivalent of two fewer slices of bread a day increased their insulin sensitivity by 60 per cent. Obese individuals have a resistance to insulin and require higher levels of it to adjust their glucose levels, putting them at great risk for type-2 diabetes.



• The $45-million building that houses the University of GuelphHumber was officially opened May 21 at the Humber College campus in Toronto. Guelph-Humber had 850 first- and second-year students last year and plans to have 2,ooo students by 2007. • U of G president Alastair Summerlee received an honorary doctor of laws degree from his alma mater, the University of Bristol, in July. He earned B.Sc., B.V.Sc. and PhD degrees from the British university and taught there before joining U of G in 1988. The honorary degree recognized him as a leader in higher education in Canada and an internationally renowned scientist whose research has made a significant contribution to biomedical sciences. • Guelph's industrial-organizational psychology PhD program has been ranked No. 2 in North America in a first-ever survey. Guelph was the only Canadian university among the top 20 schools. The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Tulsa, examined 100 schools in North America that offer graduate programs in the field. • U of G was one of 26 schools across Ontario to be awarded an Intramural Achievement Award by the Canadian Intramural Recreation Association in May. Schools were selected based on schoolwide intramural/recreation programs that offer a variety of activities and use students in some form of leadership capacity. • The original musical It Was All A Dream: A Hip-Hopera, written by drama students Ben Taylor and Michelle Smith, is one of more than soo Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that are documented on a new website launched by U of G's Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project. Check it out at


Fall 2004 7


We must listen to our conscience ! READ THE WINTER 2004 edition of your magazine with much interest, particularly the column by president Alastair Summerlee titled "We must Listen to Our Conscience." I was impressed by his detailing of priorities and actions that would guide the University in the years ahead, particularly "developing and sustaining environments." My initial sense of optimism was quickly replaced by sadness, however, as I read in the magazine's "Research Notes" about a U of G study aimed at enhancing plastic bottles with a UVblocking resin. When I was a student in the 1970s, the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) ran a regular column in the Ontarian on environmental issues. I recall in particular several columns about plastic drink containers. The government had just relaxed restrictions on the percentage of nonrefundable containers allowed by the soft drink and brewing industries, opening the floodgates for plastic bottles and cans. OPIRG provided figures for annual production numbers of plastic bottles in both vo lume and weight and the effect these nonrefundable containers would have on landfill sites, roadsides and waterways over the years and decades ahead. Their staggering figures on the volume of these non-biodegradable disposable containers over a 25-year period were followed by a plea to revert to a totally reusable system to protect the environment. Today, their predictions have all come true. Our roadsides, ditches, streams and waterways are all polluted with virtually millions of plastic bottles and other plastic items. Would the University of Guelph's research money not be better spent on the development of biodegradable materials so that at least some of our roadside garbage would revert to compost? Imagine, Tim Horton cups with biodegradable lids!



Would this mandate not be more in line with president Summerlee's concept of"developing and sustaining environments"? We must listen to our conscience. )OEL RuMNEY, B.Sc. '75, B.Sc.(AGR.) '78, DVM '83 MIDLAND, 0NT.

Guelph BA got the ball rolling WHEN I RECEIVED UofG'scampaign donor report, I was prompted to write this letter to document the fundamental way Guelph altered my life and, in so doing, prove that it has been a leader and innovator for decades. Back in 1966, when I was in my first year at the Ontario College of Art (OCA), I met with a buddy of mine who was enrolled at Wellington College. What he told me about his experience at U of G made me realize I was missing a lot, so I approached the authorities to explore ways of combining my art studies in Toronto with liberal studies at Guelph. My efforts eventually led to a partnership between OCA and U of G that was surely among the first of its kind in Canada. As a result, in 1967 I became one of the first spring-semester students at Guelph who continued with an art program at OCA during the rest of the year. Had I not pursued a university education, my life would undoubtedly have unfolded far differently. My decision to pursue a master's degree in art education would not have been possible without my BA from Guelph. Furthermore, my 1970 master's degree from Sir George Williams University in Montreal would later prove instrumental in my obtaining a lectureship in fine arts at the University of Toronto's Scarborough College. I enrolled at OISE to pursue a PhD in philosophy of education (conferred in 1980). So you see, U of G's BA got the ball rolling in a decisive direction. Now retired, I can look back at a rich and varied career in education that

spans three decades. I've had the privilege of working in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. While teaching in high school, I became involved in the Toronto catholic teachers' association, serving as president and past president for more than 13 years. Whatever joys and vocational satisfactions 1 have had since 1970, I can thank U of G for. SALVATORE AMENTA, BA '70 STOUFFVILLE, 0NT.

Honouring a president I AM WRITING TO EXPRESS my deep concern and disappointment with the minimal coverage given to former U of G president Burton Matthews's death in the summer 2004 Guelph Alumnus magazine. It is a real slight to his memory to share his obituary with five others on the second to last page of the magazine. His passing should have been the cover story. BEN McEwEN, BSA 's6 AND M.Sc. '57 EDMONTON, ALTA. Remembering Guelph buddies FoLLOWING MY Guelph graduation, I worked for a while but eventually decided to pursue a part-time executive MBA in food and agribusiness offered by Wageningen Business School (part of Wageningen University and Research Centre) in The Netherlands in co-operation with Purdue University in Indiana. This Wageningen/Purdue experience is fantastic, but my real university memories will always be from the mighty University of Guelph! I enjoyed every single day of my six-year journey from an underage dipper to B.Comm. graduate. Some of those great memories came back during a visit to the Guelph campus a few weeks ago! I picked up the summer 2004 alumni magazine and spotted nine dipper classmates in a picture on page 19. Incredible! CoR KRAMER, ADA ' 97 AND B.CoMM. 'o1 THE NETHERLANDS

"On a clear day, over one-third of Canada's best agriculturalland can be seen from the top of Toronto's CN Tower." Statistics Canada, 1999 HY CARE ABOUT RURAL CANADA? The answer - and the challenge - begins to become clear in the paradox that much of our country's prime farmland lies within view of its largest city. In the middle of the glass and concrete, we are closer to the farmer's field than we think. You don't need to climb the CN Tower to see that. Just look at all that food in your neighbourhood supermarket. But there's more. Farmers and rural communities are environmental custodians of basic resources. They're also esthetic caretakers in a sense, as more city mice look to the countryside for recreation, leisure


and, increasingly, a new kind of home away from urban stresses. "Rural" still means cows and crops. But more and more, it means new kinds of enterprises that sustain small towns and communities- and support the wider world beyond them. Those ventures may stem from farming, including the growing field ofbioproducts (using plants and animals as feedstocks for new materials), pharmaceuticals and energy sources. Elsewhere, an auto parts plant in small-town Canada bears less relation to the farm fields around it than to the urban vehicle manufacturer located down the highway. "Strong rural communities are key to the health and vitality of Ontario," says a draft discussion paper called "Growing Strong Rural Communities," which was released this summer by the provincial government.

The University of Guelph claims a long continual role in nurturing and strengthening rural communities, going back 130 years to the agricultural roots of the Ontario Agricultural College. Those roots remain strong at Guelph and at its regional campuses in Alfred, Ridgetown and Kemptville. But this year's new OAC logo and tagline- "Food, Life, Leadership"- underlines OAC's mandate not just in production agriculture but also in food, the environment and rural communities. Much of the college's rural research, teaching and extension stems from its School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, whose three constituent parts address aspects of rural issues: understanding how people and land fit together (Sc hool of Landscape Architecture); enhancing the quality of rural life (School of Rural Extension Studies); and tackling rural development issues (School of Rural Planning and Development). Today, rural issues- from farmland preservation to rural sociology- go far beyond those boundaries to include departments and colleges across campus. And they go beyond U of G to involve teaching and research partners in other universities, governments, organizations and the private sector. In this issue, you'll read about some of those initiatives in a variety of stories about rural communities. You'll also meet Guelph graduates from across Canada who talk about farm life, what's changing in their rural communities and how they connect to urban centres. OAC dean Craig Pearson has his own way of depicting the closeness of the relationship between city mice and their country cousins. His father was raised on a remote farm in Australia and was still farming part time when Pearson was growing up in Perth, a city of 300,000. Raised among Sydney's three million souls, Pearson's own children are urban to the core, but still only two generations away from the farm. As a longtime city dweller, Pearson says occasional forays beyond Guelph's boundaries help him reconnect with small-town Ontario and rural life. That's a connection he says more urban and rural residents should make. "We need to re-create a common sense of what's important in life and what's important to preserve in the landscape." His words evoke another reason for taking the wider rural view, one that probably resonates with many of the people living and working in Canada's financial capital. As the city's shadow continues to lengthen over all that prime farmland, are we living off interest while sustaining our natural endowment or are we eating into our capital?

[ rural economies â&#x20AC;˘ by andrew vowles ]

Don't tell Guelph prof Tony Fuller about the impending death of rural Canada "It's not true that rural communities are dying," says the longtime faculty member in Guelph's School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD). "Ninety-two per cent of them are still there." Fuller acknowledges that various communities are struggling to meet challenges wrought by larger economic, social and political forces across much of Canada's countryside. Still, he remains largely sanguine about the long-term view, a sentiment shared by a number of U of G researchers studying aspects of rural communities: "They're not dying, they're changing." Travel beyond the suburbs and you need not go far to see evidence of those changes, for better or worse. A 2002 report by the Agricultural Odyssey Group highlighted the evolution of a new kind of farm and farming community. Those changes have been prompted by factors that include international trade liberalization, shifting consumer demands, growing environmental concerns, rationalization of supply chains, reduced government funding and the introduction of new technologies to the farm. Although some of the results on the farm might not be immediately evident to the Sunday driver, those changes have meant fewer farmers, but they're working larger acreages, often more closely integrated with agri-food corporations than with the nearby rural community. More evident are the kinds of changes that Jennifer Kirkness witnessed while growing up on the family hog farm in Strathroy, Ont., west of London. Now aU ofG master's student in rural planning, she watched as subdivisions crept across the fields, turning her hometown into a bedroom community for London commuters and hobby farmers. She's seen new

roads shrink travelling times to once-faraway places like Woodstock, Guelph and Toronto, and new stores and other amenities spread until halted by farmers' fields. "You have cars literally feet away from a dairy farm," says Kirkness, whose parents' farm is one of only two full-time family homesteads left on the concession. Even their closest neighbour is an urban commuter, who last fall bought the house built three decades ago on land her grandfather had severed from the farm as a wedding gift for her aunt. "We're surrounded by houses," says Kirkness, who moved to Guelph after completing her undergraduate anthropology degree at the University of Western Ontario. (Bucking a trend herself, she plans to eventually return to Strathroy as the third generation to run the farm.) Although farmland still dominates much of the rural landscape, it's in the adjoining towns and villages that many other changes have occurred. Many of those centres grew up specifically to serve farmers, but that link to agriculture has weakened as rural communities have expanded and attracted new kinds of businesses. This new rural economy can bring mixed benefits, says Prof. Tony Winson, Sociology and Anthropology. In an award-winning 2002 book called Contingent Labour, Disrupted Lives, he and colleague Prof. Belinda Leach wrote about the struggles of small manufacturing-dependent communities in southern Ontario. Five towns in particular- Harriston, Elora, Mount Forest, Arnprior and Iroquois Falls- have suffered plant shutdowns and downsizing caused by a combination of global economic restructuring, free trade agreements and the 1990s economic recession. Well-paying manufac-

turing jobs have been replaced by what the Guelph researchers call contingent labour, from part-time jobs to work in the lower-paying service sector. Elsewhere, other communities have lured auto parts plants, particularly along the Highway 400/40 I corridor and around the greater Toronto area. Some 50 plants are now dispersed around southern Ontario, supplying the major automakers in larger centres. Leach is studying those plants to determine how stable they are over the long term or whether many are simply capitalizing on the need for jobs in rural communities. She points to American examples, where meat-packing plants have moved out of Chicago into rural areas, paying people minimum wage to labour in what she calls "horrific" working conditions. Beyond the general fallout of job losses, she's particularly interested in the challenges facing women. "There's a web of issues that come together to disadvantage women in rural communities," says Leach, who holds a University Research Chair in Rural Gender Studies. Her studies show that rural women suffer greater income loss (as much as 60 per cent of their former wages) than men but are less willing or able to commute to better-paying jobs outside the community. Many opt instead for lower-paid service jobs such as in nursing homes, a new growth industry in rural communities. She plans to study the role of rural women's organizations, hoping to provide information to help policy-makers deliver appropriate services from transportation to retraining. Despite problems for men and women alike in rural Ontario, Leach and Winson

Fall 2004


[ rural economies ]

say rural communities have been surprisingly resilient to change. "Single-industry communities have particular problems," says Winson. "We need a nuanced approach that accounts for different places." What much of rural Ontario needs is a commitment to economic development, says SEDRD professor David Douglas. Referring to the results of his comprehensive three-year assessment of economic development in Ontario's countryside completed last year, he says: "Across all rural regions, there's a lack of know-how as to how to do local economic development. They know how to do land-use planning, public works and service clubs, but only about one-third have an economic development plan and only about five per cent have an economic development officer." (Notable exceptions in Ontario are Brockville, Kirkland Lake, Wasaga Beach and the Nottawasaga Community Economic Development Corporation.) Douglas says that, although the rural economy is diverse and dynamic, opportunities are unevenly distributed and often out of reach for many communities. In what he calls a relentless global economy, small rural communities are susceptible to the whims of mobile and largely faceless corporations that can easily move to follow lower labour costs or less stringent environmental regulations. Many towns have also seen provincial funding fall from about one-third of overall revenues in the early 1990s to about 15 per cent, leaving them more reliant on scant local resources to pay for services. "Bring those pieces together and we have a significant economic challenge;' says Douglas, who has presented his findings to the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association,


the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Canadian National Summit on Municipal Governance held this summer in Ottawa. His prescription includes more provincial and regional funding and other resources to be devoted to rural communities, especially in economic development support and training, and strategic planning and management. That meshes with results from the Odyssey report. Although that document dealt mostly with food and agricultural policies, it also called for measures intended to develop more co-ordinated rural policies and leadership training programs, to provide needed infrastructure to rural communities, and to promote more co-operation among agricultural and rural organizations. The policy adviser for the Odyssey Group was Terry Daynard, a former U of G crop science professor who recently returned to the University as associate dean (research and innovation) for the Ontario Agricultural College. (As a part-time farmer, he grows corn, soybeans and wheat on a 200-acre spread near Guelph that he's owned for 30 years.) He says the group's report calls on rural communities to look beyond agriculture, including exploring new value-added processing markets and even new kinds of markets altogether. Indeed, rural communities and individual farmers are already looking further afield. Fuller, a rural geographer who is U of G's representative on the Ontario Rural Council, says more farmers are making money from non-farm sources, so much so that some observers have even coined a term for the phenomenon: pluriactivity. "Sixty-eight per cent of Canadian farmers derive at least 40 per cent of their total income off the farm," says Fuller, who is

director of the University's Sustainable Rural Communities Project. (The U ofG researchers involved in the project study various aspects of rural economic development, response to change, capacity building, rural leadership and information technology.) Some of that pluriactivity might surprise our urban Sunday driver. Take innovation, a word more often associated with the new urban economy than with its country cousin. Fuller hopes to spark ideas through a new three-year research project intended to map the range of innovative activities in rural communities. He's thinking not just technological widgets but also social innovations that contribute to the livelihood and welfare of small-town Ontario- perhaps including the Waldorf school that his wife runs in a former oneroom schoolhouse in Dornoch, a village of some 200 people about J 'f, hours north of Guelph. Funded by Sustainable Rural Communities and the Ontario Rural Council, the innovation research project is meant to yield tools to help communities consider innovation and ways to attract entrepreneurs. "Massey and Ferguson and Harris and literally hundreds of other innovators came from rural areas;' says Fuller. "There are zillions of innovations going on right across rural Ontario." Ask Daynard about innovation and he's quick to mention bioproducts, a hot topic for researchers at Guelph and elsewhere. Bioproducts- synthetic materials and energy sources made from plants and animals instead of conventional petroleum-based sourcesinclude biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel derived from plant materials), biofibres to replace materials in car parts or building components, and bioplastics made from sugars rather than from petroleum feedstocks.

[ rural economies ]

"That could change the whole basis of our dependency on petroleum," Fuller says. Pointing out that much of the processing typically occurs in urban or suburban areas, he says he'd like to see more of that valueadded processing take place closer to the farm, in places like Stratford, Owen Sound or even Guelph. U of G hopes to lead developments through a planned bioproducts initiative that will include cross-campus researchers as well as industry, government and commodity representatives. Plant geneticists, for instance, are interested in examining crop plants and looking for ways of selecting or modifying them for genetic traits that will lend themselves to processing to make specialty chemicals, fue ls, plastics and other materials. Prof. Larry Erickson, Plant Agriculture, envisages working with process engineers at the University of Toronto, for example, to develop processes for using plant fibres to make new materials. "We're making some new connections," he says. Daynard also hopes to see U of G take a bigger lead in developing and supplying the market for organic produce, another potential winner for rural communities looking for ways to diversify. Organic produce still accounts for only one to three per cent of supermarket sales (and about 85 per cent of it is imported), but it's the fastest-growing segment in the food market, says Prof. John Smithers, Geography, who points to the larger and more prominent organic section at his local Zehrs outlet as evidence. "] like to know I can get food products produced in Ontario," says Smithers, who belongs to the farmers' market advisory committee in Guelph. In a return to first principles, he sees food itself as a key to developing sustainable rural communities. His studies have

uncovered what he considers a worrisome estrangement between farmers and residents of the adjoining towns and villages. In northern Huron County, for example, he found that farmers forced to intensify their farm operations are less likely to be involved in local clubs or sports. They also spend more of their money further afield rather than support local operations such as the co-operative farm outlets. Smithers's studies of town-farm perceptions in the southern part of the county suggest that emphasizing ties between farmers and non-fanning residents can benefit both sides. That can happen through seemingly simple means, including farmers choosing

jennifer Kirkness plans to be the third generation to run the family farm near Strathroy, Ont., despite the fact the farm is already surrounded by new subdivisions built for urban commuters.

to support their local farm goods co-op store and residents shopping at the local farmers' market or visiting pick-your-own operations. "Keeping the co-op open matters;' he says. "There's a mutual commitment required." Recent research funding will allow Smithers and Prof. AJun joseph, dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, to study those possible connections. Strengthening rural connections is one thing, but why should urbanites- the overwhelming majority of Canadians- care about what's going on beyond the city limits? Smithers, a self-described farm boy, says his studies probably have nostalgic roots. But it's more than sentiment for the former 100-acre homestead outside Parkhill, Ont., that now propels him along the back roads on his daily commute from Cambridge to Guelph. "It's like asking: 'Why do we invest money in Kluane National Park?' It's because we see value in preserving farming communities. There's also value in knowing our food is not produced by monolithic corporations." From a purely pragmatic standpoint, Winson says farmers and rural areas play a key role in sustaining urban populations, from their more obvious part in food production to conservation and environmental protection of resources, even our leisure and recreational assets. "In a sense, rural areas are custodians of our water and environment, and we want them to take care of that;' says Winson, who grew up in small mining towns in northern Ontario and Quebec's Eastern Townships. "I think they represent a different way of life that maybe is a useful counterpart and an alternative to not-so-successful urban arrangements that have unfolded. A lot of people want to leave the cities." â&#x20AC;˘

Fall 2004 13

[ farmers â&#x20AC;˘ by tori bona hunt ]

Guelph graduates talk about rural life and the economic conditions in farming

[ farmers ]

ities across Canada â&#x20AC;˘ Don Carlyle : It's a grim, grim situation for the cattle industry


ON CARLYLE,ADA'63,hasbeen a cattle rancher in Alberta for more than 50 years. His father, his grandfather and an uncle were also farmers. The latter two preceded him at Guelph: William L. Carlyle, BSA 1891, and William T. Carlyle, DVM '39. "My dad was the innovator of crossbreeding in Western Canada," says Don Carlyle. "He was doing it in the 1930s, and it was unheard of then." Carlyle now has a herd of 300 Angus/Simmental and Angus/Bran gus cows. After spending his childhood surrounded by farmers and five decades in the business, he thought he had seen it all. But then a single case of mad cow disease detected in Alberta in May 2003 and another case reported in the United States changed everything. "I've never seen a wreck like this in my entire life," he says from his farm near Blackfalds. "Our entire industry has been changed; everyone around us has been affected. It's a grim, grim situation." Mad cow disease is the commonly used name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a slowly progressive, degenerative and fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of adult cattle. The infected Alberta cow was destroyed at slaughter, so it never entered the food chain, but in the months that followed, the nation's $7.6-billion beef industry went into turmoil. Farmers in Alberta and across Canada experienced a flurry of government inspections, public relations blitzes, closed international borders and plummeting domestic prices. At press time, the situation for the Canadian cattle industry was critical and getting worse, with Prime Minister Paul Martin

blaming American cattle producers for aggravating the financial picture by lobbying the U.S. government to retain the closed border. Carlyle says there have been times in the past when the cattle industry has lost money, such as when foot-and-mouth disease struck in the 1950s. "But it wasn't anything like this. This is the biggest crisis to hit our industry- ever." Some farmers have had to declare bankruptcy, feed lots are in terrible states, communities are losing residents and business, and enrolment is down at local schools, he says. Subsidies help a little, but he says it's

frustrating to see most government support bypass the local community. "Our industry is controlled by big meatpacking companies, usually American companies, who own the most cattle." As a result, many small cattle producers feel they no longer have a voice in their own industry, he says. Like most other cattle farmers, Carlyle is feeding and caring for "carry over" adult cows and calves that couldn't be sold last season due to record-low prices. "There are a million extra cows in Alberta right now," he says, noting that he has an additional 30 animals. "How do you afford

Don Carlyle says Alberta's independent cattle producers feel helpless as they watch their industry decline in the wake of a single case of BSE detected more than 16 months ago.

Fall 2004 15

[ farmers ]

â&#x20AC;˘ Tony Scott : I'd like to see a new generation of organic farmers taking the reins fr such a backlog? I owe more money now than I did when I started out. It's just crazy." Still, he can't see himself doing anything else. "But going to work isn't fun anymore. And the way things are now, I couldn't quit if I wanted to. In cattle farming, your money is tied up in your animals, not your land." Adding to Carlyle's frustration is his belief that the border closure has always had more to do with public relations than public safety. "Canada has the best health record in the world for our livestock," he says. He has also had to cut back on his hobby of breeding bulls for use in rodeos. The bull-riding competition at this year's Calgary Stampede ended on a bucking bull raised by the Carlyle Cattle Company (the rider earned more than $85,000 in prize money), but the bull will no longer be available to rodeos south of the border. Live bulls aren't allowed into the United States, no matter what the purpose. "It's a terrible mess, and it seems to me that nothing is being done about it other than just sitting back and waiting for the border to open;' says Carlyle. "We need more capacity for slaughtering cows and bulls in Canada." And it's not just the cattle industry that's being affected, he adds. "There's a human side to this, too. If you want to know how bad it is, just go to a local auction. People used to laugh, carry on and have a good time, but now it's like ~ a morgue. No one even speaks to each oth~ er. To quote one local cattle buyer: 'It's just ~ not fun anymore."' Q_ Carlyle worries that the issue and the i;; farmers are being forgotten. "When BSE was first detected, the sto6: ries and the effects of the aftermath used to




make the front page and the evening news. Now, if you're lucky, you might see something on page 15. Most people don't understand what's happening. They go to the grocery store, where food is still cheap and they can find anything they want. They think the issue has gone away and that the farmers are just a bunch of whiners. But it's not going away. It's getting worse every day, and no one is paying attention." He also worries about what lies ahead for agriculture. Already, the average age of farmers in his community is about 60, and oil has replaced farming as the number one

industry in the province. "Yo ung people don ' t want to go into the business; they don 't see the point." One of his sons-in-law wanted a career in agriculture, "but he didn't think he could make enough mone y to support a family, so he went into the oil business. And that was before BSE." Indeed, a june Statistics Canada report said BSE was the number one reason for the lowest recorded farm incomes in Canada in 25 years. Other factors included years of persistent drought in Western Canada and international trade barriers. Canada's cattle industry lost about $2.1 billion in exports of beef and live cattle in 2003. Overall, Canadian farmers' net cash income was $4.2 million in 2003, down from $7.3 million the year before- a 43per-cent plunge. In Alberta, net cash income fell by 72 per cent. At the same time, farm operating expenses increased by $1 billion between 2002 and 2003 due to higher prices for fuel, seed and fertilizers. "The whole future of the cattle business has just been devastated;' says Carlyle. "People have been devastated. It's a bleak picture."


Quebec grower Tony Scott sells his organic vegetables across the border in the United States.

ONY ScoTT, B.Sc.(Agr.) '86, is a naturalist in every sense of the word. He lives in the tiny town of Ayer's Cliff, Que., population around 700, and has been running Way's Mills Market Garden since graduation with his partner, jacqueline Heim, BA '84. They grow a variety of organic vegetables. Scott works the land with the help of a small crew, has "you pick" strawberry fields and sells his products through an organic co-operative.

[ farmers ]

their parents â&#x20AC;˘ Frank Curtis : I enjoy the farm work, being outdoors and the freedom The Ottawa native says he and Heim chose the farm in Ayer's Cliff after travelling through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, looking for a place to live and for a piece of land to grow organic vegetables on. Living in a small town and working in a speciality field has its benefits, says Scott. "We're part of an organic vegetable growers co-op in Vermont (we live about five miles from the border), so I'd say that we sell about 90 per cent of our products in the United States." He is also the president of Ayer's Cliff Farmers' Market, a local market located about 15 minutes from his farm. "The whole organic marketplace is really changing," he says. "It's becoming much

found a niche in selling directly to the consumer, something that doesn't occur as frequently in conventional farming. "But I'm hoping it becomes more of a trend. I'd like to see a new generation of organic farmers taking the reins fi¡om their parents."


N THE FARMING WORLD, Frank Curtis, ADA 78, is considered a bit of a late bloomer. He worked as a stonemason and bricklayer for years before his brother-in-law convinced him to give agriculture a try. " I just fell in love with it," he says. "I

enjoy the farm work, being outdoors, the variety and the freedom." Curtis worked as a farmer for several years before enrolling at OAC as a mature student. His wife, Linda, is also a U of G graduate, earning a BA in 1978. They moved to British Columbia after Frank Curtis was offered a job with Ritchie Smith Feeds Inc. in Abbotsford, a city of about 130,000. ''I'm an animal husbandry person," he says. "My job is to help farmers learn to farm." Most of his clients are pig farmers. When Curtis first came to B.C. in 1980,

more voluminous. There's more respect for -and a whole lot more cash in - the industry now. I think people are generally becoming more sensitive to health issues, and there have been some high-profi le issues in agriculture that have caused people to stop, think, act and eat more carefully." Scott's community is made up mostly of dairy operations and some small mixed farms. In the more traditional agricultural industries, there's been a lot of change, including more large farms and fewer family-run operations, but he's seen some positive changes as well. "We've had some traditional farmers convert to organic farming. It's neat to see that happen. These farmers end up being even stronger spokespeople for organic farming because they are well-known in their community and have a history there, unlike many organic farmers." He adds that most organic farmers have

Frank Curtis works at a local feed mill to help support the small British Columbia farm that he operates with his wife linda. They love the farm environment and say it provided a good foundation for their children, Emily and lan.

Fall 2004 17

[ farmers ]

â&#x20AC;˘ lan Mcisaac : If farming takes a hold of you, that's it. There is no other life â&#x20AC;˘ Ar the swine industry was just gaining momentum. "A lot of people got into the business because it was cheap at the time, but they didn't know anything about pigs. Many of them found themselves in the deep end very quickly and needed help." His new diploma and his background in farming proved to be an invaluable combination. Although he's been able to help new farmers learn the ropes, there's little he can do about the changes and challenges plaguing the industry. "It's a losing battle. There are no quotas and no price protection, and costs are

incredibly high. It's crazy. It's always a struggle economically, and as a result, a lot of farmers are drifting away from it." Most disappointing is the loss of the family farm, says Curtis. "It's very much a dying breed here. There are more corporate farms and farmers who are specializing to be more efficient and to make a nickel." He's managed to stay connected to his love of the land by running a small hog operation. But it's more of a hobby than a business. "It's too expensive to stay small; to be economically feasible, you have to be big."

~ CJt'llllllllo¡'\1::;<



>t/1 u.J


"':::J0 u 0


~ ~--~~~~~~~

One of the 270 dairy farms on Prince Edward Island is operated by the Mcisaac family. From left are Sarah, Daniel, Grace, lan, Carolyn and Janet. Like other farms on the island, theirs has grown bigger to stay competitive.




WENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, Jan Mcisaac, B.Sc.(Agr.) '80, was one of about 1,200 dairy farmers working in and around Charlottetown. Nowadays, there are only about 270 dairy farms on Prince Edward Island. The funny thing is, the population hasn't really changed all that much in the past couple of decades, and farmers are still churning out the same amount of milk. "Many of the farms have gotten bigger, but margins are a lot slimmer;' says Mcisaac, who, along with his brother, operates Sunny Isle Farms about I 0 kilometres east of Charlottetown. "There was a time when you had to either get bigger or get out. That's what some producers did; they sold their quotas and got out of it." Mcisaac decided to get bigger. He converted the beef farm his father once ran to dairy cows "back when quota was cheaper." He and his brother now milk about 70 cows. But there have been some growing pains, most of them financial. "I keep spending and expanding, but I haven't made a lot of money yet," he says. "To make a living at this, you have to be comfortable with being in debt." One thing that has really changed in agriculture over the past few years is the concentration of power in the processing and retail sectors. He says producers must continue to work closely together in sharing markets and revenue if they are to have any say in the prices that products get in the marketplace. In P.E.I., a lot of young people arc interested in taking over their family farm or working in agriculture in some way, says Mcisaac. A father of four, he says one of his

[ farmers ]

Versloot : There are quite a few young farming families around . It's a nice community daughters is interested in following in his footsteps, but it's a career decision she'll have to make on her own. "It isn't really a choice;' he says. "Farming is something that is just in your blood. Either you like it or you don 't. Maybe it's because I'm producing something that's essential- food. Everyone has to eat. I like to be my own boss, and I enjoy farming. It seems that if farming has a hold of you, that's it. There is no other life."


H E M 0 R E T H I N G S C H A N G E, the more they stay the same. That's how Arthur Versloot, B.Sc.(Agr.) '89, describes farming life in New Brunswick. "It's still a seven-days-a-week, 24-hoursa-day job," says Versloot, who runs a family dairy farm in Keswick Ridge. " I don 't think that will ever change." But he's used to the brutal schedule. He grew up on the dairy farm, and his father kept the same work hours. It's the only lifestyle he's ever known. "My dad emigrated from Holland in 1951 and started this farm in 1959," says Versloot. "He had nothing when he started, and he built it up slowly." Versloot 's three brothers and three sisters also grew up on the farm, but none was interested in making it a career. "My taking it over was always the plan." First, however, he left the family farm to attend Nova Scotia Agricultural College for two years before heading to U of G to further his education. It was a last-minute decision. "! had a friend who was going, and a week before school started, he called and said: 'Are yo u coming?' So I packed up my

things and away I went." He returned to the farm after graduation, eventually buying it from his father. He's expanded a bit since then , building a new barn and modernizing the facilities. He has 180 cattle and milks about 65 of them. Versloot says the community hasn 't changed much over the years, and that's fine by him. He and his wife, Karen, have three young children, aged five, four and one. " There are quite a few young farming families around," he says. "It makes for a nice community." He knows he's one of the lucky ones.

Arthur and Karen Versloot -

with children

Josie, Austin and baby Hannah - share their New Brunswick community with several young farming families.

"These days, it's almost impossible to get into dairy farming without having a family farm to buy into. If you have to start from scratch, you'd need a million dollars at least. And if you have a million dollars, well, I'm not sure you'd want to be a dairy farmer anyway." A R G A R E T A N D G 0 R D 0 N are accidental dairy farmers. Co me to think of it, they're accidental residents of Manitoba, too. The pair are both natives of Ontario, and neither st udied agriculture at U of G. Gordon earned a B.Sc. in 1969 and an M.Sc. in 1973, and Margaret graduated a year later with a BA. Farming wasn't something they saw in their future. That all changed when Gordon came to Manitoba to do master's research on Aythya affinis, a wild duck commonly called the lesser scaup. " He really liked it here, so I came out to visit him and I liked it, too," says Margaret. They decided to stay. She was casting a bout for a career and recalled with fondness her roommates at Guelph. "They came from dairy farms and they were such nice girls, so I said: 'Maybe we should get some dairy cows and give it a try.' So we bought a farm. It was an adventure, sort of a back-to -the-land thing." In 1972, it was still possible to buy a farm and chalk it up to adventure. "The Manitoba government was into recruiting young farmers;' says Margaret. "They would give you quota for free. For about $8,500, you could get a quarter section with a house and a barn." Three years after buying the farm, the couple added six cows. "We'd milk the cows, and every second day the milk truck would


Fall 2004 19


..,6 ~

-< -<




[ farmers ]

â&#x20AC;˘ Margaret and Gordon Hammell : It was an adventure, sort of a back-to-the-land th come by and pick up the milk," she says. "We started out very slowly. You can't do it that way now. You have to be up to snuff from the beginning, so people have to borrow a lot of money. Starting a farm is now a huge investment." The Hammells named their Erickson, Man., homestead Aythya Dairy Farm, after the duck Gordon came to Manitoba to research. They soon added two children to the mix. Back then, there were a lot of other young families living nearby. "Now we have fewer neighbours and not a lot of people around who are under 40," says Margaret. Their own children are now grown and living in Winnipeg. "People want more money, they want to get more things, so they're leaving the farm to work, much to the detriment of the community," she says. In recent months, the local hospital had to close the emergency ward, which means people have to travel to another town for after-hours emergencies. One thing that hasn't changed is the milk "' schedule. The trucks still come by every seca >'<( ond day. Today, the Hammells have about 25 ~ cows and do most of the work themselves. ~ They may be living a life they never envi~ sioned, but the couple wouldn't have it any ~other way. ~ "I love getting up in the morning and not ~ having to drive anywhere to get to work;' says ~ Margaret. "I wake up and I'm already here:'

Nipawin, Sask. "Honey put me through university," he says. " I'd spend the winters in classes in Guelph, and I'd go home every summer and work to keep the family farm going and to make enough money to pay for what seemed at the time to be modest tuition fees." While at U of G, Taylor paid for everything in "honey" currency. Tuition cost a summer's worth of farm labour. The new truck he bought the year he graduated was priced at I 8,781 pounds of honey. "Today, it would take about 33,684 pounds of honey to buy that same truck."




~ T OM TAYLOR,B.Sc.(Agr.) '7l,never ~ envisioned doing anything but


farming. Both his grandfather and ~ father were beekeepers, and Taylor grew up 5: on the same honey farm as his father in

20 THE


Top: Manitoba dairy farmers Margaret and Gordon Hammell just walk out the back door to go to work. Bottom: In Saskatchewan, jacqueline Taylor runs a veterinary clinic, and Tom Taylor retails beekeeping supplies and products.

About a decade after he graduated, the "price of honey fell out of bed and never got back in," he says. It was the result of a change in a long-standing U.S. policy of stockpiling honey that literally flooded the market. "The supply of honey simply exceeded the demand." He had to give up the farm that had been in his family for so long. At the time, he had 1,800 hives. "It wasn't really a decision at all. It was forced on me. The bank said: 'We need the money."' Taylor did the only thing he could: he sold all his equipment, bees and supplies to other farmers. He's managed to stay connected to the bee world by providing supplies and equipment to honey farmers and by manufacturing candles and other materials from beeswax. But it's not the same. There are few agricultural industries in the province that have emerged from the last couple of decades unscathed, he says. Years of drought and excessive grasshoppers, low commodity prices and, most recently, BSE have taken their toll. There are fewer family farms, and even big agricultural operations are going out of business. Taylor's wife, jacqueline, is a 1973 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College who runs her own veterinary clinic and sees the impact of hard times on her clients. Not surprisingly, the couple's two daughters have chosen non-agricu ltural careers. One is a hotel administrator; the other is a tax attorney. Tom Taylor says he supported their choices. "I wish I could say agriculture is a good future, but by golly, unless you have a million bucks in your pocket, it's not a place to start out."

[ farmers ]

Tom Taylor : The price of honey feU out of bed â&#x20AC;˘ Ross Traverse : We built a green -


oss TRAVERSE, M.Sc. '70, says farmers in Newfoundland are in a race these days, a race for the bottom, that is. "There's a big squeeze on commodities not controlled by quotas;' says Traverse from his hometown ofTorbay, located about 10 kilometres from St. John's. "I guess it's typical of what's happening all across the country. Farmers are really being pushed to the limit:' He's had a unique view of th e changes in the agricultural industry in his province. After graduating from U of G, he spent 30 years working as an agricultural adviser for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, he and his wife, Marcella, have run a retail plant nursery in Torbay for more than 25 years. Ross is also a well-known radio personality, hosting both local and CBC Radio programs on gardening. " People call in from all over Newfoundland and Labrador with their gardening questions, and I answer them;' he says, adding that he's sort of an "accidental gardener." "I never intended to get into the business. We built a greenhouse on our property and started selling a few plants to our friends. Somehow, it just sort of expanded into a business." Traverse Gardens now consists of six greenhouses. Both he and Marcella, a former nurse, now work at the business full time. As the owner of a speciality nursery, Ross notes that he hasn't suffered the same types of hardships traditional farmers have faced. Most farmers have had to learn to get by on less and change the way they do business. "At one time, a vegetable grower could simply sell products to the local grocery store. Now, a farmer has to drive 100 kilometres and

sell to the wholesaler, who turns around and brings the vegetables right back to the local supermarket. It doesn't make a lot of sense." But farming is still very much a way of life in Torbay, he says. "People who really like the lifestyle have stuck with it. They're doing OK- not as well as their high school classmates who went into the high-tech industry are doing, but OK:'


EN AND GERI ROUNDS are living their dream. The couple, who met while studying agriculture at Guelph, always hoped to one day own a farm

of their own. They both grew up on farms, but neither one was " next in line" to inherit the family business. So th e couple came by their dream the old-fashioned way: they saved their money and waited for a farm that was right for them. They both graduated from the B.Sc.(Agr.) program in 1984, and their dream became reality 10 years later when they bought a poultry farm outside of Elmvale, Ont., near the tourist town of Wasaga Beach. For the first couple of years, they made their living by selling eggs locally to grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries and variety stores. In 1996, the

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s: When Marcella and Ross Traverse let their backyard garden get out of hand, it grew into a specialty nursery with six greenhouses. Ross also hosts a radio program on gardening that answers calls from people all over Newfoundland and labrador.

Fall 2004 21

[ farmers ]

house and it just expanded into a business â&#x20AC;˘ Ken and Geri Rounds : This was alwa Roundses built a little market on their property and started selling eggs, meat and baked goods directly to the public. The next year, they bought another farm and started growing fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, corn, asparagus, pumpkins and peas. In 1998, the couple turned an old barn into a nursery for small animals and opened a petting zoo. In 2001, they bought a fourth farm and added a number of"agri-entertainment" attractions, including a corn maze, a pedal cart racetrack, a mist maze, pony rides, a rope maze through trees, horseback riding, farm animals and barn-

yard boxcars. They offer school tours and corporate and group events, as well as leadership and youth programs. In 2000, the Rounds family, which includes 16-year-old Carla, was named Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers. "This was always our dream- it's just changed a bit over the years and in ways we never imagined;' says Ken Rounds. "But I'm grateful for all the opportunities we've had. I wouldn't trade what we have now for anything." He exudes enthusiasm for his industry, saying farming and country living are still

the highest-quality lifestyle around. But he acknowledges that agriculture is a challenging and often stressful career, especially in fields where costs continue to grow and product prices seem to be in constant decline. Ken says the secret to his family's success and happiness is simple: "ow¡ faith and an ability to adapt and change. I think the biggest challenge in the industry today is that many farmers are resistant to change. They want things to be the way they were. But there's been a paradigm shift. On our farm, we decided to diversify, not put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak. We spread the risk out." The biggest change came when the family decided to open the farm to the general public and explore the world of agri -entertainment. "People just love it," he says. "There's something about coming out to the country." He admits that opening up your farmand your private life- isn't for everyone. "But it is for us. There are just so many opportunities out there. In fact, we're often disappointed because we can't do half the things we dream up. There just isn't enough time." OUG NICHOLS, B.Sc.(Agr.) '81, is part of a family that has been farming in the same area in Nova Scotia for four generations. He lives with his own young family on the original Nichols farm purchased by his grandparents in 1930. Doug himself grew up just down the road on a second farm owned by his father. He remembers helping with chores in many areas of their diverse family farm and says the community life was filled with optimism. In the late 1970s, he left the farm to


Ken and Geri Rounds have made consumer service the top priority on their Ontario farm since they started selling eggs and baked goods

22 THE PoRTico


years ago.

[ farmers ]

our dream â&#x20AC;˘ Doug Nichols : There isn't the support for rural communities â&#x20AC;˘ attend OAC. A few years after graduation and soon after marriage to Marlene, he bought a portion of the family farm that included feeder hogs and apple and pear orchards. The couple is now raising four children and caring for about 90 acres of fruit trees and 1,000 feeder hogs. In recent years, there have been some changes. A few years ago, a farm injury and a subsequent job offer took Doug Nichols away from the farm. He now commutes a half hour to Kemptville to work for the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association. Marlene manages the farm on a daily basis, but for Doug, it's now an evenings-and-weekends job. "I don't like working off the farm and having a farm because there are a lot of demands on your time," he says. But he's understandably sentimental about the farm that has been in his family for so many years. "We're willing to keep struggling along." His family isn't alone. Nichols's hometown has become a combination of integrated farms, part-time farmers and commuters, with most households having at least one family member working off the farm. Several families have given up their farms. Aside from integrated farms, farmers who remain have either leased out part or all of their holdings, or they've expanded and specialized. Food production units continue to be pressed to produce food for the same return as 20 years ago, while the cost of doing business has increased dramatically. "Costs are just increasing so fast, and product prices aren't keeping up," says Nichols. "Because of global competition, the opportunity to get ahead is limited to fewer people willing to risk large amounts

of capital and invest in large production units that are supposed to reduce the unit cost of food they produce. The larger a farm becomes, the greater the demands on the manager to provide a positive bottom line. It's a vicious cycle. I'm amazed that farming still exists at all." About I 0 years ago, before his accident, he was considering taking a gamble and making a significant investment in his farm. "Looking back now, I am so thankful I didn't move ahead. I think I would have ended up losing what I had." Nichols says there are still people work-

ing the farms in Morristown, but several of them live outside the community. The community he once considered progressive and filled with optimism is no longer. "The vibrancy is gone. When I was growing up, the farmers who owned and operated the farms were the backbone of the community. They set goals and supported events. But now, farmers are driven so hard to make a living, they're not as community-minded as they would like to be. The support system for this rural Nova Scotia community is eroding." â&#x20AC;˘


Doug Nichols is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Nova Scotia, and he and his wife, Marlene, are raising a fifth generation. Pictured from left are Robert, Allyson, Marlene, Doug, Elaine and Elizabeth.

Fall 2004 23

[ land preservation â&#x20AC;˘ by andrew vowles ]

Caring for the land : Farmland trust to protect Ontario's agricultural land BEEN S 0 M E T H RE E decades since Helen Martinic left the family farm for a career as a dietitian in Toronto. Three years ago, the U of G graduate retired from her job and returned to the 150-acre homestead near Totten ham, Ont., roughly midway between Toronto and Lake Simcoe. Not to farm: that's the job of her cousin, who has rented the property for a mixed farming operation since Martinic's father died in 1968. But she feels no less responsible for the fate of the homestead, which has been in the family since her forebears emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1800s. "I feel like I'm the custodian of the land;' she says. But without children to inherit the farm and with the inevitable developers eyeing the property for housing or perhaps a golf course, how could she preserve her legacy? The answer came through an acquaintance renovating the farmhouse for her. He hooked her up with a friend involved in planning for a new organization devoted to preserving farmland in the province- one that, coincidentally for this 1960 Macdonald Institute graduate, was being established by principals in the Ontario Agricultural College. That was in spring 2003. This summer, Little Rock Farm became the showQ case property for that new organization, called ~ the Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT). u.J ~ Inaugurated during a farm preservation ~conference held at U of G, the OFT is ~ intended to help protect agricultural lands ~ for farming, a pressing issue across the coun~ try but particularly in Ontario, where more ~ and more prime farmland is coming under >~ the wheels not of tractors but of bulldozers. [5 If you want to learn about dwindling agri6: cultural lands in Ontario, you might start by T' S


24 THE PoRTico

looking around Toronto. In the greater Toronto area alone, more than 2,000 farms and 150,000 acres - about 18 per cent of Ontario's Class I farmland- were plowed under by urban development between 1976 and 1996, says Prof. Stew Hilts, chair of land resource science at U of G and director of the OFT. But development has hardly spared the apparently wide-open countryside across southern Ontario. More acreage is being lost or constricted by growing numbers of rural severances being granted for building lots for individual homes or housing clusters- often built, ironically enough, to accommodate city

dwellers looking for a taste of country living. Prof. Wayne Caldwell, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD), conducted the first Ontario study

to look systematically at the cumulative impact of severances on farming in 34 counties and regions across the province. That study (called "Ontario's Countryside: A Resource to Preserve or an Urban Area in Waiting?") found that a total of 15,500 lots were created during the 1990s, with more than 80 per cent for residential purposes. Although the individual number of severances granted per year declined slightly between 1990 and 2000, the cumulative impact is rising, says Caldwell, who notes that tens of thousands of housing lots had already been created in agricultural areas before 1990. Besides the absolute loss of farmland, there's a concern about the wider effects of severances in rural areas, where minimum distance restrictions mean that each residential severance can effectively restrict farm operations over a much larger area. Referring to the combined effects of urban sprawl and rural severances, Hilts says: "We feel the issue of farmland preservation in southern Ontario has been ignored, allowing urban expansion to continue unchecked." The idea of a province-wide trust arose during a 2002 forum on farmland preservation. A land trust is a charitable, non-profit organization that holds or protects land in trust, explains Hilts. Similar bodies have been used to protect woodlands, wetlands and other natural habitats, or heritage buildings. A notable example is the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Other farmland trusts have been established in Canada, including the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society, which preserves rangelands and wildlife habitat, and the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust in southern British Columbia . Unlike those regional organizations, the


[ land preservation ]




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OIT is Canada's first province-wide agricultural land trust. Among the tools it will use to preserve farmland is a voluntary agricultural easement, a legal agreement spelling out permitted and restricted uses on a farm. Negotiated between the trust and the landowner, the agreement allows the owner to retain ownership, but ensures that the land remains free of development, even when it passes to different hands. Occasionally, a farmland trust will buy a property to protect it, renting it out to farm operators. Farmland might also be donated to trusts. Stressing that participation in the trust is voluntary, Caldwell says entering this kind of agreement means farmers recognize that their options might be more limited when they go to sell their property. For all their potential importance as demonstration projects, Hilts says easements can realistically protect only a few small and scattered properties. "Besides easements, we want to promote improved policies." He says the new farmland trust will push for improved land -use protection policies at municipal and provincial levels. For example, Ontario's Planning Act currently provides only guidelines for land use rather than strict policies meant to protect agricultural lands from development. That's likely to change under proposed amendments to the Provincial Policy Statement (enacted under the Planning Act) designed to protect all Class 1-3 farmland and eliminate farm severances. Pointing to a copy of the proposed changes, Hilts says: "This proposal refers to the most sweeping policies to protect farmland in Ontario." Adds Caldwell, a farmer and planner in Huron County and a leading expert on agricultural land-use planning: "It's important that people see the land trust as one com-

ponent of preserving farmland. But the most important protection will occur through sound policies, developed with provincial input but enacted locally." He and Hilts co-chaired this summer's conference at Guelph, called " Protecting Farmland for Farmers." The event brought together farmers, planners, academics, politicians and conservationists from Canada and abroad to discuss such topics as American farmland preservation policies, "s mart growth" policies in British Columbia and farmland preservation programs in Australia. The conference was organized by Guelph's Farmland Preservation Research Project (FP RP ) and the OFT. The FPRP is

an interdisciplinary project of U of G's Centre for Land and Water Stewardship. Involving researchers from both the Department of Land Resource Science and SEDRD,

the project documents farmland loss in southern Ontario, considers alternative policy options and raises awareness of farmland protection in the province. "The increasingly rapid loss of farmland and encroachments on farming communities make it imperative to develop a longterm plan and vision of how Ontario's farmland will be used in the future," says Melissa Watkins, research associate with the FPRP and acting executive director of the OFT (s he has studied land trust issues for her master 's degree at U of G). As part of the project, Bronwynne Wilton, a PhD student in rural planning, is studying census data, hoping to learn more about the extent of farmland loss and what it means to the farming community. She suspects the numbers are more dire than accepted figures. " It makes sense to keep farmers on the land," she says, referring to the need to maintain food safety and security and supply. Not to mention that we're distancing ourselves from the source of our food. "Kids don 't know where their food is coming from," says Wilton, the mother of three children under eight. "Think of the kind of province and society we're going to leave to them." That's the kind of thinking that has impelled Martinic, now 66, to draw up the land preservation agreement on Little Rock Farm for the OFT. The easement says future owners may use the land for farming or agriculture-related endeavours but not for development. Martinic is free to sell the property at any time, but she's viewing the farm not as an investment but as a retirement home. " I could sell it for a lot of money, but I don't feel l did anything to merit it. It's a beautiful place. l would hate to see it bulldozed for any reason." •

Fall 2004 25

[ global communities â&#x20AC;˘ by rachelle cooper ]

Finding small-scale access in a global market : food -safety standards can shut out deve




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we've seen in Canadian supermarkets over the past 50 years is happening in five to 10 years in developing countries," says Prof. Spencer Henson of Guelph's Department of Agricultural Economics and Business. "This is presenting huge challenges for small producers and processors:' Small-scale farmers in developing countries are being shut out of high-value markets because they can't meet the demands for high-quality food and stronger foodsafety standards from both domestic and international supermarkets. "This could push small farmers and processors out altogether unless they are able to change the way they've traditionally done things," says Henson. "The problem is, they have to invest in new practices, but in many cases, they are poor and don't have access to the credit needed to upgrade." A report for the United Nations that Prime Minister Paul Martin presented in March 2004 as co-chair of the Commission on Private Sector and Development showed that the development of many poorer countries depends on small enterprises. "We want to kick-start a process to unleash the entrepreneurial potential that lies untapped in so many people living in poverty or very difficult circumstances in developing countries," said Martin. Henson has been travelling around the world in search of "good practice" models that fill the needs of both small farmers and their customers. He's hoping to facilitate small producers' abilities to meet new standards and make their way out of poverty. In his research trips to Africa, India, the Caribbean and Latin America, Henson has

26 THE PoRTico

seen many more examples of models that exploit small farmers than successful examples of small farms benefiting from providing food for export or domestic high-value markets. But he recently found a group of 4,500 small farmers in Murewe, Zimbabwe, who are supplying vegetables not normally grown in Zimbabwe, such as baby corn, to one of the country's top exporters. Unlike most exporter/farmer pantnerships, this is a win-win situation, says Henson. "Because the export company is providing expert advice, the farmers are gaining knowledge that they use to improve their

Peter Chikwanwa, a native of Zimbabwe, has been growing for export since 1987, using lowtech tools like this handmade water pump.

own crops. The exporters are getting betterquality products from these smaller farms." When the exporter/farmer partnership began in 1997, there were 200 farmers growing for export. Today, there are 4,500 farmers, 60 per cent of whom are women, with one to two hectares of land supplying food to the exporters, says Henson. For most of them, the financial returns represent five to 10 per cent of their income because they're not growing large plots. The farmers also grow food for their own consumption and for local markets. To get the farmers started, the export companies provide them with inputs under credit and offer training in areas such as water use, soil conservation and fertilizers. "That allows them to improve all the other crops they grow for their own consumption and sell locally," Henson says. One of the biggest benefits in the farmers' eyes is that they have a guaranteed market and minimum price, he says. "Growing food for export also gives them a sense of elevated status. They get satisfaction from knowing they're growing a green bean that's going to be eaten in London or Paris." The downside is that the farmers still have to pay for failed crops. "These are very vulnerable people with few alternatives," says Henson. "Most fail the first time they grow for export, so they get locked into it, but they usually eventually succeed and learn a lot in the process." The exporter could get cheaper food from two large farms rather than thousands of small ones, but in addition to getting higher-quality products from small farms, the exporter doesn't have to deal with management problems, says Henson.


[ global communities ]

countries â&#x20AC;˘ Turn the radio on in Africa "The food is produced by women who are used to growing kitchen gardens. You can't mechanize the type of work they're doing." He believes small producers can meet western standards if they're just given a chance. "Countries like Canada need to be sensitive to the impact of the regulations they enforce," he says. "It can be as simple as someone at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency laying down a requirement farmers have to meet, without thinking about small producers because we don't have onehectare farms here." ANY RuRAL African farmers can't afford television and can't read a government agriculture fact sheet, but thanks to radio, they're learning how to improve crop production and tap into global markets. Rural extension studies professor Helen Hambly Odame began a program called "Linking Agricultural Research and Rural Radio in Africa" while working for the International Service for National Agricultural Research, based in The Hague, and brought the project to U of G when she joined the faculty in September 2003. In Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda, the program has helped teams form among agricultural researchers, extension workers and radio employees to improve communication with farmers. Scientists sometimes broadcast from farmers' fields to deliver up-to-date agricultural research to rural farmers. One of the teams in Uganda is working on preventing infestations of malaria by promoting the propagation and planting out of neem trees, says Hambly Odame. Medicinal properties of the neem are used

to combat the disease. "They also talk about the importance of cleaning up stagnant water where malarial mosquitoes breed;' she says. Her research shows that the project is helping farmers gain valuable information and communication they wouldn't otherwise have access to. "Most people in Africa are so remote, resource-poor and without access to education that television and newspapers are irrelevant in their lives," she says. "Radio broadcasts in local languages, so even if people have never been to school, they can understand


Community radio in Cameroon reaches rural people who would otherwise be isolated from important farming information.

the information being presented and engage in discussion by providing feedback. For people who can't read a newspaper, radio is sometimes their only means of access to the outside world. It also creates a sense of cultural identity that can strengthen social and political accountability within the community." Rather than setting up a program that relies on guidance from Hambly Odame and her team, "Linking Agricultural Research and Rural Radio in Africa" is designed to develop self- reliance. "That's why we believe in the partnership/teamwork methodology," she says. "We provide backstopping in terms of communicating with these teams and helping them raise money locally and internationally." Hambly Odame admits that team-building among groups that rarely talk to one another wasn't easy when she began this project in 2000, but she now knows that the long-term impact of rural development lies in such local partnerships. Scientists and journalists realize that only by working together can they provide rural people with information needed to be successful farmers, she says. All over the world, new biotechnologies and changing food-safety standards have made the need for well-informed and open agricultural communication processes even greater, says Hambly Odame. "Radio plays an important role in creating dialogue around these issues. Organic honey production in central-eastern Africa, for example, has benefited from radio because farmers hear that if they're not using any agri-chemicals, they can produce honey that's potentially certified as organic and export it to Europe." â&#x20AC;˘

Fall2004 27

[ global communities â&#x20AC;˘ by penny williams ]

Making a world of difference: skills honed at the University of Guelph are harvested arot FTER A 33-YEAR CAREER spent cultivating students at the Ontario Agricultural College, Mike Jenkinson, BSA '63 and M.Sc. '67, is now harvesting his skills and experience on the road. The retired assistant dean of OAC travelled to Bolivia this winter on his first trip to the country and his first assignment as a volunteer with CESO, the Canadian Executive Service Organization. There, he worked on agriculture and veterinary medicine curriculum redesign with two of the country's public universities, located in Cobija and Trinidad, both in the Amazon Basin. Founded in 1967, the volunteer-based CESO provides economic development expertise in Canada, the new market economies of Central and Eastern Europe, and developing nations around the world. With Jenkinson in Bolivia was retired crop science professor Neal Stoskopf, BSA '57 and MSA '58, doing similar work with the public universities in Tarija and Potosi, the former tucked in a mountain valley and the latter high on the altiplano. Stoskopf, who retired 10 years ago, was also on his first trip to Bolivia, but it was his 20th CESO assignment. He has completed numerous projects in China, but has also volunteered in the Philippines and Bulgaria. This summer, he also shared his wheat-breeding expertise with colleagues in Armenia. z "I do it for adventure, challenge, to keep 0 ~ current in my field and, above all, because ~ I believe one person can make a difference," ;; he says. ::;: Stoskopf is too modest to add that he >~ has been nominated by CESO for the 2004 Lewis Perinbam Award for International iE Development, in recognition of just how




much difference he has made. He and Jenkinson were in Bolivia from Feb. 18 to March 31, 2004, under the umbrella of CESO's multi-year Public Sector Reform Support Project. It is one of the organization's four bilateral projects, each a contract between CESO and the Canadian International Development Agency (CI DA), in which CESO volunteers execute a component of the larger CIDA program for the country in question. "Pa rt of our work in Bolivia is with municipal governments, helping them build the infrastructure needed for sustainable

Neal Stoskopf, left, and Mike Jenkinson, right, with interpreter Sergio Fernandez Ruelas at a flag-raising ceremony to mark their CESO project in Bolivia.

communities, so people don 't have to migrate to the cities;' says Enrique Williams, CESO's area manager for the Americas. " In education, our focus is at the university level. The question is how to reform a system based on old European models into a more responsive market-oriented one that trains Bolivians for real jobs and meets real needs." Says Stoskopf: " I call it 21st-century curriculum. Bolivia belongs to the World Trade Organization, and it wants the agricultural sector to earn hard currency. The potential exists. The country is rich in natural gas and mineral products, and it produces highquality beef and wines. But look at the universities! There's no concept of international marketing or export standards and little idea of economics. They're out of touch with the real world." He and Jenkinson went there to help faculties better connect with that real world, recognize its opportunities and demands, and explore more appropriate curriculum and structural models. They had considerable relevant experience to offer. Jenkinson specialized in curriculum development and administration during his career and learned about structural change first-hand when the founding colleges joined to form the University of Guelph. During his years on campus, Stoskopf taught 27 different courses in the Department of Plant Agriculture's two-year, fouryear and master 's programs. His 13 years' experience as director of the two-year diploma course reinforced the down-toearth approach that both men were trying to encourage in their Bolivian colleagues. Take outreach activities, for example. "There 's a network of outreach farms

[ global communities ]

t the globe through the Canadian Executive Service Organization around the country, which is very encouraging, but they're sending four-year degree students out there for a whole semester," says Stoskopf. "I suggested they create a highly practical two-year program and have its students handle the farm activities. Leave the degree students to their studies, then stream the best of those grads into a clearly separated master's program, which would be devoted to research on the farms." Before leaving Bolivia, the men submitted reports to the country's Ministry of Higher Education (having first shared the contents with their university contacts). They're too experienced to expect that all their recommendations will be acceptedor even that all the accepted ones will be implemented- but they're also experienced enough to be hopeful. "Change takes time," says Jenkinson. "You plant ideas, and some develop. I could see people really buying into our workshop discussions because they were already thinking about these things." Adds Stoskopf: "Now that I'm home, I'm answering e-mails from some of the more visionary professors, asking for further information." Jenkinson, the rookie volunteer adviser, says he was a bit apprehensive before he went to Bolivia, but CESO prepared him well and supported him in the field. Stoskopf, the old hand, just smiles. "You can expect some trials and tribulations, an upset stomach and probably a missed flight as well. If you're going to be a volunteer adviser, you have to be able to cope." Both of them cope- in fact, they thrive. "It's a chance to do real work that makes a difference, to visit a country I'd never

In Mike Jenkinson's photos, the blue waters of lake Titicaca contrast with the dry landscape of the altiplano that surrounds it. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bolivia. Agricultural terraces date to pre-Colombian agricultural technologies that attempted to use the most rugged and rocky areas of the mountains for food production. In the flattened bowl area around the town of Copacabana, potatoes and fava beans are staple crops, while grazing lands are central to a cattle-breeding program at the Technical University of Beni.

otherwise see and to learn something about its people," says Jenkinson. Stoskopf notes that although the travel "doesn't excite me anymore, the intellectual challenge always does. It keeps me sharp." He adds that he's sometimes criticized for giving away knowledge and giving away an opportunity to sell surplus food. "!can't hope for crop failure elsewhere just to make us richer," he says. "Furthermore, trade will occur only when countries have the resources to buy our goods. The people we help now will be our trading partners tomorrow." ofCESO'scurrent volunteer advisers have aU of G connection, and together they have completed almost 125 assignments. In addition to Neal Stoskopf and Mike Jenkinson, the list includes plant agriculture professor Lyn Kannenberg and retirees john Van Esch of the Department of Food Science, David Mowat of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, and Edwin Gamble, BSA '52 and MSA '54, of the Department of Plant Agriculture. In another role, Prof. Parvathi



Basrur, Biomedical Sciences, served as a CESO board member from 1983 to 1991. Pam Koch, CESO's contract director for Asia (an area of high demand for volunteers with agricultural expertise), praises Guelph volunteer advisers for their "flexibility, adaptability, high professional qualifications and relevant experience." She note that CESO assignments typically last one to four weeks, with all related expenses fully covered. In all sectors, the focus is increasingly on economic impact. Agriculture assignments, for example, stress agribusiness aspects such as rural extension, value-added food pro-

cessing, breeding, quality/disease control, and compliance with international standards. To date, Stoskopf has completed 21 assignments. "Why do I bother? " he asks with a grin. "Surely I've earned the right to a quiet, relaxing retirement!" The grin fades as he answers his own question. "We live in an age of open systems. CESO offers a means to penetrate old boundaries, form new linkages and help shape this global civilization. As volunteers, we go without greed, and we are welcomed." For more information, visit â&#x20AC;˘

Fall 2004 29




EVENTS â&#x20AC;˘



The three alumni chosen to receive the 2004 University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA) awards share an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for excellence.

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Alumnus of Honour Donal McKeown, DVM '58, built a career in both the United States and Canada as a small-animal practitioner, orthopedic surgeon, educator and specialist in animal behaviour. He taught at OVC for many years and has founded four business ventures focused on small-animal health and nutrition. He was recognized by the UGAA for his leadership in the veterinary profession, his contributions to education and his community involvement.

Alumni Medal of Achievement Sue-Ann Staff, B.Sc.(Agr.) '94, took over her family's estate winery in the Niagara region in 1997 and has since become one of Canada's most decorated winemasters. Her wines have claimed top prize in several international competitions, including her Riesling icewine, which won double gold from the American Wine Society. She was named Ontario Winemaker of the Year in 2002, becoming the youngest winner and the first woman to receive the award.

Alumni Volunteer Award Bruce Stone, BSA '53 and MSA '54, has been a quiet but effective leader since his student days at OAC. During his 41-year career as an OAC faculty member, he taught courses in dairy cattle production and managed research funds from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Over the years, he has championed numerous fundraising projects for the college and its students. His volunteer work also extends to 4-H Ontario and community groups.

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in the world, says food

5 scientist Massimo Marcone, ii: and Kopi Luwak coffee




beans from Indonesia are the most prized. Marcone gave Alumni Weekend guests a taste of this $600-a-pound coffee and described his lab analysis that proved there really is something different about

coffee beans that travel through the digestive tract of the small cat-like Luwak. The animal has a taste for ripe coffee cherries, but excretes the bean inside. Not all of Marcone's guests had a taste for the coffee.

MATTERS Canada, several from the United States and an international contingent that included Dorothy Barrales, DVM '52 and M.Sc. '83, of Chile; Doodnath Kanhai, DVM ' 56, of Trinidad; Gwendolyn Tonge, DHE '59, of Antigua; and Peel Holroyd, ADA '61, of England. U of G received greetings from many graduates who were unable to attend. Here are comments from three of them:

"Three generations of my family we11t to Guelph. This started with my father; who was there from 1898 to 1902. I was very proud to see my grandson graduate in 1995." MARY A.M. REGAN, DHE '38

Several graduates in their 90s attended the Honorary Companion ceremony, including 94-yearold Marie Hardacre, DHE '30, of Toronto, who was both the oldest and earliest graduate to receive a certificate from U of G chancellor Lincoln Alexander, left, and president Alastair Summerlee.


"It is a long time si11ce the day we walked behind the barbed wire to War Memorial Hall to receive our degrees from The Honourable William Mulock. In his kindly voice, the chancellor said: 'God bless you, my boy.' We in year '42 needed that blessing because the war raging was to claim the lives offour of those graduates, as well as many others who did not complete their four years. To them, we owe the privilege that you now afford to those of us who have survived."

ORE THAN 400 people who graduated from Guelph's founding colleges

graduates of Macdonald Institute, the Ontario Agricultural College and the


attended a special convocation ceremony june 25 as part of the University's

Ontario Veterinary College has always

"The fact that the University of Guelph continues to grow and command respect throughout the world gives me a deep feeling of both humbleness and pride that such an honour will be bestowed 011 me. My most sincere thanks and gratitude to the University."


40th-anniversary celebration. Prior to the establishment of the Uni-

been to Guelph. The University chose to recognize that loyalty and the contributions of those college alumni by awarding

versity of Guelph on May 8, 1964, degrees

them the Honorary Companion of the

and diplomas were awarded by the Uni-

University of Guelph. The event drew alumni from across

versity of Toronto, but the loyalty of the

OVC export earns kudos


associate dean of research. He

the OVC Alumni Association's

left the college to serve as dean

Distinguished Alumnus for 2004, Valli said much of his pro-

Ted Valli, DVM '62, M.Sc. '66

of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of

and PhD '70, began his academic career as a professor in OVC's

Ill inois, a position he held for two terms. Valli continues to

Department of Pathology, later

teach diagnostic pathology at

--; McSherry, DVM '42 and MSA s: '57, who stimulated Valli's inter- J>

serving as department chair and

Illinois. When he was named

est in clinical pathology.



0 --; 0


fessionallife has been modelled co -< Cl after that of his mentor, Bernard J>


Fall 2004 31


u of g



Enjoying the Saturday-night alumni pub, from

Tours of the Hagen Aqua lab were well路

left, are: Paul Reeds, B.Sc.(Agr.) '79; Timothy

attended by younger visitors.

Ross, B.Sc.(Agr.) '79; Tracey Whiting; and

After eight hours of making floral arrange路 ments for Alumni Weekend dinner tables, these volunteer florists still had a sense of

Diane Reeds .

humour. From left are Danielle Angel; Johanne Blansche, B.H.Sc. '82; and Lisanne Dore. The roses were donated by Peter and Andrew Thiessen, B.Sc.(Agr.) '97. of Thiessen Greenhouse and Flowers in Leamington, Ont.

The phased restoration of the conservatory greenhouse was completed this summer, Catching up at the welcome barbecue are,

thanks to additional gifts from Don Ruther路

from left: Gerry Green, DVM '59; Betty

ford, BSA '51; Sandra and Peter Hannam,

Maidment; OVC alumni officer Elizabeth

B.Sc.(Agr.) '62; June Laver, DHE '40, and Keith

Lowenger; Guy Giddings, DVM '59; and

Laver, BSA '40; and Wendy Shearer, BLA '81.

Mary Green, ADA '6o.

Once again functioning as a teaching green路

Enjoying their first visit to campus in 25

house, the conservatory features limestone

years, Margaret, B.H.Sc. '69, and Murray

from the old barn removed from the site of

Ellis, B.Sc.(Agr.) '69, helped paint the

Rozanski Hall.

cannon . Now retired, the Ellises live in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was a financial planner and he was retail sales manager for Monsanto.

~ Alumni who toured the President's House ~ were greeted by president Alastair Summerlee ~ and his wife, Catherine, right. Visitors, ~ from left, are: Andrew Macdonald; Allyson

~ McElwain, MA 'o4; Patricia Eton-Neufeld,


B.Sc. 'So and BA '86; and Gerald Neufeld.

~ The 1882 stone house is being redecorated

KooKee the Clown entertained the kids

C3 and furnished with Canadian antiques and

at Alumni Weekend. In real life, he's Ken


Cooke, an electronics technologist on


art and campus artifacts to enrich its histori-

::::' cal significance to the University and the City 0

~ of Guelph.


campus with Teaching Support Services.


SEPT. 24

Editor, Mary Dickieson m.d icki eson@exec. uoguelp 519·824·4120. Ext. 58706 GRAD NEWS UPDATES

SEPT. 25


Director, Susan Rankin sran ki College of Arts, Deborah Mas kens CBS/CPES, Sam Kosakowski CSAHS, Laurie Malleau OAC, Carla Bradshaw OVC, Elizabeth Lowenger Events/Co mmunications, Jennifer Brett Fraser Chapters, Mary Feldskov

Networking for HTM grads HAFA AND HTM graduates are invited to the alumni association's 24th annual hospitality reception Oct. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Toronto Marri ott "rport, 901 Dixon Rd. Co-hosted by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the evening will include a guest speaker, annual general meeting and silent auction in support of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and HAFA Alumni Association scholarshi ps. The cost of the reception is $10; RSVP to eventrsvp@ If you can donate an auction item, contact Brenda York, MBA '00, at brendayork@



~ -c


HOSPITALITY grads will get together again Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m.for a meet-and-mingle evening at Vinnie's Bar and Grill in downtown Toronto- Duncan and Adelaide near King Street in the entertainment district. No cover charge; bring a friend. For more information , contact Eric Chou, B.Comm. '96, at

J'M ALUMNI otunteers are needed for the school's careers night Jan . 25, 2005, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the new atrium. Meet old friends, visit campus and help to mentor current students. If you can help out, contact Brenda York at brendayork@

College of Arts, Deborah Maskens CBS/CPES, Katherine Smart CSAHS, OAC, Paulette Samson OAC, Cathy Voight OVC, Laura Manning Student Affairs, Susan Lawrenson ALUMNI ONLINE COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS


Job postings, Jan Walker ALUMNI HOUSE

519·824·4120. Ext. 56934 U OF G WEBSITE

Fall2004 33







university of guelph


Order of Canada

served as a member of Parliament for several years. After leaving public life, he founded Global Vision International


GuELPH GRADUATES and two faculty made us proud this summer by being named to the Order of Canada. Audrey McLaughlin, DHE '55, and Terry Clifford, BSA '61, accepted their insignias May 14. Biomedical scientist Parvathi Basrur and English professor and writer Thomas King were appointed July 29 for investiture at a future ceremony in Ottawa. • A former member of Parliament for Yukon Territory and the first woman WO

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Audrey Mclaughlin was leader of the New Democratic Party when she spoke to f§ Guelph alumni in 1999 about the leader~ >~ ship role of women in federal politics.

Terry Clifford was a keynote speaker at the 2002 Recognition of Leadership Conference that hosted the first class in U of G's post-graduate diploma program in leadership. in London, Ont., an organization that offers mentoring and educational opportunities. Regional training centres, located in universities across the country, have connected thousands of students with sponsor corporations and allowed many to participate in Team Canada trade missions to learn first-hand about globalization.

• Basrur is a world-recognized and highly respected authority on veterinary genetics and its application in livestock production. Born in Kerala, India, she became the first female professor to join a Canadian veterinary college when she came to Guelph in 1959. She officially retired from the Department of Biomedical Sciences in 1995 but has continued her teaching and studies. Basrur has received nearly $2 million in research grants over the years and has represented Canada on international projects that have improved global food production. • King is one of Canada's most wellknown and respected authors. In May, he won Ontario's premier prize for literary excellence, the Trillium Book Award. His book The Truth About Storieswas published from his 2003 Canada Massey Lectures, which were presented over nine days in five provinces. They were recorded and broadcast on





~ elected leader of a federal political par~ ty, McLaughlin worked to represent ~ northern interests and advocate for ~ social justice. Since leaving politics, she ~ has worked with the National Demog cratic Institute to encourage peace and ~ democracy in developing nations. In i5"' 2000 and 2003, she travelled to Koso~ vo to work with women running in the <t ~ region's first democratic elections. ~ • Clifford has dedicated himself to [3 working with Canadian youth. He has it been a teacher and administrator and

34 THE PoRnco

Through his writing, Thomas King has demonstrated the power of stories and the vitality of Aboriginal culture.

Parvathi Basrur received a lifetime achievement award in 2003 from the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph's Women of Distinction awards program.

the CBC Radio program Ideas. King has written four best-selling novels, numerous television scripts and the award-wining Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour, a popular CBC Radio show. In January 2003, he received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for arts and culture.


Gryphons play for Canada urrent rugby Gryphon Leanne


Ashworth and former Gryphons

Brooke Hilditch, B.Sc. '03, and LeighAnne Swayne, B.Sc.'o1, represented Canada at the inaugural Federation internationale du sport universitaire World University Women's Rugby Championships in China Sept. 15 to 18. The Canadian team included all-star players from 10 universities.

History thrives on diversity wo U of G history graduates ran in the Guelph-Wellington riding during the 2004 federal election : Peter Ellis, MA '70, for the Christian Three memb ers of the Guelph dragon boat team , from left: Donna Castled ine,

Heritage Party and Phil AUt, MA '83,

Maureen Smith and Sylvia Willms, BA 'So.

for the New Democratic Party. Liberal

Rowing for the survivors

on to the seat.

incumbent Brenda Chamberlain held

Graduates take the stage

A Guelph dragon boat tea m that includes

ute to the ir co urage and in memory of

several U of G alumn i and employees was

those who did not survive. More than so

photographe d this summer at the end of

women belong to Gue lph BreastStrokes

a Belleville, Ont. , race supportin g breast

teams. They use U of G facili ties for year路

the entire student body of the Univer-

cance r research. This boat ca rrying the U

round tra ining and are coached by Pat

sity when it gained degree-granting

he june 2004 graduating class at


U of G was larger by a third than

of G co lou rs was one of six crewed by

Richards of the Depa rt ment of Ath letics

privileges in 1964. More than 2,6oo


teams of breast ca ncer survivors. They're

and Linda Caston, An imal and Poultry Sci-

degrees and diplomas were awarded,


listeni ng to the wo rds of Sa rah Mcl ach-

ence. BreastStrokes is part of a cross-

including honorary degrees to six:


lan's so ng I Will Rem ember You as pi nk

Ca nada effort t o raise funds and spiri ts

john (ripton, BA '70, a Canadian

carnations are tossed into the lake in tri b-

in the fight again st breast cancer.

producer and arts advocate; Robert Gordon, president of Humber College in Toronto;



Burnley "Rocky" jones, a lawyer and human rights activist; Eric Hultman, an internationally




actor Peter Donaldson, BA '75, a graduate of Guelph's drama program , spent the summer on stage at the Stratford Festival of Canada, where he played the lead role in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. The play was we llreceived by critics, both for Donaldson's portrayal of the extravagant nobleman and for the set design, which displayed the talents of another Guelp h drama grad, Lore nzo Savoini, BA '97.

renowned exercise biochemistry researcher; Fuller Bazer, an animal scientist at Texas A&M University; and Pedro Sanchez, co-chair of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on World Hunger. Guelph has granted 246 honorary degrees over the past 40 years to honour recipients and provide impres路 sive examples of accomplishments to graduates.









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Fall 2004 35

1950 • Eleanor Knott Crabtree, B.H.Sc. '56, was awarded an

of Ottawa for 12 years. She now lives in Meaford, Ont., with her husband, Alan Crabtree, and is president of the Women's Missionary Society Presbyterial. In 2003, U of G presented her with a Macdonald Institute Centenary Award.

1960 • Radhey Lal Kushwaha, MSA '64, received the Maple Leaf award for distinguished leadership from the Canadian Society Eleanor Knott Crabtree honorary doctor of divinity degree by the Presbyterian College of McGill University in May. She spent 23 years working as a missionary in India, in both educational and medical settings. She returned to Canada in 1981 and worked with international students at Carleton University and the University

Radhey Lal Kushwaha

of Agricultural Engineering (CSAE/ SCG ). He has been a professor of agricultural and bioresource engineering at the University of Saskatchewan smce 1986 and has served CSAE/SCG in various capacities, including two terms as president. The recipient of numerous professional awards, he is currently a councillor of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, a member of the qualifications board of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and the Canadian secretary on the board of the International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems. • Rick McCracken, B.Sc.(Eng.) '69, received the BASF Innovative Farmer of the Year Award in February at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario

conference. He and his wife, Betty, BA '69, farm with his parents near Melbourne, Ont. They raise laying hens and pullets and grow corn, soybeans, wheat, white beans and hay. Rick also runs a custom planting business. He was praised for his promotion of soil conservation practices and encouragement of agricultural stewardship in Ontario.

1970 • Bob Bernhardt, B.Sc. '74, became president and CEO of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in North York, Ont., July l. He was previously vice-president at DeVry College of Technology and director of education at the Law Society of Upper Canada. • Christy Doraty, BA '74, painted the Great Hall in Toronto's Union Station as part of a series



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of four watercolours that commemorated the building's 94

Christine Doraty takes detailed photographs to help guide her architectural paintings. years of service in 2000. The paintings are now on display in the train station. Over the last 20 years, Doraty has created an extensive portfolio of more than 100 watercolour paintings of homes, buildings and landscapes that form a detailed collection of Canadiana. Her work looks into everyday life, the reality of people's lives and all that goes

with a rural or urban lifestyle. She lives in the rural community of Arthur, Ont., with her artist husband, Michael, BA '74, and their three daughters, Bridget, Samantha and Maggie, who is studying child studies at U of G. • Marie Hardy, DVM '80, and her husband, Jim, B.Sc. '78, live in Waterloo, Ont., with their children, Matthew, Rachel and Michael. After graduation, Marie worked in a large-animal practice in Woodstock for three years, then moved to small-animal medicine in Waterloo. • James Ho, M.Sc. '72, is division manager for Weng Shung Tradings in Malaysia. He writes that he is proud to be a grad of Canada's top comprehensive university. • Julianne Koivisto, B.A.Sc. '79, received a master of divinity degree in May from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. In June, she was ordained as a

.SP reaches 78,000 Guelph graduates

parish pastor at First Lutheran Church in Calgary. • Melanie Macdonald, BA '70, was recently appointed president and CEO of World Neighbors, Inc., in Oklahoma City, Okla. She joined the organization after operating her own consulting company, the Hopetown Group, in Lanark, Ont. She has more than 26 years' experience in nonprofit management, from local to international organizations. For more information, visit • Susan (Thompson) Roy, BA '74, mourns the loss of her husband, Robert Roy, B.Sc.(Agr.) '73 and M.Sc. '75, after his courageous battle with cancer. He died June 16. Susan lives in Simcoe, Ont., with her daughter, Melissa.

1980 • Suzanne Barwick, BA '84, says life is busy in Montreal. She had a baby girl in June 2003, six

months after adopting a baby boy. She'd like to hear from U of G friends at • Tom Droppo, B.Sc.(Agr.) '80 and M.Sc. '82, resigned from his 17-year position as dairy specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Food to take on a new position with Managro Harvestore Systems Ltd. as its manager of business development. He lives in Winnipeg and has two daughters, Megan and Samantha, both at university. • Bruce Drysdale, BA '89, has been appointed vice-president, government and public affairs, at Inco Limited in Toronto. He had served as director of government affairs since 1999. Before joining lnco, he worked for GPC International, a public affairs consultancy, and has been an adviser to various cabinet ministers in the Canadian government.

SEND A NOTICE TO GRAD NEWS Name _______________________________________________________ Degree - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Address _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ City _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Prov./State - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Postal Code _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Home Phone _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ E-mail _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ Occupation ___________________________________________________ Grad News Update _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

To place your business ad, contact Scott Anderson 519·827·9169. theandersondifference@ rogers. com


Send update to: Alumni Records, University of Guelph, Guelph ON N1G 2W1 Phone: 519-822-2760 E-mail:

Fall2004 37

• Leslie Drysdale, BA '85, recently won a commission to create a life-sized bronze statue of Ontario pioneer Augustus jones and an accompanying bronze of a hawk, tree stump and rattlesnake. }ones was a provincial surveyor in the 1790s. The statues were commissioned by Drysdale's hometown of Hamilton, Ont., and will be placed at the Stoney Creek Olde Town Square. The artist has completed several outdoor bronze sculptures in Toronto, Burlington and Barrie, but this will be his first installation in Hamilton. • Cecily "Cissy" Flemming, M.Sc. '88, and her partner, David Fleguel, announce the home birth of their big baby boy, Adam Emerson Flemming, Feb. 17, 2004. Friends can contact them at

• Lesley Healy, BA '81, lives in Pompano Beach, Fla., and is a teacher for Palm Beach County. She would like to hear from friends at • Bruce Hobin, M.Sc. '88, became executive director/registrar of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists in Saskatoon in june. He continues his position with the extension division of the University of Saskatchewan on a part-time basis. • Kevin Hosler, B.Sc.(Agr.) '83 and M.Sc. '99, has relocated to Cornwall, Ont., to become an area supervisor for the Ministry of the Environment in the operations division. He joined the ministry in the Halton-Peel district office in Burlington in 2001. The previous 18 years of his career were largely spent researching and developing environmental remediation

technologies at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. • Colin Okashimo, BLA '82, continues his consulting practice of landscape architecture in Singapore. He completed a master's degree in sculpture at the London Institute in England and is now completing his second year of doctoral research. He also teaches in the architecture college at the National University of Singapore and maintains a studio practice in sculpture. • Adrian Park, B.Sc. '85, has been named head of general surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and has joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He was formerly at the University of Kentucky, where he spent

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Adrian Park

six years as a professor of surgery and director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of McMaster University, where he earned his medical degree. In 1999, Park was awarded the University of Guelph Alumni Association Medal of Achievement. • Oswald Schmitz, B.Sc. '82 and M.Sc. '85, has been appointed associate dean of

academic affairs in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.

1990 • Darlene Cober, B.A.Sc. '99, recently moved to Pennsylvania, where she is an emergency room nurse at the Mercy Hospital in Scranton. • Heidi (Maj) Dening, B.Sc. '98 and '00, completed a master's degree in biomedical communications at the University of Toronto in 2003 and is currently working on an educational website at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She and Ryan Dening were married June 26. Visit their website at • Stephen, B.Sc. '91, and Stacy Favrin, B.Sc. '94 and M.Sc. '98, are celebrating the birth of a son, Trenton James, on May 29. They live in Guelph. • Lee Gould, B.Sc. '93, has been named executive director of the Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation in Cambridge, Ont. • Vineet Gupta, B.Sc. '94, is a middle school teacher in Mississauga, Ont., and is working on a master's degree at Brock University. He says he has attended five universities, "and my experience at Guelph was by far the best one." • Andrea Kirkham, B.Sc. '95, has been named the 2004 recipient of a graduate award sponsored by the Dietitians of Canada . She is an M .Sc. student in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, where she is studying how women engaged in a healthy lifestyle manage the many, often conflicting messages about weight in our culture. • Jane Lewis, BA '95, has published four books for young adults and recently began a singing career. She recorded an independent CD, Feel, with her partner, Sam Turton, and also

performs with his band in Guelph, southern Ontario and even in New York City. When not writing or singing, she works as a freelance editor and designer. To follow her career, visit or e-mail to • Sarah Jane Meharg, BLA '96, is the senior research associate in the department of research and program development at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Clemenstport, N.S. She is an expert on post-conflict reconstruction theory and combines her Guelph degree with an MA in war studies from the Royal Military College of Canada and a PhD in cultural geography from Queen's University. She is designing curriculum taught to both military and humanitarian peace operation workers and is co-authoring a book on "identicide;' the intentional destruction of culturally symbolic places during armed conflict, such as the World Trade Centre and the Iraq National Museum. • Karen Morrison, M.Sc.(Eng.) '95, was recently inducted into the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame. When she enrolled at Toronto in 1987, she competed with the Blues men's water polo team for two years before a women's team was launched. She later coached the women's team, earning the OVA Coach of the Year award for 2001/02; was a member of the Canadian women's national team from 1989 to 1997; and played semipro water polo in both France and Mexico. With the Canadian squad, she participated in four World Cups and two World Championships. She was also a decorated competitive swimmer and was an OWIAA medallist and CIAU finalist in 1994 and 1995 while completing a

master's degree at Guelph, where she is currently enrolled in a PhD program. Outside the pool and the classroom, she has served as associate director of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. • Joni (Stephen), B.Sc. '96, and Steven Poplawski, BA '97, have been married for five years and have two children. They live in Georgetown, Ont. She develops management software programs, and he is a fraud investigator with the Peel Regional Police. Friends can contact them at • Greg, B.Sc.(Agr.) '95, and Mary Lou (Stewart) Ricard, B.Sc. '96, have both a new baby and a new home in Seaforth, Ont. Gavin James was born Jan. 19. Friends can contact them at

Laura Taylor • La ura Taylor, BA '99, launched her first book, A Taste for Paprika, at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival Sept. 12. The book is a non-fiction narrative about the layered relationships among a grandmother, a mother and a daughter. Taylor studied creative writing at U of G and at the University of Alberta, where she earned a master's degree. She lives in Guelph and works as a freelance writer and photographer. She is also writing a science book on cottage culture with U of G zoology professor Gerry Mackie.

• Julie Gold Steinberg, PhD '96, is a plant pathologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg. Her current project involves assessing more than 12,000 Avena (oat) accessions from 23 species for resistance to new virulent races of oat stem rust. She married psychiatrist Bob Steinberg in 2002. She has two grown children and seven grandchildren, three of whom she and her husband have adopted. She welcomes e-mail at • Kathy Walls, BA '97, has earned a degree in library science as a part-time student at the University of Toronto. This fall, she plans to remarry and begin a new job as a librarian at the Burlington Public Library. One of her three children is currently attending U of G. • Kyle Walters, B.Comm. '01, returned to U of G this summer as assistant football coach. A member of the football Gryphons from 1992 to 1996, he was a two-time OUA AllStar and All-Canadian. After graduation, he played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and began his coaching career with the team as assistant special teams coach. He is also a personal trainer and is completing an education degree.

2000 • Jason Dunkerley, BA '03, was honoured by the Sport Alliance of Ontario as a finalist in the Ontario Male Athlete With a Disability category in 2003 and recipient of a James Worrall Award in 2004. At the International Blind Sports Federation World Championships in Quebec City in 2003, he won gold in the 800m event and later won the I ,500m event after losing a shoe early in the race. He has been training and com pet-

Fall2004 39

ing with his guide, Greg Dailey, since 1998. Dunkerley was a member of the cross-country Gryphons from 1998 to 2003, won the gold medal in the 1,500m at the International Paralympic Committee Worlds in 2002 and was a silver medallist in the 1,500m at the Paralympic Games in 2000. • Sharon Kirkpatrick, B.A.Sc. '00, is the 2004 recipient of a Dietitians of Canada graduate award sponsored by McCain Foods (Canada). Her research focuses on food security issues

among low-income Canadians, particularly on the relationship between housing affordability and food security. • Gord Lovell, B.Comm. '00, manages Montana's Cookhouse in Winnipeg and was married July 2 to Karen Schnell. • Sandra (Venneri) Schultz, B.Sc. '02, and her husband, Michael, celebrated the arrival of their first child, Emily, in December 2003. Sandra is currently writing a book on nutrition while enjoying their daughter at home in London, Ont.

Elyse Peasley and Christopher Scott

• Christopher Scott, B.Sc. '03, and Elyse Peasley, BA '01, were married June 5 at the Arboretum-"one of our favourite

places in Guelph," says Peasley. They met as students on a bus excursion to Oktoberfest in 1998. She is now completing a master's degree on her way to a PhD in counselling psychology, and he is working on a master's in neuroscience. They can be reached at chrisandelysegetmarried@ sym • Robin (Smith) Shutt, B.Sc. '00, is completing a PhD program in pharmacology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She was married in October 2003 to Tim Shutt.

PASSAGES John Alexander, BSA '57, in 2004 Alan Appleton, B.Sc. '77, in 2004 EdwardAtril, DVM '52, Dec. 19,2003 Malcolm Baker, DVM '50, July 11, 2004 Donald Broadfoot, BSA '50, Dec. 16, 2003 Jeanne (Doane) Bulman, DHE '50, in 2003 Ivy (Campion) Burt, DHE '33, Feb.25,2002 David Cameron, B.Sc. 'SO, April I, 2004 Edward Casey, BSA '57, Oct. 21,2003 Daniel Coxon, BA '77, in 2004 Gertrude (Stephenson) Demorest, DHE '29, September 2003 William Derry, BSA '38, Nov. 12,2003 Kathryn Easton, DHE '28, in 2002 Florence Endico, DHE '29, September 2000 John English, ADA' 41, date unknown Morris Frankel, DVM '54, June 2004 Lawrence Gosnell, BSA '49, March 23, 2004 Clifford Grey, DVM '59, in 2003 Marilyn Hamilton, B.Sc. '74, in 2002 Peter Harshman, M.Sc. '71, July 29, 2004 Richard Hellings, DVM '40, in 2004 Howard Horton, BSA '34, September 2003 Isabelle (Habkirk) Howson, DHE '38, Feb. 13,2004




Richard James, BSA '38, April 15, 2004 Joan Johnson, BA '77, Nov. 12, 2003 Robert Kaill, MSA '63, May 5, 2004 Thomas Kalm, DVM '59, May 14, 2004 John Kelso, B.Sc.(Agr.) '67 and M.Sc. '69, May 18, 2004 Johan Koeslag, M.Sc. '51, date unknown Kristjan Kristjanson, MSA '45, in 1999 Betty (Gibson) Leadlay, DHE '34, July 9, 2004 Jean (Miller) Leask, DHE '47, Dec. 31, 2003 Bruce McCutcheon, DVM '54, Jan. 23, 2004 William McEwen, BSA '43, June 17,2004 James McKee, ADA '55, Nov. 2, 2002 William McMillan, BSA '45, date unknown Isabel Millage, DHE '58, Jan. 17, 2004 Susan Morton, BA '76, in 2004 Murray Nicholson, PhD '81, Dec. 9, 2003 Wilmer Nuttall, DVM '46, June 27, 2003 Nina Paxton, DHE '39, Feb. 12, 2004 Edward Phelan, BSA '39, March 2004 Ralph Pieper, B.Sc.(Agr.) '79, Feb.26,2004 Arnold Reinke, BSA '34, May 18, 2002

William Robbins, BSA '48, April IS, 2004 Robert Roy, B.Sc.(Agr.) '73, June 15,2004 David Scott, B.Sc. '77, May 26, 2004 Anne (Albinson) Sheldon, DHE '34, Dec. 28, 2001 Harry Shortt, DVM '49, july I, 2004 Alexander Simpson, BSA '42, March 24, 2004 Margaret L. Smith, BA '78, May 17, 2004 Roland Stannard, ODH '65, May 14,2004 Jean Steeds, DHE '36, date unknown Douglas Stewart, DVM '51, May 22,2004 John Stinson, BA '87, April 5, 2004 Margaret Strang, DHE '36, in 2004 Margaret Suggitt, DHE '39, Jan. 6, 2002 Douglas Tipper, BSA '48, june 20,2004 Robert Weber, BSA '41, May 11, 2004 Elizabeth Whitley, B.H.Sc. '57, April 2, 2004 Gaye Wiebe, B.H.Sc. '65, Feb. 28, 2004 Donald Wright, BSA '54, April 2004 Deceased notices for University of Guelph graduates are printed in The Portico following notification to Alumni Records at 519-824-4120, Ext. 56934, or alumni

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Guelph stonemason Matthew Bell crafted and built a limestone entrance for the farmhouse on a 500-acre property owned by Frederick W. Stone. When the Stone farm was purchased as a college site in 1874, the house was used as both classroom and residence. Additional storeys and wings were added over the years, and in 1929 the whole building was razed to make way for the construction of today's Johnston Hall. The portico was saved. It was stored until 1934, when it was


N 18 55,

rebuilt in its present location and dedicated by alumni as a connecting link between the past and present. A later generation of alumni chose the portico to serve as a symbol for the first University of Guelph development fund in 1969, and a restoration project in 1999 saw still another group of alumni save the weathered landmark from deterioration. Today, as it has been for nearly 70 years, the portico is a favourite place to take convocation photos.

Guelph Alumnus Magazine, Fall 2004  

University of Guelph Alumnus Magazine, Fall 2004

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