Dr. J. Clarence ‘Clare’ Rennie has been dedicated to the education and training of people in agriculture, to the development of new technology and to the transfer of new information to the agri-food industry provincially, nationally and internationally throughout his career.
As a professor of animal science and later as chair of this department at the Ontario Agricultural College, Dr. Rennie undertook research and development projects aimed at strengthening the agricultural base and the food industries in Ontario. He assisted farmers in identifying needs and opportunities and encouraged them to adopt new technologies and to use the diagnostic information he provided to make sound management decisions. Dr. Rennie was responsible for the initial application of computers and data processing to agriculture with emphasis on the livestock industry. He introduced the first national dairy cattle indexing system for both type traits and milk yield utilizing computer technology. He also established the start of modern day statistical procedures for sire selection in dairy cattle.
Dr. Rennie was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Food in 1974 and served in this position until 1991. During this time Dr. Rennie instigated and gave leadership to the development of Canada’s computerized inventory system for agricultural research under the Canadian Agricultural Research Council and the development of a world-class agricultural research system for Ontario. As ADM, Clare Rennie provided administration for special programs including the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario and the Ministry’s Provincial Lottery Research Awards Program. He represented the Ministry and the province at the local, provincial, national and international level in many capacities.
Clare Rennie has provided leadership to many organizations including serving terms as president of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists, the Agricultural Institute of Canada and the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association. He has received numerous awards; and in 1987 the J.C. Rennie Chair in Animal Breeding Strategies was established by the University of Guelph, Semex Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, in recognition of Dr. Rennie’s many contributions and accomplishments.