Hon. Grant Devine

A farmer first, the Honorable Grant Devine is most notably known as an economist, professor, politician and the 11th Premier of Saskatchewan. His vision and political leadership has left a lasting impact on agriculture in Saskatchewan, Canada and beyond.

Grant left the family farm to study agricultural economics, earning his MSc, MBA and PhD before he joined the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1975. His passion for politics drew him into political life when he was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan in 1979, leading the party to one of the largest electoral victories in Canadian history. He went on to serve the province as Premier from 1982 to 1991, during which time he also held the agriculture portfolio, a testament to his view on the economic importance of the agriculture sector.

Governing through the “farm crisis” saw Grant bring his brand of prairie optimism to shape policies and boost the agriculture sector when the industry faced poor growing conditions, high transportation costs, skyrocketing interest rates and collapsing commodity prices. He introduced the Farm Purchase Program with 10-year guaranteed loans to young farmers. He delivered province-wide natural gas. And he improved telecommunications to rural Saskatchewan.

An outspoken champion of agricultural research and innovation, Grant created Ag-West Bio Inc. in 1988 – the first biotechnology industry-government association in Canada. The Agricultural Development Fund, created during Grant’s tenure, now provides more than $14 million annually for practical research applications in Saskatchewan’s agriculture and food industry. His government also funded a new agriculture building at the University of Saskatchewan that today stands as Innovation Place – a platform for world-class teaching and scholarship that employs 4,300 people and contributes more than $830 million every year to the Saskatchewan economy.

Grant has been honoured and recognized on many levels including the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Vanier Award as an Outstanding Young Leader in Canada.

Grant has always been committed to growing Saskatchewan. And he always knew that agriculture was the foundation of the province’s economy. The 1980s was a decade of big ideas and significant reform in Saskatchewan. His leadership and vision has left a lasting legacy of growth and prosperity for the agricultural landscape in Saskatchewan and Canada.

Nominated By:
  • Input Capital Corporation