Thomas Clifton Hays

Thomas Clifton Hays, born in Alberta, educated in Ontario and Nova Scotia, invested his time in both the livestock business and a law practice being called to the bar in 1970. As a tireless promoter and consummate diplomat, Tom Hays has spent over 40 years as ambassador for Canadian livestock, spreading the "good news" and ensuring that Canadian producers have access to world markets. With few exceptions, no one has invested more of his own resources for the benefit of the livestock industry. Tom was committed to extensive international travel and close liaison with Agriculture Canada. Because of his honesty, integrity and skills in negotiating, he was instrumental in developing markets for Canadian livestock in Japan, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Australia and China as well as the United States.

Tom Hays became a leader in developing the export sector of the livestock industry, before using his ability to create strong collaborative alliances among competitors, to build consensus and to search for win/win results in almost any situation. He continued to provide his own time, energy and skills to make the livestock industry more than the sum of its parts.

Mr. Hays was instrumental in formation of the Canadian Livestock Exporters Association and the Canadian Embryo Exporters Association. His knowledge of the livestock industry, coupled with his legal expertise, put him in a respected position to give leadership to the amalgamation of these organizations along with the Canadian Association of Animal Breeders into the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association. This has contributed greatly to providing a strong, unified voice among exporters in promotion of livestock around the world and in dealing with governments on animal health, export market development and other issues.

Tom was an industry leader in animal health issues and represented the industry in policy discussions with the Canadian government including negotiating the health standards that would allow export of Canadian livestock to specific countries. He used his many industry contacts, built up over time through his marketing activities in other countries, to achieve this goal. Tom is a member of the health committee of the Canadian Livestock Exporters Association and was a member of the Production Limiting Diseases Committee. He also is a member of the National Industry Compensation Development Board.

Tom Hays has served as chair of the agriculture executive committee of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and a member of the Dairy Cattle Committee. He has been instrumental in keeping the Royal as the most prestigious dairy cattle show in the world. In partnership with Shore Holsteins, Tom continued the Sale of Stars (started by Hays Farms) at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and partnered with the Bank of Nova Scotia to co-sponsor the Scotiabank-Hays Classic at the Royal.

Tom also serves on the Board of Directors of Country Heritage Experience Inc., which operates Country Heritage Park.

Nominated By:
  • Canadian Livestock Genetics Association