The lasting legacy of four Canadian agricultural leaders will shine even brighter as they become the 2022 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame – Maurice Delage, Mabel Hamilton, Dr. Digvir Jayas and Ashok Sarkar.
“Canadian agriculture supports a tremendous array of leaders and innovators, and we are thrilled to have selected four more of them join the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame,” says Ted Menzies, president of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. “This year’s inductees have all made major contributions to Canadian agriculture in the crop sector, livestock and agricultural education, further processing in the flour milling industry and food security through grain storage systems. We are proud to honour and recognize the lasting contributions these four individuals have made for our industry, in Canada and around the world, and welcome them into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.”
Maurice Delage – Agribusiness leader, hybrid canola visionary
Maurice Delage began his change-making career in Canadian agriculture as a sales representative in the crop protection industry. Over the next nearly 30 years, he’d leave an indelible mark as the visionary leader of Hoechst Canada, AgrEvo Canada and Aventis North America. Maurice was an early believer that biotechnology was vital to the future of agriculture. His vision saw a public/private plant breeding centre built in Saskatchewan that is now home to one third of Canada’s ag biotechnology industry. He fostered cooperation between European and Canadian scientists that resulted in Liberty-resistant canola, the first herbicide-tolerant canola on the market in the mid 1990s. This was the origins of “InVigor” herbicide-tolerant hybrid canola that continues to dominate Canada’s canola acres. For the past 20 years, Maurice has been farming full-time with his family on Delage Farms – a 35,000 acres operation that balances new agronomic practices while improving the quality of the environment. Maurice Delage lives in Indian Head, SK, and was nominated by Ag-West Bio Inc. and the Global Institute for Food Security.
Mabel Hamilton – Ag education champion, respected beef industry leader
A teacher by training, Mabel Hamilton has made lasting contributions to the Canadian beef industry in more than 40 years of standout leadership roles with key organizations. Mabel began her lifelong career in “cowboy politics” with the Alberta Cattle Commission (now Alberta Beef Producers). It was here, using her education background, that she developed a classroom agricultural program for grade 4 students to increase urban youth’s understanding of where food comes from. She led the Canadian Angus Association at a time of unprecedented growth, moving the breed from 4th largest to largest. Mabel led the Beef Information Centre to increase its connection to consumers through education and advertising, 25 years before the industry had realized the disconnect between producers and consumers. An early champion for traceability, Mabel helped create Canada’s national livestock traceability system that was crucial when BSE was discovered in 2003. Mabel Hamilton lives in Innisfail, AB and was nominated by the Canadian Angus Association.
Dr. Digvir Jayas – Innovative researcher, stored grain ecosystem expert
For more than 30 years, Dr. Digvir Jayas has been the Canadian leader in agricultural research on the stored-grain ecosystem – addressing the growing need of global food security by minimizing losses in stored grain. His research team at the University of Manitoba developed the concept for horizontal airflow drying of grain and the first 3-D model that’s driving better management systems for storing grain – improving its quality for human consumption and benefitting Canadian farmers. Digvir tackles fundamental problems with an interdisciplinary approach to research and extends the opportunities of his work through a network of collaborators in government, industry and academia. His innovative research and collaborative focus have significantly increased the availability of high quality grains to feed Canadians and for export around the world, providing a key food source to address global hunger. Dr. Digvir Jayas lives in Winnipeg, MB and was nominated by the University of Manitoba.
Ashok Sarkar – Legendary flour miller, Canadian grains advocate
With a career spanning more than 50 years, Ashok Sarkar dedicated his work to promoting the quality of Canadian wheat and grains to markets around the world. His career began at mills around the world from India to Switzerland and finally settling in Canada, where he joined the Canadian International Grains Institute (now Cereals Canada) in 1979. As Head of Milling, Ashok developed milling efficiencies and generated flours with desired quality attributes for food products around the globe. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a reliable, personable and trusted miller, engaging along the entire value chain to influence the opportunities and maximize the potential for Canadian grains. His work focused on wheat, buckwheat, food barley, canary seed and pulses to develop a variety of milled ingredients. Since retiring in 2014, Ashok’s passion for Canadian grains and milling continues as a consultant with Cereals Canada – educator, innovator, researcher and mentor. Ashok Sarkar lives in Winnipeg, MB and was nominated by Cereals Canada.
The 2022 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto.
The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association (CAHFA) honours and celebrates Canadians for outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry. Portraits are on display in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Gallery located at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The CAHFA also publicizes the importance of inductee achievements to Canada. The Association was organized in 1960 and is administered by a 12-person volunteer Board of Directors residing in regions across Canada. www.cahfa.com