New Associate VP Research Named

August 25, 2009 - News Release

Prof. Rich Moccia has been appointed U of G's new associate vice-president (research) agri-food and partnerships. His five-year appointment begins Sept. 1.

Moccia, who has served as interim AVPR since May 2007, is credited with playing a leadership role in negotiating a new partnership between the University and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in 2008. The partnership is recognized for returning more than $1.15 billion a year to the Ontario economy.

For months, Moccia discussed effective management and desired outcomes with the campus community and OMAFRA. Under the new agreement, the province is investing $300 million over five years (the first half of a new 10-year contract).

“Rich has an innate ability to connect with people, to bring different parties together and to get everyone to understand the importance of working together to achieve a common goal,” said Prof. Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).

“His leadership skills were crucial to our renewing the OMAFRA contact, which is vital to our entire university. His enthusiasm and expertise will continue to be invaluable as he takes on new and continued challenges in this position.”

Moccia will continue to oversee the OMAFRA partnership, which involves U of G in managing research and education programs in agri-food, environmental sustainability, and animal and human health, including at the three regional campuses at Alfred, Ridgetown and Kemptville.

He’ll also be responsible for the management and development of Laboratory Services, various OMAFRA/U of G research facilities, and relationships with numerous public- and private-sector partners.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated people at U of G and OMAFRA and strengthening our successful partnership,” said Moccia.

“This role will allow me to build on what we’ve done and give further support to the agri-food sector, which is vital to the health and prosperity of this province.”

Agriculture is Ontario’s second-largest industry, contributing more than $30 billion to the province’s economy and employing more than 700,000 people.

“The sector is evolving, and it’s critical that we explore new research areas that support this transition, such as food and water safety, environmental sustainability and the bioeconomy,” he said.

A professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, Moccia has 22 years of experience within the OMAFRA agreement. A researcher and extension specialist in the agri-food sector, he helped develop the Alma Aquaculture Research Station and has served as director of the animal research program.

He has won numerous teaching and research awards, including a Distinguished Professor Teaching Award from the U of G Faculty Association in 2002 and a National Research Excellence Award in 2007.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982/

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