U of G Awards MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture to Agri-Food Industry Leader

February 17, 2010 - News Release

A world-renowned expert on international trade, food and agriculture issues and former executive vice-president of Maple Leaf Foods has received the 2009 H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture.

Maurice Edward (Ted) Bilyea was honoured today during the University of Guelph's winter convocation. The $10,000 award is given every five years to an individual judged to have made the most significant contribution to agriculture in Canada during the preceding five years.

“Ted’s commitment and contributions to Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector make him a most deserving recipient of this prestigious honour,” said Rob Gordon, dean of the Ontario Agriculture College (OAC).

“This award celebrates his tremendous leadership in the business, science and public policy of primary agriculture and food production for more than 35 years and recognizes his extraordinary commitment to enhancing Canada’s agricultural potential.”

Bilyea is the ninth recipient of the award, which was established in 1966 by the late H.R. MacMillan, a 1906 OAC graduate. Recipients are selected by a national panel of academic and industry leaders.

A Toronto native, Bilyea joined Canada Packers in 1971 shortly after graduating from York University. He served as president of Maple Leaf Foods International and retired in 2005 as executive vice-president of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Under his leadership, Maple Leaf became Canada’s largest food exporter.

Bilyea now works as an agri-food consultant specializing in innovation with public and private sector clients, providing expertise on critical policy issues to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and trade.

He continues to play a key role in Canada’s agri-food policy development, chairing the Science Advisory Board of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, serving on the boards of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency and the Canadian Prion Research Network, and advising the board of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. He was made a Fellow of the George Morris Centre in 2007.

Bilyea has also been a longtime supporter of U of G and its agri-food programs. He served as a member of the board of governors from 2002 through 2005 and chairs the board of directors of the Guelph-based Metals in the Human Environment Strategic Network.

For media questions, Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338, lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982, d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca

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