Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

October 24, 2000

Chicoine receives prestigious MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture

Robert Chicoine was honoured with the 1999 H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture Sept. 12, 2000, in Vancouver during the annual meeting of the Canadian Dairy Genetic Industry.

The H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture is an award of $10,000 that is made by the University of Guelph every five years to an individual who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to agriculture in Canada during the preceding five years.

In making the award, Prof. Tom Michaels, acting dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), said: "Mr. Robert Chicoine personifies the educated professional leading a major industrial initiative with wisdom, strength and sensitivity for the views of all partners. As a strong proponent for science and technology, he possesses the rare talent of leadership, without appearing to be out in front. He seeks consensus and draws his partners into collaboration. He has been the major player in the Canadian dairy genetics success story."

Chicoine is only the seventh recipient of this prestigious award. The late H.R. MacMillan of Vancouver, a 1906 graduate of OAC and a 1966 recipient of an honorary doctorate of laws from the University, established the award in 1969.

"We should be rightfully proud that Canada, with a relatively small dairy cattle population compared to major dairy countries, has been able to maintain a leading position as a marketer of top genetics," said Chicoine in accepting the award. "Obviously, we have done a lot of things right, and I am proud to have been part of this industry during all those years.

"If we want to stay amongst the leaders in our field, we need to look ahead, be very efficient and co-operative, and we need to move fast. With such a small dairy population, it is imperative that every dairy cow be identified and contribute to genetic evaluations. I am confident that by understanding the challenge and, as in the past, if we really put our heart to it, working truly as a team, we will succeed."

Chicoine has devoted his 34-year career to development and service of the Canadian Dairy Industry. A native of Quebec, he completed his education at Laval University in 1966, obtaining a bachelor of science degree in animal husbandry and a master of science degree in dairy cattle breeding. In 1998, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Laval for his exceptional contributions and continual support to the research and development of animal science.

In 1996, Chicoine was chosen to lay the foundation for The Semex Alliance, a partnership of Canadian artificial insemination Co-operatives: Wesgen, Centre d'insèmination artificielle du Quebec, Eastern Breeders Inc. and Gencor. Through his aggressive team building, The Semex Alliance has become one of the largest livestock genetics enterprises in the world. In addition, Chicoine has been integral in the formation of the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) and DairyGen and has served on countless industry boards, volunteering both his time and experience.

This release was prepared by Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Guelph, 519-824-4120, Ext. 6982.

Media contact: Harvey Wood, General Manager The Semex Alliance 450-774-1450

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