Special Projects

Planning for Tomorrow 2.0

In 2011, OAC commissioned a study, entitled Planning for Tomorrow, to determine the projected needs for HQP in the agriculture and food sector in Ontario. The results from the study confirmed a significant gap between the supply of graduates from OAC programs and demands of the agri-food sectors, with demand exceeding supply by as much as 3:1 for programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. This year we launched the Planning for Tomorrow 2.0 project, an update of the previous study. Synthesis Agri-Food Network, in collaboration with Orion Global Business Sustainability Consultants, is conducting the new study. More about the Planning for Tommorrow 2.0 project here.

Our Shared Priorities

"Our Shared Priorities" is a strategic vision for the Ontario Agricultural College for 2018-2023. It helps us to focus our efforts and remind us of the value we place on: student success, achieving excellence, supporting our people, organizational effectiveness and our legacy and reputation. We look to this document for guidance - to help us focus our efforts and to remind us of what matters most in terms of who we are and what we do. It also influences an annual reporting exercise that shares key examples of how our joint purpose is being realized across OAC. Read the full "Our Shared Priorities" strategic vision here.

140 Faces of OAC

In 2014 to celebrate the Ontario Agricultural College's 140th anniversary, we compiled a listing of 140 people from OAC's past and present community. The project was created in hopes of capturing the diversity of people who make up the identity of OAC and its 140-year-long history. Featuring OAC staff, faculty, students and alumni the list showcases the types of individuals that create the character and uniqueness of OAC. View the 140 Faces of OAC project.

The Arrell Food Institute

The Arrell Food Institute's vision is to transform global food systems, and elevate Canada’s place within the global food economy. They build on the University of Guelph’s world-class strengths in all aspects of food to support innovative research and act as portal for food expertise, through industry extension and training. Learn more about the Food Institute.

Food Laureate

The University of Guelph Food Laureate is Anita Stewart. Anita is an expert on food and Canadian cuisine and serves as the University’s honorary food ambassador. As Food Laureate, she promotes the University of Guelph’s culinary contributions to Canada by refining the food inventory, developing public awareness campaigns, organizing events and strengthening connections between producers and consumers.

Anita has an impressive résumé. She founded Cuisine Canada to promote the growth and study of Canadian food culture and was the first Canadian to earn a master of arts in gastronomy. She has authored or co-authored 14 books on Canadian foods and wines that include many U of G examples. Anita also created Food Day Canada, a national event that evolved from her World’s Longest Barbecue in 2003 intended to support Canadian farmers after that year’s BSE crisis. In 2012, she was appointed to the Order of Canada. She also helped the University of Guelph launch the Good Food Innovation Awards in 2010 to recognize restaurants showing culinary creativity with local ingredients.

H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture

This award of $10,000 was made by the University of Guelph every five years to the Canadian who was judged to have made the most significant contribution to agriculture in Canada during the preceding five years. The award was established by the late H.R. MacMillan of Vancouver, British Columbia, a 1906 graduate of OAC – the Ontario Agricultural College. Designed to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of OAC, the award was announced in 1964 and first presented in 1969. 2014 marked the tenth and final presentation of this award. Nominations were assessed by a national panel of judges selected by the University of Guelph. Award recipients were presented with a medal designed by Erich Barth.


1969 - J.M. Bell, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1974 - G.R. McLaughlin, Beaverton, Ontario
1979 - B.R. Stefansson and F.W. Hougen, Winnipeg, Manitoba
1984 - C.H. Bigland, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1989 - Hon. H.O. Sparrow, North Battleford, Saskatchewan
1994 - Ernest A. Kerr, Simcoe, Ontario
1999 - Robert Chicione, Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec
2004 - Peter Hannam, Guelph, Ontario
2009 - Maurice Edward (Ted) Bilyea, Toronto, Ontario
2014 - Tim McAllister, Lethbridge, Alberta

Planning for Tomorrow Survey

A survey commissioned by OAC in 2011 revealed a large gap between the supply of OAC graduates and employer demand. The Planning for Tomorrow for OAC: Input From Industry survey was conducted by JRG Consulting Group was released in early 2012 and found that industry demand far exceeded the supply of post-secondary graduates in agri-food in Ontario. Survey respondents also expected a 10- to 20-per-cent increase in the number of new hires directly from university in the coming years. Read the full Planning for Tomorrow survey.